With input costs and market prices continuing to add pressure to farming operations, the ability to maintain satisﬁed, engaged, and skilled employees who are familiar with the farming operation is becoming increasingly important. Of the diﬀerent strategies growers can employ to increase employee satisfaction and retention, variable pay systems such as proﬁt sharing, bonuses, and employee ownership appear to be some of the most important.
This handbook provides an overview of variable pay strategies used on California farms, including formal and informal bonuses, proﬁt sharing plans, and employee ownership plans. These strategies are highlighted in case study examples. Also included are some practical considerations to keep in mind when implementing a variable pay system, ideas for engaging employees with bonuses, examples of non-monetary rewards, formulas for calculating bonuses, and resources for more information about compensating and managing farm employees.