The most gratifying employee program we organize annually is the Salute to Service contest. We receive a tremendous amount of nominations from customers and employees, telling stories of the impactful things our employees do during their day-to-day jobs.
2020 was no different. We’ll share more nominations with you throughout the year, but to kick off 2021 we want to announce the winner and winning nomination.
Nomination written by Teri Dunlavy, Harvest Land’s Credit Manager:
I am nominating Luann Nichol for a 2020 salute to service award. Luann is well known in her position as HR Manager, but I want to make sure she becomes well known for her heart and dedication to Harvest Land, our board of directors and all of us as employees.
Luann plays a very important role in not only making sure we get our paychecks every payroll period, she makes sure we are incompliance with labor laws, workman’s comp rules, accident protocol, new employee on boarding, making sure driver’s licenses are current, health physicals are current, mediates tough employee – supervisor conversations, is a great ear for employees needing to vent about work life and often times homelife (I am sure I am missing some key things but you get the idea). Luann carries our burdens when we are sick and rejoices with us when we have great things happen. The things she assists us with are not things that can be turned off at 5:00 when official work hours are over. Sometimes I am sure, she will carry those experiences, relationships, and things she has supported us through for the remainder of time.
Luann is always the face of Harvest Land and is on call to us 24-7. I have witnessed people calling her on her vacations, returning e mails on vacation and coming back early from vacations to take care of the needs of employees or our board of directors so that we would have the above mentioned pay checks in our bank accounts on time, help for our busy seasons hired in time, assistance with our enrollment in our benefits packages. Prior to being at Harvest Land, my previous employers handed out our benefits packages with a deadline for them to be returned. We were expected to figure it out and utilize resource websites or benefit reps on our own. The service that Luann offers goes above and beyond that. Luann has made sure that either she or someone from her staff goes through every single benefit package with every employee to make sure they understand their selections and that they feel comfortable with those. It has also been my experience at other places that pay checks were direct deposited and access to pay stubs and W-2 forms were all on-line. No exceptions figure out a way to access your information. As employees of Harvest Land, we have a choice in this and that is largely due to the fact that Luann is ok with adding the extra work for her department to allow us to have what is convenient for us rather than what would be convenient for her.
With the onset of Covid-19, her responsibilities to keep us all safe increased enormously. She has had to keep up with CDC guidelines and state mandates for Ohio and Indiana, take texts or phone calls at almost all hours to answer questions and explain steps necessary to keep illness down within the company and keep up with how our ill employees are doing. These conversations and protocols are nothing she has any input in but must see that we comply. These conversations and the affects that the circumstances have on the employees, their families and our company are all taken very seriously and often I would imagine weigh heavily on Luann as I have witnessed her care and concern for the Harvest Land employees over the years I have worked across the hall from her.
When we see Luann, she has a smile for us and a calm presence in listening for the facts and even with the tough conversations she has to have she does so with that same calm presence unless the situation calls for a bit of her mom like sternness. (She is not afraid to use her mom voice!) In my location within the office, I sometimes have a window into just exactly how worried she becomes for our individual well-being. Luann is more than her title to Harvest Land. She is an integral part of what we as employees need every day, even when we do not know we need her.
This pattern of doing what is needed within Harvest Land has been evident throughout her career. I am confident that I am only mentioning a few of all the many ways she serves Harvest Land. She has held job titles of Credit Manager, Administrative assistant to the board of directors and CEO in addition to HR manager. In each position, it is my understanding that when asked, she was willing to take on new things and do what was needed when asked. She is still doing this today as HR manager and this dedication to us all is why I believe she is worthy of a salute to service!
Thank you to those who made a nomination for the 2020 contest. We look forward to sharing more stories with you throughout 2021!