216%

increase in engagement commitments made by leadership

85.1%

employee engagement score in 2021, an increase from 2019 and 2020 despite a national downward trend

33 of 42

engagement survey items increased in favorability, with 8 of these improving by 3% or more

The Company

Farm Credit Services of America/Frontier Farm Credit is a financial cooperative owned and governed by farmers and ranchers in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota, and Wyoming. 

Part of the Farm Credit System—a nationwide network of customer-owned cooperatives with more than 100 years of experience —Farm Credit Services of America is instrumental in helping rural communities grow and thrive. It exists solely to serve rural communities and meet the credit and risk management needs of agricultural producers.

The Association’s employees drive agricultural development from its headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, and 48 local offices. It’s regularly voted a top place to work, which employees attribute to an engaging workplace culture that invests and cares deeply about listening to their voices. 

 

The Challenge

How to ensure employees continue feeling heard, valued, and cared for in the unprecedented times of Covid and The Great Resignation.

While Farm Credit Services of America has a culture of engaging its workforce through surveys, the Association recognized a need to reenergize and educate employees around its engagement philosophy—"engagement is a year-round commitment we all own."  

Moreover, consistency begins at the top. Leaders had to understand the value in addressing issues raised by employees in previous engagement surveys. At the same time, they needed an effective way to keep employee engagement commitments top of mind. 

The Solution

In addition to partnering with Quantum Workplace for employee engagement and lifecycle surveys, Farm Credit Services of America also leverages the platform’s survey analytics to identify areas of focus and opportunities at key stages of the employee journey. 

Following its 2019 and 2020 employee engagement surveys, the Association discovered an opportunity to boost employee listening and drive meaningful change by using the commitment planning tools integrated into Quantum Workplace. 

With these tools, every leader at Farm Credit Services of America was encouraged to create a detailed employee engagement commitment plan and document the work done to follow through on commitments. Not only did this drive urgency and accountability, Quantum Workplace also enabled leadership to understand association-wide trends and insights impacting engagement, measure progress, and share successes.  

“We asked each team, division, and region to find opportunities within their data. Leaders led conversations with their team and created an engagement commitment using Quantum Workplace’s tools.” 

The Association built an intentional communication strategy to complement its post-survey action planning. Regular emails highlighting the importance of engagement commitments and follow-up actions kept leaders on track. Farm Credit Services of America's President & CEO and EVP Chief Operating Officer consistently updated employees through messages and videos shared via internal communication channels—emphasizing the importance and impact of employee feedback to the Association. 

In 2021, leaders at Farm Credit Services of America entered 275 commitments into the system, up from just 87 in 2019. 

“Engagement across the U.S. gradually declined throughout 2021, but our story is more positive than this trend. Our results showed an increase from 2019 and 2020. The largest improvements came from the four least favorable items in our 2020 engagement survey, including ‘our team developed action plans to address issues raised by the last survey’s results’ (+5%) and ‘I noticed positive change as a result of our last Voices Survey’ (+6%).”

Amanda Sjuts, Organizational Development Teams Specialist 

Furthermore, Farm Credit Services of America's commitment to post-survey action has protected it from The Great Resignation. While the question 'it would take a lot for me to leave’ had the largest decrease in favorability nationally, the Association didn’t see this impact on its employee engagement data. 

To move the needle on employee engagement, Farm Credit Services of American uses Quantum Workplace to: 

  • Capture employee’s voices through engagement and lifecycle surveys 
  • Create action plans that keep employee listening top of mind year-round 
  • Track progress and measure the impact of engagement efforts 

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