By Kelly Kerrigan, MMPA Director of Human Resources
As a milk marketing cooperative, MMPA is involved in every step from cow to cup of the dairy supply chain. Just as your cows are indispensable, so too are the people working on your behalf. The human resources department at MMPA is tasked with finding, retaining and supporting the team involved in marketing member milk.
Over the past year, human resources took on the added challenges associated with COVID-19. As HR professionals, we are accustomed to expecting the unexpected, but the pandemic took that to another level. As all of us know, the biggest challenge initially was the unknown, then adjusting to rapidly changing executive orders, all while ensuring that we maintained a safe and healthy work environment for our employees, who never skipped a beat.
We continually adjusted our procedures to stay in compliance with state and local regulations, while continuing to stay on top of daily requirements. We were very fortunate to have been able to keep operating without any shutdowns and, at times, accommodating more milk than planned. With confidence, we attribute this to the commitment of our employees.
MMPA has taken an enhanced role in the health and well-being of our employees. We made modifications to our medical plans relating to COVID care, enhanced our sanitation procedures within our facilities and provided paid time off for those employees who were impacted by the virus. HR’s focus is to ensure our employees are safe, supported, and healthy, and are given the resources they need to stay that way.
This spring, we shifted our efforts to helping our employees through the various stages of the vaccine roll-out. Since essential agriculture workers in Michigan became eligible in March, we have done our part to make the process easier for MMPA employees to get vaccinated. This includes coordinating vaccine appointments and making accommodations to receive the vaccine and any side effects afterwards. We are all eager to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, and vaccination is one way we are working to get there.
Currently, the HR team is challenged with coming up with creative ways to make MMPA stand out from the millions of other businesses that are hiring, as labor shortages pervade many industries. You may see our hiring signs in the community or our ads on the radio!
I am proud of the efforts of our team and am grateful for all they have taken on. As we look to the future, the MMPA employee team will continue being integral to our success and, most importantly, enables MMPA to market member milk to the greatest advantage possible.
This article was originally published in the May/June 2021 issue of the Milk Messenger. Subscribe »