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Managing Performance

Managing performance involves communicating expectations and providing feedback to get your people focussed on what's important and to perform to the best of their abilities.

Employees value knowing what is expected of them and how they are performing against expectations. In situations where they are not meeting the required standards it at least gives them an opportunity to improve. Team morale can suffer if one or more employees do not pull their weight, so you need to ensure that all team members stay on track to deliver great results.

Getting Started

  • Make sure each employee knows what their job is, the performance standards expected, and how they fit in to the rest of the team. Give them feedback on their performance, to enable them to deliver to those expectations.
  • Communicate regularly with your team about what is happening on farm now, what is coming up and your expectations. Discuss priorities so that people know what is important. Team meetings are a good forum to do this.
  • Provide feedback as often as possible and at an appropriate time. Be aware of other team members being around and the person's state of mind. If they are upset or frustrated it might be better to wait until they are ready to listen.
  • Provide specific feedback so people really understand what you are saying. Saying "thanks, great job" is nice, saying "thanks, you strapped that foot really well, I think that cow will be walking much better in a couple of days" provides information and shows true appreciation.

Remember to...

  • Manage performance informally every day all year round.
  • Take 15 minutes once a month to discuss how the job is going with each employee. Don't allow distractions.
  • Hold more formal 3 or 6 monthly reviews. These are often put in the "too hard" or "no time" category, but taking the time to communicate will make your employee feel valued.
  • Discuss with employees improvements that could be made to role responsibilities, organisation and communication.
  • Address serious problems with an employee who is not performing to the required standard by having at least fortnightly discussions.

Quick Questions & Answers


Performance reviews should spend 80% of the time looking forward.


We operate on four principles - honesty, communication, water and grass.  We set clear expectations for staff, and help them develop their skills.” Ollie Gibberd