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Extension > Local Extension Offices > Stearns > County Agriculture Educator > Articles > Be a Good Employer and an Even Better Manager

Be a Good Employer and an Even Better Manager

University of Minnesota Extension, Stearns County News
March 18, 2015        
           
Source:  Emily Wilmes, Extension Educator-Livestock
University of Minnesota Extension
Stearns, Benton & Morrison Counties


Be a Good Employer and an Even Better Manager
By Emily Wilmes, University of Minnesota Extension

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (03/18/15) — If your farm has employees, you know that managing them well is important.  Well-managed employees are happy, more efficient workers.  In addition, they are more likely to stay and you don’t have to worry about any bad PR coming from them related to your farm and management.  How can you be a good employer and an even better manager?  Here are some quick tips for employee management:

  • It all starts with the first day on the job.  Provide thorough, adequate training for employees in the areas they will be working in.  Also, give them a general overview of the farm so they can see how everything works together, and feel better prepared if you ask them to help in a different area when in a jam. 
  • Training doesn’t end on the first day.  Schedule regular meetings with your employees to review standard operating procedures, any changes in protocol, and seek out any issues or questions your employees may have.
  • Have posters and/or books of standard operating procedures posted or readily available.  If need be, have these items printed in both English and Spanish.  Seeing a reminder of what is expected everyday will help keep employees on task and performing to your standards.
  • Be approachable and available.  Remind your employees that they can come to you at any time with questions or concerns.  When you see employees throughout the day, ask them how they are doing and if they have any questions about their duties.
  • Make your goals clear.  The goals you have for your farm should also be your employees’ goals for your farm.  Keeping them in the loop and even asking their opinion will make them more invested and interested in the farm’s success. 
  • Give credit where credit is due.  Many of the operations I have seen with outstanding employee management do an excellent job of commending their employees on a job well done.  Consider a small bonus for milkers when you get an SCC bonus on the milk check.  Reward employees if you have a successful inspection.  This ties in to keeping them invested and interested in the success of the farm.  If they all share in the success, they will likely be more willing to keep it up.

Having and keeping good employees includes being a good manager of your employees.  Is there anything else you would add to this list?
 

Contacts

Emily Wilmes
Extension Educator, Ag Production Systems - Livestock
(320) 255-6169
krek0033@umn.edu
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