Survey Shows People Find Caring for Livestock Meaningful Work

posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Employees Find Animal Care Meaningful Work  

From the outside looking in, farming can appear messy, dirty, stinky and oftentimes downright hard. It’s one of the reasons less than two percent of Iowans are directly involved in food production. For someone searching for career opportunities, pig farming doesn’t always make the top of the prospect list.

But listening to those who show up to the barns bright and early to put in a full day of feeding, choring, breeding, farrowing, weaning, moving, sorting and loading pigs, you might hear the most unexpected words — fulfilling, honorable, opportunity, potential, rewarding and pride.

Cassandra Jass

A recent report published by the National Pork Board showed pig farmers of all sizes— particularly the larger “systems”—are able to provide competitive compensation, family benefits, retirement and investment plans, vacation, sick day and holiday time off and quarterly or annual bonus packages.

And while pay and compensation are the foundation of employee satisfaction, there is overwhelming evidence that people value their sense of connection and belongingness with their work family—feeling respected, cared about, and recognized by others.

People also put a high value on their purpose. Feeling that they are making meaningful impact, identifying with the organization’s mission, and believing their work does some good in the world. It’s a source of pride. 

For three years, Iowa Select Farms has been measuring these very things by partnering with a third party research firm to hear and measure how our employee think and feel about working for Iowa Select Farms.

The effort is part of the Top Workplace ranking, which takes the results of the participating companies in Iowa and determines a ranking based on numerical scores. The survey also provides the average score of 6,000 other similar-sized and structured companies across the nation which allows for some comparison. 

Highest Scores and Statements for 2018

A comparison of Iowa Select Farms 2018 results versus the average scores of other Iowa companies in the “large employer” category.

• Iowa Select Farms does things efficiently and well— 23% above average

• My manager makes it easier to do my job well— 18% above average

• Iowa Select Farms is going in the right direction— 10% above average

• Iowa Select Farms operates with strong values— 8% above average

Most Improved Statements from 2017

A comparison of Iowa Select Farms’ 2017 and 2018 results

• My job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful—7% increase

• My manager makes it easier to do my job well—6% increase

• This job has met or exceeded my expectations I had when I started—5% increase

• There is good interdepartmental cooperation at Iowa Select Farms—4% increase

Cumulative Improvements Over Three Years

Percent increases in Iowa Select Farms’ scores since 2016

• My job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful—11% increase

• Iowa Select Farms encourages different points of view—11% increase

• At Iowa Select Farms, we do things efficiently and well—12% increase

• There is good inter-departmental cooperation at Iowa Select Farms—12% increase

•New ideas are encouraged at Iowa Select Farms—9% increase

• Iowa Select Farms enables me to work at my full potential—10% increase

• Iowa Select Farms operates by strong values—8% increase

• Iowa Select Farms is going in the right direction—5% increase

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