Long-term companies and generational workers: Supporting a stable working environment
15 Dec 2022
In an age where disruptive technology replaces humans, it is not easy to find a business whose employees remain with the same company for extended periods of time. It has been observed that millennials and Gen Xers are reporting boredom and a lack of opportunity to advance, so they look for employment opportunities elsewhere. One company that has placed great emphasis on workforce retention and a long-term relationship with its employees is Norsemen Trucking, a trucking company based in Lake Mills, Iowa. Family-owned, with a traditional approach to its workforce, Norsemen Trucking offers a competitive pay structure and a range of benefits to its employees.
An environment that is conducive to business growth
David Steffens, President, of Norsemen Trucking, has a vision for the company. He stated, “The next five years will be one of steady growth as we continue to serve our customers in the area. We want to continue to be able to provide great-paying jobs with excellent benefits to our employees as a way to reward them for the great support they have provided us over the last 40+ years.”
Steffens believes that the business environment in the Winn-Worth Betco Region is conducive to growth. “I think that Iowa and our local governments have been very effective in creating a business environment that will support manufacturing and agricultural growth for many years to come. As we all try to adjust to a post-pandemic economy, I think this area is positioned well to help support that growth.”
Offering employees an invaluable support system
How does the company encourage employees to continue working at the company? Steffens says, “Our company has put in place employee benefits that help encourage longevity in employment such as a 401(k) plan with employer matching, vacation, and paid time off that will increase with years of employment, flexible work schedules, etc.; these would apply to all employees. We are a trucking company, so we have driver retention policies that have allowed us to benefit from a driver turnover rate that is one forth the national average for trucking companies. Some of those policies include longevity pay, layover, breakdown pay, and returning home every week. We use only late-model equipment that is designed with the drivers' comfort in mind. We offer free wi-fi in the trucks for the drivers to use during their downtime. But I think the biggest factor in our retention of employees is the fact that we try very hard to provide them with the respect and appreciation that they deserve. Truck driving is a very difficult job, and we know how hard it can be to be away from home, so we do work towards ensuring that the time spent by our drivers away from home is productive and profitable for them.”
As a business owner in Lake Mills, Steffens believes that more attention should be paid to affordable housing. “In order to support business growth in the community, I would like to encourage continued efforts from everyone in Iowa and our local area to help solve a common problem of not enough affordable housing for prospective employees to allow them to locate here. We have the schools, healthcare, amenities, and a great lifestyle but we need more housing options.”
The workforce in Winnebago & Worth Counties: An excellent local resource
Steffens is very optimistic about how everything has come together and worked so well for businesses in the Winn-Worth Betco region. “Some of the regional assets that help support our growth include access to a robust transportation network of interstate highways, local access to two community colleges, North Iowa Area Community College and Riverland Community College for training, reliable utilities with the capacity to support growth.”
However, the main resource, according to Steffens, is the local workforce. “We continue to benefit from a local workforce that has a great work ethic and a willingness to adapt to changes in our industry. This is a great place to have a business and the workforce is one of the main reasons why we are successful.”
The Winnebago and Worth Counties Betterment Council (Winn-Worth Betco) is here to support all businesses and developers looking to grow in our 14 communities. We invite you to discover all that our communities have to offer. Contact us for more information here. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter!