“Nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people. Not just strategies.” -Lawrence Bossidy

Greetings! I am Shanicka Burdine, one of the PeopleSpark summer 2021 HR Consultant Interns. During my time here I have been able to observe and learn so many things from Erin, Kristen, Mitch, our clients, and informational interviews within the Agriculture industry. Today’s post will focus on five key observations from the internship so far

Relationships + value and expectations = Agricultural (Ag) industry success

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agriculture business accounts for 10.9% of the jobs in the U.S. Since beginning this journey in May, every single conversation has led back to relationships, values, and expectations. In order to grow and ensure continued success in the Ag industry each organization must live by these things. Relationships must be ever evolving and maintained. Values and expectations should be visible in spaces and seen at all levels. Each of these concepts are multifaceted and relies heavily on customers, the community, reputation, and the ability to navigate through an ever-changing landscape.

Trust and reliability are a must

“Trust is built with consistency.”-Lincoln Chafee. Another measure of success in Ag is trust and reliability. Leaders must trust their team and the team must trust their leaders. The community must trust the dealers to keep the business flowing. Building trust happens when the customers know that their needs can be met no matter what. Quality, service, and knowledge are pillars to building and maintaining trust. Consistency is required to continue flourishing in Ag. This in return creates reliability. Each facet is interconnected and keeps the lifecycle evolving in the industry.

Intentionality leads to results

Being intentional in word and deed is an essential function to the business. Providing a high level of service leads to desired results. Making intentionality a part of the culture leads to meeting and exceeding goals. For the Ag business intentionality looks like happy customers and listening to and helping to find solutions for customer and business needs. Also, it takes form in setting clear metrics for success in every aspect of the business while making sure everyone works together to achieve goals. Oftentimes, successfully branding and rebranding with the changes in the market yields results as it allows the ability to compete at an optimal level.  On the other hand, when not executed properly the business suffers. Customers are lost, relationships don’t flourish, and it is difficult to regain business losses. Intentionally establishing a dynamic of excellence, one of engagement, and playing on strengths while operating in a pleasant disposition gives results.

It is all for the team

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”-Phil Jackson. When we empower one, we empower all. Getting the team to a place of confidence, functionality, and the drive to win allows Ag to grow. Cultivating and developing the team ultimately helps the business and builds quality production in every way. Reminding the team that the intent is always positive and not negative encourages them. There is strength and beauty in the team that operates with humility, a growth mindset, listeners and innovation in mind. You are only as strong as your team. Doing it all for the team guarantees a win!

The Ride and drive

During a client visit, riding and driving a tractor is an experience I never thought I’d have. Not only was I able to do this, but with it came the understanding of the true importance of how having such equipment impacts lives daily. Literally this tool is essential in getting products from farm to table each day. Certainly, I have a deeper level of appreciation for the process and the people that make it possible. 


The last couple of months of my internship have been very enlightening. I will forever carry with me that feedback is a gift, simplicity is key, and that you must position/empower your team to win from every angle in the industry. I am so excited for what is ahead!! My life has certainly been impacted in a positive way since Erin and Kristen have given me the opportunity of a lifetime. “Human Resources is not what we do. It is the thing that drives our business.”-Steve Wynn 

Download the guide: Achieve Your Business Goals Through Your Culture and People Strategies.

Download the guide: Achieve Your Business Goals Through Your Culture and People Strategies.

The success of your business depends on your culture. Therefore, it is critical to establish an intentional culture in your business and build strategies that support and reinforce it. The purpose of this eGuide is to provide a foundation for your business culture and ensure your people strategies and practices are aligned with it. Grab the guide - it’s free!

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