INSIDERS Recognizing Loyalty and Long-Term Service Within a Corporation

Recognizing Loyalty and Long-Term Service Within a Corporation

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Sarah Foster
Sarah Fosterhttp://2020seedlabs.ca
President and Senior Seed Analyst, 20/20 Seed Labs - Sarah Foster is a registered seed technologist, senior seed analyst and president of 20/20 Seed Labs — a company she started in 1989 that provides testing services for all crop kinds, including extensive quality and seed health analysis, molecular testing and accredited crop inspection. Involved in the seed industry since the late 1970s, Foster studied and qualified as an accredited seed analyst at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in Cambridge, England. Her work experience includes seven years with Sharps Seed International (Advanta) in the United Kingdom, and five years with the United Grain Growers in Edmonton after immigrating to Canada in 1984.

We recently celebrated 30 years in the agricultural business. It was truly a great honour to  celebrate this milestone and know that we have provided a valuable service for over three decades.

Although I began 20/20 Seed Labs on my own, it would not be where it is today without the hard work of many. My utmost appreciation and gratitude lies with the many dedicated employees who have shared and supported the 20/20 vision, goals and commitment to our clients. Some of these employees have been with the organization upward of 20 years. It is this level of loyalty, consistency and commitment to service that has allowed us to forge ahead through challenging times, continue to support our clients and remain successful.

We, as an organization, are proud to be a part of a bigger picture — a thriving industry and one which will certainly encounter many changes over the coming years. Navigating these challenges and the opportunities that are presented is much easier with a great team.

Having the trust of your employees and co-workers is critical. Without long-term, committed employees who are connected to the organization and the industry, and who are forward-thinkers and focused on customer service, your company will not sustain itself for very long. You need to quickly establish the trust of your team. This is achieved through being with them in the trenches, allowing them to lean on you as a leader, and by appreciating their efforts.

They make your corporate culture what it is. Long-term employees stick around because you have, with their invaluable help, created a culture that fosters education, along with personal and professional development. For example, we have frequent in-house training seminars where each staff member gives a presentation on something they’ve encountered in their work or through their travels that they think would benefit their co-workers. We believe in helping one another be the best we can be, ultimately enabling us all to be more confident and enjoy our work.

They help represent you within the industry and outside it. The employees are the face of our organization when engaging or interacting within the ‘industry’. Our employees are part of many different organizations like the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada and the International Seed Testing Association. Everyone attends industry events. Many of our employees also volunteer in the community on our behalf. You can’t buy representation like that if you tried. When your employees are dedicated to the company, they want to represent it and are proud to do so.

Fostering a team-oriented environment and really valuing your employees and their development pays dividends for your business. This is one of the best lessons for any business owner.

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