Rural Communities Encouraged to Focus on Positive Work-Life Balance to Attract and Retain Workers

CANADA - A Winnipeg based labor consultant recommends focusing on the positive work-life balance offered by small rural communities to attract and retain agricultural workers, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 22 February 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Several trends, including the large number of existing workers reaching retirement, increasing migration of younger workers to larger cities and greater demands among those workers that are available, are setting the stage for what's described as the worst labor crisis in 30 years.

Barbara Bowes, the president and CEO of BowesHR says there are several strategies being used attract workers, some of which are effective and some of which are not.

Barbara Bowes-BowesHR

First of all, of course, people tried throwing money at the new workers and that might just last a short time.

Psychology, and psychologists and research is showing money doesn't last.

If you're going to hire somebody for money only they're going to skip to the next job the next day somebody else offers more money.

So the biggest trend now is to really take a look at getting people to be attracted to the lifestyle.

In the cities you've got big companies saying, here, this is our flexible work schedule, we're really great. we treat you like a family, etceteras and they're going after the emotional tags rather than trying to throw money.

What I see in my business is people, they're going to the oil fields, they're going up north, they're going to Europe, what ever but they phone me and say, you know what, I've got seven and ten year olds, my parents are getting elderly, I want to come home.

Bowes suggests, once the workers have been brought on staff, the most effective way to keep them is to make sure their work remains challenging and provide opportunity for advancement.

She says people want professional development, they want training and they want opportunity to move to higher level positions within the company.

ThePigSite News Desk I want to come home to work life balance, a community that I can only take five minutes to drive to the skating instead of an hour and a half and I don't want to spend four hours on a road. So we are getting more young people or middle aged 45 year olds saying I want to come home so that's really exciting.

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