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Even in this age of automation, virtual reality and real-time technology there is one thing that has not changed, and that is the expectation of value.

Understanding the expectation of value in your relationships.

“Value” is as unique and individualized as the person perceiving it, and the endeavor to deliver value is often a moving target that requires a customized approach to successfully reach.

People naturally seek value in their personal and professional lives. As I get older, I find myself analyzing the value I give and receive in my personal relationships. Am I a good friend who is there when someone needs me? If being a good friend means being there for the bad times, the good times, and the in-between times, I want to make sure I am doing that. And just as importantly, is my friend there for me? Oftentimes there is an inequality between the value given and the value received in relationships between people.

Every day in our lives, we want to make sure what we put in, we get out.
Theresa Bolton

These personal relationship values similarly hold true in business; your customer needs to see and understand the value they are receiving from your company. A value proposition based solely on price may not be as strong as one that is based on customer service and trust. It is up to you, the retailer, to know your customer, to understand their needs and to provide value to them. You cannot rely on a customer to value your business simply because you give them a good price, there needs to be more.

Let’s not forget – this works both ways. Take the cliché “we value your business” – what does this mean? If a customer asked you why you value their business, your response should ideally go beyond the fact that they spend money with you. Just like your customers expect value from you, you should expect value from your customers. A valuable customer may support you, promote your brand, respect you and your employees, respect your business challenges and push you to stay competitive.

As a professional recruiter, I see value being crucial in the workforce, and like a customer-vendor relationship, it works both ways. The employer should see value in the employee’s performance beyond the employee meeting the minimum requirement of the job duties.

From the employee’s perspective, what kind of value does your company provide? At one time, the value was simple – you do the work, your employer pays you. Nowadays, there are so many expectations for both the employee and the employer.

Employers want employees who go the extra mile, take pride in what they do, and represent the business in the best light possible. Employees also have expectations based on value. They want an employer that cares about them as much as they care about their employer. They don’t want to be a number or to simply collect a pay cheque. Employees want to be respected, challenged, recognized and rewarded. They want more than a pay cheque, and they should!

In agriculture, even more so than in any other industry, there is a shortage of talented employees. If you are providing value to your employees based on wages, it is like providing value to your customers based on price. It simply is not enough, and it is not sustainable. If you are not providing the value your employees are looking for, another employer will. No different than selling strictly on price, you cannot attract and retain employees simply on wages.

Every day in our lives, we want to make sure what we put in, we get out. We look at quality, return on investment, peace of mind – all things that add up to value. When I evaluate the value of something, I ask myself – what would it be like if I did not have this person, this vendor, this service, this job, or whatever the variable, in my life? Challenge yourself to do the same and consider if things would be better, worse, or if there would be no impact.


Theresa Bolton

Board Chair

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