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Setting the Stage for Success

PCCA Enhances Employee Integration with Cutting-Edge Onboarding Strategies

by Kaylee Hendricks

At PCCA, we recognize the pivotal role effective onboarding plays in facilitating the successful integration of new employees into our team. We prioritize laying the groundwork for their success at the start, understanding that the initial months can be emotional and overwhelming. To support new employees in navigating their employment journey, PCCA has crafted an educational onboarding process to help ease the transition and educate them on the cotton and co-op industries.

“The onboarding process for new employees is very important because this is the moment we make them feel welcome. It is very important during this time to help them feel like they’re apart of PCCA and they’re in the right place.” said Amy Devitt, PCCA Director of Human Resources. “Eighty percent of employees during this time decide whether they will leave a company. I feel this is very important to PCCA because I look at our own statistics and they show us that if an employee can stay with a company for a year, they are less likely to leave for another job.”

By investing in our employees, we amplify the value we add to our grower-owners. Transitioning into a new role can be exciting and challenging for both employees and managers. Ensuring seamless integration into company culture through comprehensive onboarding experiences not only fosters understanding but also sets the stage for long-term success.

“PCCA’s investment in new hires fosters high performers and if we have high performers in all of our departments, this creates PCCA working at its highest potential for our gins and growers-owners,” Devitt said. “If we invest in the employee at the very beginning of their PCCA career, we can fulfill our mission and do what we do best at our highest potential.”

PCCA has developed a learning path designed to help immerse an employee into their new role. When an employee visits the employee intranet, PCCA Connect, they will find learning courses that will solidify their understanding of what we do, how we operate, who we are, and how we serve our customers and grower-owners. These courses include:

The Cotton Supply Chain: Understanding the Cotton Supply Chain is an integral part of the work at PCCA. This course is intended to help employees understand the big picture of how cotton moves through the supply chain. This includes the steps raw cotton takes through a chain of people and logistics to become a final product like denim, cottonseed oil, and home textiles.

What is a Cooperative: Cooperative businesses can be found in each level of the supply chain. This course is structured to help employees understand how this type of business works, why PCCA makes the choices it does as a cotton cooperative, the persona of a farmer/co-op member, and to recognize how a cooperative like PCCA adds value to a grower’s cotton layer by layer.

We’re Different: Same Values. Modern Approach. That’s what makes PCCA unique. We stand firm in the values our founding farmers established in 1953. This course is constructed of informative videos that will teach an employee who we are, how rich we are in history, and how PCCA influences and impacts the marketplace.

PCCA Breakdown: PCCA provides value-added services to grower-owners and gins to support their operations. Through this course, an employee will learn about the impacts of each department and how their role contributes to the success of the overall operation. This knowledge will enhance understanding of the cotton farming industry and equip them with the skills to work more efficiently and effectively within the PCCA organization.

PCCA provides employees with opportunities for site visits to observe how our sister cooperatives work together in the cotton industry. New and seasoned employees can visit gins, farms, PYCO, and FCC to better understand the cotton industry outside of PCCA.

“Our onboarding experience strengthens an employee’s overall success by immersing a new employee into all things PCCA,” Devitt said, “As we look at recruiting, retention, and productivity, we must think about onboarding because this is where it all starts for the employee.”

PCCA aims for new employees to clearly understand the core values right from the start. That’s why the onboarding process is centered around those core values.

“PCCA’s culture and values were evident as soon as I walked through the door. PCCA has done a great job creating a community in the workplace and works hard to maintain the high spirit and culture within the company,” said Kaegan Edwards, PCCA Gin Accounting Specialist. “Everyone’s door is always open, and I have never felt as though I couldn’t go up to a single person to ask for help or even just chat.”

PCCA Connect has a Leader Toolkit to give managers the tools and resources necessary to help both their old and new team members succeed. The PCCA Manager Toolkit is designed to give managers several simple tools, checklists, and coaching guides for key processes and employee conversations. This ensures that mangers have what they need to be successful in all areas of leadership.

In the toolkit, there is a series of steps for managers, that guides them through the onboarding journey. Managers are encouraged to engage in periodic check-ins with new employees, which emphasizes the importance of fostering a welcoming environment. It also ensures alignment of expectations and provides ongoing support and feedback.

“The manager’s role in the onboarding process is important because the more a manager embraces these new steps in the process, the more fruitful that experience is going to be for the employee,” said Kaimi Whitaker, PCCA Director of Cotton Services and Gin Accounting. “Onboarding creates an opportunity to set the foundation for learning, while getting new employees up to speed with what we do here and what PCCA is about. It provides the tools an employee needs to give our grower-owners a positive customer service experience.”

The opportunity to go through the new onboarding process is available to all employees. PCCA is committed to serving grower-owners to the best of its ability and recognizes that we are stronger together when all employees are on the same page.