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Consider training farm employees with videos, visual aids

Don't tell, show employees how to do something via video training

I spoke recently at a management conference for dairy operations. One of the speakers went through the effectiveness of video training on dairy farms. The videos would show employees proper protocols for milking and handling the cows. Some of his clients would take it a step further videotaping each employee performing various tasks. Both the manager and employee would sit down and watch the training video and their individual tape together. He said the employees would be the first ones to point out what they are doing wrong.

How could this apply to crop production? I won't go too far down the road of adult learning theories, but 65% of adults learn best by visual learning; seeing what they should do. Wouldn't it be great if there was a step-by-step video in setting up the GPS or entering in field information?  Employees could pull up the video on their smart phone any time for a refresher.

We are in a state where Youtube and on-the-phone videos dominant our world so there's no need to have a professional video. With the shortage of farm operators, we are often hiring heavy equipment operators in other industries such as construction or military. Videos would be a great way to get them up to speed quickly. Imagine if you had a video with a step-by-step guide for operating the sprayer? There are endless employee training opportunities via video.

Videos should of course be coupled with one-on-one training and guidance from management and is not a tool that can solely handle all training, but it may shorten up the learning curve. Although 65% learn best by visual learning, 30% learn best by hearing and 5% by performing the task. Presenting information in multiple ways will ensure your training will work for all your employees.

As far as keeping your videos, you can create a Youtube channel for free or even store them in Dropbox and share access with your employees.

The opinions of Lori Culler are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

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