May 2, 2018
I have some new employees on my farm this spring. Any tips for getting them trained? — R.K., Illinois
Rather than thinking about the jobs you’ll need them to do, start with considering what they’ll need to do their jobs. This mind-set can help set your new employees up for success. The process can be broken down into four steps.
Hiring and selection. Often, you’re just hoping to find people good enough to get the job done. You’re managing expectations around how productive, safe and solid they are as an employee.
At the very least, consider how they’ll fit into your farm’s culture and what you expect of them. Think about factors such as their timeliness, how they carry themselves and how they take care of equipment.
Employee orientation. Perhaps take a half-day for this with all employees. Longtime workers need to hear the information as a refresher. John Wooden — one of the most successful basketball coaches of all time — started each season by teaching his players how to put their socks and shoes on correctly.
Training. This would include how to operate specific equipment. Effective training introduces employees to the fundamentals of how to operate and do their job safely.
Coaching. As work is going on during the spring and summer, provide real-time coaching feedback to help each employee achieve quality work. It’s easier to coach if you’ve first taken them through training.
Farming is so seasonal. It can be valuable to take time to refresh everyone’s minds on equipment, electronics and expectations going into spring. Taking these four steps ahead of time with all employees can help things run smoothly during the busy season.
Frye is president and CEO of Water Street Solutions. [email protected]
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