AKRS: Promoting a Positive Work Culture

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According to executives with AKRS Equipment, creating an excellent environment for employees is a top priority for the company.

Beau Dostal started working at the Seward John Deere dealership right out of high school. Of course, the location is now owned by ARKS Equipment. “When you first start out, you are going to be working in the wash bay, sweeping, that kind of thing,” Dostal said. “But once you get done with college, you get in the shop. You start with the small stuff like mowers and gators, but then work your way up.”

Beau was a part of the John Deere Ag Tech program. He’s climbed the ladder to become a full-time road tech. He enjoys responding to farmers’ needs in the field. “Basically you get to see it all,” Dostal said. “You are not just working on the equipment in the shop, you actually get to see the equipment work in the field. That part of it is cool to me.”

Beau is just one example of an employee who’s been able to advance his career. It turns out, career advancement is a big reason why AKRS has a strong employee work culture. “More than half of our employees work in our service department, and a majority of our employees and department managers have been promoted from within the company,” AKRS Human Resources Director Jodi McGill said. “We sponsor students in the ag tech program, they start at the student level, and they grow with us to become senior technicians.”

“The Aftermarket Director, the guy who started as a shop assistant and a student at ag tech, has moved all the way up to Aftermarket Director for AKRS, and that all started here at Seward with him,” store manager Jason Mann said. “I think we’ve seen a lot of progression with employees, and it’s been a really good feature for us to have that to encourage guys to move into different positions.”

At AKRS, efforts by employees don’t go unnoticed. Beau Dostal was the recent recipient of the AKRS Achievers Award, which puts the spotlight on outstanding workers. Sometimes it’s the details that make a working environment special. “You may have heard recently of the John Deere Ag Day at the Husker game, where we gave employees Husker tickets for their families,” McGill said. “More than 2,000 employees and their families came to the game.”

AKRS employees seem to appreciate one another. “When we ask our employees why they work for AKRS, we do student events and have our employees talk to students,” McGill said. “Repeatedly we hear, that at or near the top of the list it’s the people, it’s the co-workers, it’s their customers. So, really at the end of the day, where it begins and ends here at AKRS is with our people, our employees and customers. That’s really the foundation.”

It’s a foundation where a building good work culture is always at the forefront. “We are currently building a new store in David City, and currently doing a shop expansion in North Platte,” McGill said. “These are going to be great facilities for our employees to work in, and for our customers to do business. It speaks to the commitment that AKRS has to giving back to our communities, and our employees.”

Beau Dostal says he’s thankful to work for a company that cares. “They always treat us well. If there’s something you need, or your are not happy about, they will always take care of it,” Dostal said. “We are committed to providing an excellent environment for our employees to work in, and for our customers to do business,” McGill said.