Speakers presented strategies, trends and foresight
All of the changes Abrashoff made were due to his own self evaluation and realization that empathic, compassionate leaders get results. Taking the time to get to know employees, their thoughts and dreams and helping them reach their goals can create an environment that rewards the whole team. This idea is gaining steam in business today, he said. He referred to a feature article discussing the rise of the compassionate leader in the Harvard Business Review and Fast Company magazine.
The days of the guy sitting in the captain’s chair (or boardroom chair) barking orders doesn’t work anymore.
MIKE SMITH AND MARK WASCHEK
The afternoon of Dec. 4 was broken into two breakout sessions. To provide a full spectrum of information about “Becoming a Destination Employer” two speakers from Ag1 Source—Mike Smith, president and CEO, and Mark Waschek, vice-president-agronomy—provided information during one breakout session.
The two spoke about the company’s three-legged stool of business style for a strong base, which is necessary for a company to have satisfied employees. It is a base of hiring, retention and engagement. The explanation is that it starts with putting a company’s best foot forward for hiring, requires attention to retention and a focus on engagement or employees wanting to help the company be a success.
Smith explained that the largest percentage of employees leave a company because of issues with their supervisor, nearly triple the number that leave because of low compensation.
Waschek also noted what is logical; the highly engaged employees are two times more likely to be top performers in a company. How to earn engagement is a big issue and must be a focus of a business.
LAUREN WILLIAMSON AND STEVE MITCHELL
In the breakout “Fertilizer Industry Macro Trends,” Lauren Williamson, editor of Argus FMB’s North American fertilizer report, and Stephen Mitchell, editor of Argus FMB’s global nitrogen fertilizer report, provided an overview of the past influences on the global fertilizer industry and provided a look at where the industry is today and where it might be headed in the near future.
As for nitrogen, Williamson said U.S. urea supply is highly import dependent and pricing is dictated offshore. Ammonia is also import dependent, but in UAN production and pricing, the U.S. leads the way. The U.S. is the second largest urea import market, but India is first.
Mitchell gave an overview of the global urea market. Although there has been a lot of talk about price volatility in the urea market, he showed that the price variations are still at the same level as they were in 2003.
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