Mid-season is also a good time to start planning your people workforce. If you have people moving on, start planning your recruitment process now, and once you know your people requirements and have good job descriptions in place, then advertise your job.
Must do this season
- Start your recruitment process to replace departing employees or for new roles on farm
- Performance reviews
- Team building
- Plan how things will work as you head towards the end of the season, make sure objectives are in place for drying off.
- Be sure to include how each person will be involved, what their responsibilities will be, and what tasks you can delegate to increase experience and skills amongst the team.
- If you know staff are moving on at the end of the season, or you are setting up a new role next season, now is the right time to plan your recruitment drive for a replacement(s). Use the QuickStart Recruitment kits to guide you through the process.
- Review training plans for your team and schedule time for both you and your employees to complete training. Decide if you will need to get a relief milker to enable this to happen.
- Have a team building session or take some time to celebrate getting through calving and mating. It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, but taking the time to acknowledge the hard work everyone put in will build morale and boost spirits.
- Carry out performance reviews with all staff. Be sure to get them to assess how they think they have done and what they want to focus on between now and the end of the season.
- Ask them to give you a review too. What can you do to support or challenge them?
- Make sure regular team meetings don’t fall by the wayside. These are an important part of communicating with the team and making sure everyone has input into how things happen.
- If you’re looking for new staff, now is the time to start advertising; online, on paper or through word of mouth.
- Training, training, training. Make it happen, for staff and for yourself.
- Be sure to include practical on-farm training for things like how the feed out wagon works, setting up irrigators and managing effluent. This is particularly important for new staff who may not have had experience using your equipment or know the way you do things.
- Make sure people get some scheduled time off.
- Lead by example – demonstrate good safety on farm, complete some training, and be respectful to other team members and stock.
- With the busyness of calving and mating out of the way, now is the ideal time to assess how things went.
- What went well?
- What changes need to be made for next year?
- Were all objectives met?
- How did staff (particularly new staff) handle the busy times?
- Could you have done more to support everyone?
- Health and Safety plans – make sure everyone is up to speed with how machinery like tractors and irrigation systems work and how to use them safely. Keep safety at the forefront of everyone’s minds as things tick along.
- Training plans – is everything on track for people to achieve the training objectives they set?