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Setting your employees up for success

Becky Rodriguez for Progressive Dairy Published on 19 April 2021

Any successful business is dependent on an efficient and functional workforce. And, for a workforce to be productive, they must have the right environment. So, how can we set our employees up for success? We must first create a work environment that promotes the welfare of employees. We must also consider the effect employees’ personal health and well-being has on their performance at work.

To have a successful workforce, it is important to establish proper work systems and protocols. Create regular work schedules with consistent days off. Keeping your farm well-staffed will help reduce overworking your employees, which can lead to fatigue, injury and burnout.

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Take a look at your ergonomics and safety program. Many job duties in a dairy are repetitive, so it is important to make tasks as ergonomic and comfortable as possible. Focusing on a strong safety program will help your employees’ long-term health and reduce injuries.

Create clear operating procedures and expectations. Standard operating procedures, or SOPs, will help your employees stick to the processes you’ve created that are best for their health, safety and productivity. Clear guidelines as to what is expected of them on the job is an important piece of your employees understanding what it takes to be successful at your farm. By setting and enforcing clear guidelines, you can help reduce the rate of injury on the farm.

Check in with your employees regularly to see if they are having any issues on the farm that can be dealt with and to see how they are doing outside of work.

Many times, we underestimate the effects our personal life can have on our work life. If we are going through difficult times personally, or if we are having health issues, this can inadvertently affect our work. We find that in many cases, the Latino workforce has travelled away from their hometowns to find work. This in turn means that these employees may not have many family members or friends locally who they can turn to for help. This is where dairy managers have a unique ability to help their employees outside of work. We recommend finding a local Latino community center you can refer employees to if they need assistance finding resources for various services. It also may be helpful to connect with a local health clinic, dentist, ophthalmologist, etc. to easily set up appointments for employees.

In current times, you can provide your employees with resources on staying healthy and finding a COVID vaccine appointment. Additionally, keeping your employees informed of current issues locally, within the dairy industry and nationwide can help provide them with a trusted source of information and may ease anxiety.

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A business’ success is directly correlated to its employees’ success. An employee’s success is determined by his or her environment in and outside of work. As owners and managers, we can do our part by creating a work environment conducive to success and by providing our employees with the support they need.  end mark

Becky Rodriguez is an operations manager at AgriStaff USA. Email Becky Rodriguez.

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