Workforce conducted a survey through Personnel Dynamics Consulting Company, and 31 companies submitted a report. Semcac was among the 12 recognized.
The survey split companies into three categories: Small employer (75 employees or less), mid-size employer (76-200 employees) and large employer (over 200 employees).
While Semcac employs 22 employees in seven core counties, with extra programs being offered in four additional counties, only 52 employees are on staff in Fillmore County, putting Semcac into the small employer category.
Semcac was praised for its 100-percent employee-training rate. The average employee received 30 hours of training in 2016. Each employee also received 35 days off after only one year of employment.
Semcac’s Human Resource director Pat Georgens has been on staff with the agency for 43 years.
“We have a very good, dedicated staff. They believe in the mission…it’s what keeps a lot of people here,” Georgens explained, noting that the offices in Rushford see a remarkably low turnover.
The mission of Semcac is “assisting people to achieve or maintain their independence and self-reliance utilizing their own and community resources.”
Since the mission is so altruistic, the Tri-County Record in Rushford asked executive director Wayne Stenberg if this translated into the way employees are treated?
“I think that’s true,” he responded. “We are a community in ourselves. We hire a lot of people that enjoy working with other people, and that overflows into the work environment.”
Stenberg has the difficult task of managing over 70 locations while maintaining the close-knit feel of a “family.”
“I like to try and get in larger groups at a time in those settings and have people see me and interact with them and let them know that I care about the mission. I think that shows,” said Stenberg.
Stenberg carries with him 24 years of military service, retiring as an E-9 from the Air Force before arriving at Semcac in 2004. He took the executive director position in 2010.
Since then, he has used a blend of common sense and learning from mistakes.
“I have probably learned more from failure and poor supervisors,” shared Stenberg. “Some of (the managing) is just doing what’s right for the business, and what’s right for the individual and trying to blend that together.”
Stenberg said that when someone has a personal matter – whether it’s a death in the family, or a child being recognized for accomplishments during work hours – Semcac is flexible to help give employees the time they need to be there for their loved ones.
“We treat people fairly and treat them the way we want to be treated,” agreed Georgens.
In the 51 years since its inception, Semcac has grown into a $14 million agency with a $6 million annual payroll.
Stenberg said that with 70 locations in seven counties, Semcac is always hiring even with its low turnover rates.
“It’s a great place to work. We’re constantly looking at our pay scale and making sure that we are competitive in the market,” he shared, adding, “Not just in the Rushford area, but we get our talent from some larger pools.”
Stenberg noted that in being “competitive” some of the biggest organizations that draw employees away are school districts, county offices and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. However, Stenberg noted that Semcac has an emphasis that those other places may not have.
“I think, once they are here, they realize it’s not all about a paycheck. It’s about working with people, and that’s what we do around here,” summarized Stenberg.