Issue #162

So . . . What Exactly Do You Owe Your Employer?
A 6-Point Checklist for Giving Thanks for Your Employer

5 Ways to Give Thanks-for Your Employees

In the News: Smart Goats and a . . . 'Geep'?

Expanding Our Industry Events Feature in 2015!

So . . . What Exactly Do You Owe Your Employer?

Every once in a while, an article is published on LinkedIn that's spot-on. Liz Ryan, CEO and Founder of Human Workplace, published such an article recently.

The title of that article is "Five Things You Owe Your Employer-and Five You Don't."

While it's not exactly fair to boil the whole article down to a list (or two lists), that's exactly what we're going to do. According to Ryan, the five things you owe your employer are as follows:

  1. Your best work everyday

  2. Your creative solutions

  3. The truth

  4. TLC

  5. Your integrity

As for the five things you do NOT owe your employer, that list contains the following items:

  1. Your contacts

  2. Your health

  3. Your personal life

  4. Unearned loyalty

  5. Your soul

This article garnered plenty of attention on LinkedIn (over 750,000 views and 1,700 comments as of press time). It apparently struck a chord with people, which isn't that surprising considering the subject matter.

Click here to read the article in its entirety on LinkedIn.



A 6-Point Checklist for Giving Thanks for Your Employer

(By Dan Simmons)

Considering that on average, people spend approximately one quarter of their lives at their place of employment (which doesn't, of course, include overtime), it makes sense that you should feel thankful for the company for which you work.

All companies fall somewhere between two polar opposites. At one end of the spectrum are those companies that are the best of the best, those that candidates clamor to work for and that always attract the best talent available. At the other end are those companies that experience a high turnover rate.

More than anything else, employees want to be happy and fulfilled where they work, and that involves a company culture that promotes forward-thinking, consistent goal-setting; flexibility; and open and honest communication, among other things.

Below is a six-point checklist for giving thanks for your employer:

  1. A defined role within the company- Not only should you be aware of the company's plan for the future, but you should also know, without a doubt, what your role is within that plan. If there's some uncertainty regarding your role, you should be able to sit down with your boss and engage in an open discussion, one that will adequately address your concerns.

  1. The opportunity for professional growth- Does your employer encourage you to attend training seminars, conferences, or conventions in order to hone your skills? A good employer is eager to invest in the development of its employees. After all, what company wouldn't want its workers to be the best they can be?

  1. Recognition for achievement- We're not talking about money here, but other forms of recognition. Sometimes, simple verbal compliments given on a consistent basis mean more than a cost-of-living raise. Being told that you're doing a good job can be very motivating.

  1. Honest, constructive evaluation of your work- You won't be able to reach your full potential if you don't know all the areas in which you need to improve. This feedback must be delivered in the proper fashion, however; scathing reviews that include no specific instruction for future growth are counter-productive.

  1. Flexibility and a corresponding work-life balance- People don't live to work; they have families and other commitments they want and need to fulfill. Is your employer sensitive to these commitments and does it recognize their importance in your life?

  1. A reward system based on performance- When it comes to money and other financial compensation, does your company reward those who work the hardest and achieve the best results, or does it just dole out the same raises every year, regardless of performance?

If you have concerns about any of the areas listed above, you should be able to approach your boss and discuss those concerns, with the goal of resolving them and moving forward in a positive manner. If, on the other hand, you feel that approaching your boss would be a bad idea, perhaps a broader and more comprehensive evaluation of your work situation is appropriate.

You might end up thanking yourself later.

For more on this topic, write to

Don't forget to join The Animal Science Monitor Group on LinkedIn and connect with Dan to leverage the power of his 13,000 LinkedIn connections!


5 Ways to Give Thanks-for Your Employees

(By Dan Simmons)

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us and the end of the year rapidly approaching, it's a good time to reflect upon what you should be doing to retain your top employees.

This is more than just giving thanks for your employees-it's showing thanks to your employees. And the best part is that they'll thank you for thanking them by being the very best that they can be.

But remember, although money is certainly part of the equation, it's by no means the biggest piece of the puzzle. There are other factors that need to be considered when expressing your gratitude to employees and rewarding them for their performance, including these five things:

  1. A (good) work-life balance- Time is just as important to employees these days as money, and in many cases, more important. Offering a flexible work schedule immediately makes your employees' positions (not to mention the company) more attractive to them. If you can't offer a flexible schedule, make certain your vacation, personal days, and holiday plans offer enough time for your staff to enjoy a balanced life.

  1. Opportunity for growth within the company- Employees want to know that the company has a clear direction and a specific plan for growth, and they want to know how they fit into that plan. They want to feel as though they're part of something. If they don't, then why are they staying? Consider each of your key employees and determine if there's a career path for them. If not, are there ways that they can develop professionally while staying in the same position? People like to see themselves improving, and the better your people are, the better their performance will be.

  1. A mentoring atmosphere- The advantages of a mentoring atmosphere are too numerous to mention within the scope of this article. Suffice it to say, an atmosphere where employees are eager to exchange knowledge and learn from one another drastically improves productivity and retention.

  1. Positive and constructive evaluation techniques- Periodical evaluations are a great opportunity to help employees reach their full potential, not tear them down in any way. Done properly, they can build loyalty with your employees.

  1. The ability to share the wealth- Okay, you knew we would get around to this topic eventually, but notice where we mentioned it: last. Standard compensation raises aren't the way to go, though. Pay-for-performance is a better alternative. When employees know that they will be rewarded for their hard work and the value that they bring, not only will they continue to work hard, but they'll also be less likely to consider going somewhere else.

Sit down with all of your key performers and let them know what they're doing right, as well as what they're doing wrong. Initiate an open discussion about their career objectives and how you can help them attain those goals. The fact that you're willing to engage in open and honest discourse about these topics is proof that you value the contributions that these employees make and that you're interested in their professional growth and career path.

For more on this topic, write to

Don't forget to join The Animal Science Monitor Group on LinkedIn and connect with Dan to leverage the power of his 13,000 LinkedIn connections!



In the News: Smart Goats and a . . . 'Geep'?

In The Animal Science Monitor, we strive to share timely news and information about animal science and animal nutrition, specifically news items that impact both the present and the future of the industry.

In this issue of The ASM, we have two such news items:

There's a good chance that you don't think of goats as being especially intelligent animals. If that's the case you might have to change your worldview. That's because a new study by scientists in London and Switzerland has shed light on the mental capabilities of goats.

As part of that study, the animals had to pull on a rope to access a lever. Then they had to lift that lever to get a fruity snack. Nine out of 12 goats tested were able to learn the task within four tries. Two others tried to "cheat" by using their horns. (And you thought humans were the only ones who cheated during tests.)

Here's the best part: 10 months later, those same nine goats were presented with the task again. ALL of them managed to get to the fruity snack in 60 seconds or less.

Click here for the full USA Today article.

According to a recent article in Wired magazine, a farmer with perhaps the most Irish name in the history of Irish names-Paddy Murphy-witnessed one of his sheep mating with a goat in November of 2013.

And you guessed it: a short five months later, the sheep gave birth to a sheep-goat hybrid. Murphy decided to christen the new offspring as a "geep" (which is marginally better than "shoat.")

The "geep" is in good health, and that's apparently rare in situations such as this one. That's because when a goat and sheep "hook up," so to speak, the result is usually death during pregnancy or a stillbirth. That wasn't the case in this instance.

Click here for the full Wired magazine article and to see photos of the "geep."


Don't Delay: Join The Animal Science Monitor Group on LinkedIn!

(By Matt Deutsch)

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: don't forget to join The Animal Science Monitor Group on LinkedIn!

When we read the results of our recent ASM survey, we were surprised that nearly 80% of readers have not yet joined the group. One of the reasons it was surprising is that the group already has over 2,500 members!

Once you join, you can start a discussion, ask questions, exchange information with other members, and receive employment news and leads on new job opportunities. Joining The ASM Group represents a great way to network within the animal science and animal nutrition industry.

Click here to join The ASM Group on LinkedIn!

And don't forget to connect with Dan Simmons on LinkedIn, too!

If you have ideas about how we can make The ASM LinkedIn Group better, please send your ideas to



Expanding Our Industry Events Feature in 2015!

In our special Animal Science Monitor survey last month, readers indicated that one of the newsletter's features they liked the most is the events feature. Because we want to give our readers exactly what they want, we're preparing to expand that feature in 2015.

However, to do that, we need some help from you!

Starting in December, we'll be listing upcoming events in animal science and animal nutrition in 2015. Those listings will include the title of the event, the date, and the location. While we already have a calendar of events, we know that we don't have them all. (The more, the merrier!)

So, if you know of an event (including your event) next year, and you want us to promote it in the newsletter and on the ASM Calendar of Events page, send your information to

Here's to a great 2015 . . . and to a great year of events in the animal science industry!

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