Retailer engagement survey highlights system strength

Strengthening our system through a passionate workforce

Land O

As one of the country’s largest cooperatives, Land O'Lakes, Inc.’s success is directly tied to the success of its member and retail-owners. And we understand that perhaps nothing drives business results better than having engaged, passionate employees throughout our system.
That’s why our human resources team benchmarks employee engagement and applies the data to continuously improve our performance. It’s a process we undertake with our own employees and, in 2016, we started gathering similar information from our retail-owners on topics like overall job satisfaction and company pride -- and we continue to measure employee sentiment.
The Land O’Lakes Strategic Talent Resource Group (STRG) supports the member/retail-owners, their talent initiatives, and these survey projects.  To date, we have surveyed 15 retailers -- with exciting results.
In a nutshell: Land O’Lakes owners’ employees feel good about the co-op culture and the products and services they provide -- a strong endorsement of the strength and vitality of the co-op model and go-to-market strategy.
“Seeing just how engaged co-op employees are was a pleasant surprise,” says Mary Amundson, Director of HR Analytics at Land O’Lakes.
More than 3,600 employees have responded to the survey, with a combined average engagement score of 75% favorable – a number that rivals best-in-class companies and is much higher than the national average. (According to the latest Gallup poll, 34% of Americans feel engaged at work, tying for the highest in Gallup history.)
Another key takeaway from the survey is the strong correlation between employee engagement and business results. Companies that scored better on employee engagement and enablement showed a greater return on member equity and stronger operational efficiencies.
“That wasn’t necessarily a surprise, but it’s good to see,” says Amundson. “It turns out employees’ perception of the high-quality services they provide and customer satisfaction match up.”
Another benefit of these surveys is the opportunity to identify opportunities for improvement and develop action plans. By tracking and improving overall employee engagement and enablement, companies can achieve more profitable growth, greater customer penetration and increase member satisfaction.
“The information collected was an open and honest look into how our employees feel about our company’s strengths and areas in need of improvement,” says Kevin Still, president and CEO of Co-Alliance. “We used this information to follow-up with our employee team at all levels. The result brought about a more cohesive employee work environment.”
As our industry faces increasing retirement numbers and labor shortages, conducting regular employee engagement surveys is a great way to measure the strength of a business and the co-op system -- and help attract top talent.
Owners interested in conducting an employee engagement survey can contact Mary Amundson ( ) or Erin Persian ( to get started.