With over 2,500 employees, the ability to reach out to and care for each employee has gone far beyond the capacity of Ralph and Cheryl to do. It requires a community of managers and fellow employees to make this vision a reality.
As such, our employees are not just beneficiaries of programs to serve them, but key leaders maximizing the company’s ability to serve. Thus, part of our mission became raising the capacity of this community of people.
Managers are our front line to working and serving our employees. They are our community leaders, but to do this well, they need to feel empowered, equipped to listen and ready to learn. Fundamental training for managers include: Servant Leadership skills, Trauma-informed skill-building, non-toxic charity strategies and more. Moreover, every year well over 100 Broetje employees attend regular English as a Second Language classes where they are paid for their time in class.
Whether planning company events, helping coordinate our Matching Fund, directing donations, or providing oversight to the company clinic, these are just a few of the many ways for employees to step outside of their normal work and become part of a team leading important company efforts.
Although we are a large organization with many employees, Broetje Orchards has leadership structures in place to encourage open communication between management and staff. All crews in the field and departments in the warehouses elect representatives to participate in monthly meetings – any concerns, ideas and questions can be discussed with representatives who will bring them to this conversation.
Broetje Orchards provide a number of ways for employees to recognize and serve the needs of others, both at home and in struggling communities around the world. With our matching fund program, employees can nominate individuals with proven financial emergencies; upon committee approval, the company will collect donations from employees and provide matching dollars. Paisanos Unidos is another of our programs where any employee can elect to have weekly deductions taken from their pay checks, which are then pooled into a fund, matched 1:1 by Vista Hermosa Foundation, and invested in community work in Mexico.
To ensure that we are living into our business-as-ministry philosophy, how we treat our employee, improve their welfare and equip them to serve are critically important. To this end, Broetje Orchards has developed programs and benefits seeking to meet our employee’s needs with the end-goal of engaging them in our purpose-driven mission. Some of these are:
To simply have access to health insurance does not necessarily mean individuals will become healthy or visit their doctor. With this in mind, Broetje Orchards invested in the Vista Hermosa Clinic which is open to all employees and their dependents. The clinic has a doctor on staff and is open Monday-Friday; 8 hours each day. Additional investment has been made for a health educator, who works with individuals and families to promote wellness.
Our employees’ and their children’s education is important to the organization and Broetje Orchards offers opportunities to advance it:
Work is more then making profits and receiving a paycheck. It is also about building community, true call around vocation, and opportunities for serving the needs of others. Our employees play a vital role in this process, but many have simply never had the support to believe in themselves nor the opportunity to take a leadership role.
Since 1990 when it first broke ground to create the Vista Hermosa community, Broetje Orchards has provided affordable, quality housing to employees and their families. Today, over 800 individuals live in our community of Vista Hermosa, including families living year-round and seasonal employees. Tierra Vida was our second community, created to provide the same opportunities to families with the added option of home ownership. All of our housing was created to provide a safe and nurturing place where individuals come to know the true meaning of community.
Staff within this program are on hand to any employee to address concerns and questions within or outside the workplace. Recognizing that employees are moms, dads, sons and daughters with a life outside the workplace, the program is designed to provide support, counseling, and referrals to help employees through difficulties that pertain to drug or alcohol abuse, family finances, domestic abuse issues, children and youth, and more. Further it provides a neutral forum to help resolve conflict in the workplace.
Broetje Orchards offers childcare assistance to employees with children of daycare age. The New Horizon Early Learning Center provides regular day long child care to approximately 80 children of employees and boasts the highest Kinder-Readiness in the area.