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Get Staff Prepared For Change

22 April 2013

NEW ZEALAND - Farmers are being urged to prepare staff ahead of a challenging season.

DairyNZ people team leader, Jane Muir, says people management practices have improved greatly on-farm in recent years, but there are always opportunities to do things better.

"The recent Federated Farmers/Rabobank Farm Employee Remuneration Survey showed 91 per cent of dairy farmers provided permanent employees with written contracts - a sharp increase on previous years," says Jane.

“This is great news because one of the areas where big wins can be achieved is around the staff recruitment and orientation process – the contract is just one part of that.

“Developing a detailed job description, discussing and matching employer and employee expectations and the creation of a thorough orientation plan are other critical aspects of this process. Doing them right will make life easier for everyone in the long run.

"A good orientation plan means taking the time to properly introduce new employees to the business and will ensure they become a productive part of the team, sooner rather than later.

"In the first three months it’s a good idea to meet with the new employee monthly to set training requirements, review and give formal feedback on progress. This process will help identify training needs and ensure the new person has the opportunity to learn new skills they might need."

Canterbury farmer Shirlene Cochrane says by focussing on their people, they have increased their productivity by an estimated 25 per cent .

"Happy staff provide many rewards. It’s achieved efficiency, effectiveness, peace of mind, a happy lifestyle and the best return we feel we can get with the resources we have available," says Shirlene.

DairyNZ recently released the Quickstart Recruitment Kit which provides step-by-step processes for the first 90 days of the employment period, to ensure expectations are clear and the employment relationship gets off to its best possible start.


TheCattleSite News Desk

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