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Employee engagement on your dairy farm means having staff who are dedicated and excited about their work. The page explains that engaged employees contribute more to the business, are more productive, and tend to stay longer. You can increase engagement by setting clear expectations, offering growth opportunities, maintaining regular communication, and recognising effort. Strategies such as weekly meetings, reviewing work rosters, implementing performance management, investing in training, and making jobs interesting can all boost engagement. Understanding individual personalities and involving staff in decisions can also foster a positive workplace culture.
Employee engagement is about having staff that are committed to and enthusiastic about their jobs and the business.
Research suggests that only a third of employees in the general workforce are actively engaged in their work. Great employers have a much higher percentage of engaged employees (up to 75%).
Engaged employees believe their contribution makes a difference:
Introduce weekly farm staff meetings
Meetings are very helpful for communicating important information, finding what’s happening, seeking employees’ ideas, and fostering a positive team culture. Find out more about team meetings.
Review your rostering system
How many hours are people working on average a week? How many days off do they have? Talk to staff about how the roster works for them and how they feel about their work-life balance. Great employers will aim for a maximum average of 45 working hours per week and a minimum of 3 days off every fortnight. Find out more about rosters, pay and leave.
Introduce a performance management system
Ensure employees clearly understand what they are expected to do and have the skills, knowledge, and support needed to achieve these expectations. The most successful systems are simple ones – ongoing coaching and mentoring, frequent '10-minute chats', monthly catchups, and formal review meetings once or twice a year. Find out more about employee catchups and reviews.
Invest in training and development
Coaching, mentoring, and on-the-job training are one of the most effective methods of developing your people. Take the time to share your experiences and insights, match new staff with a buddy, and encourage all employees to attend relevant farm discussion groups. Budget for external courses and formal qualifications, they are well worth it in terms of staff productivity and retention. Find out more about coaching and mentoring.
Involve your staff, ask their opinions, and listen to their ideas
Their participation is essential for a positive workplace culture. Find out more about team meetings.
Recognise and reward staff for a job well done
Make a special effort to reward those who go the extra mile.
Consider how people's jobs can be made more interesting
Daily tasks on the farm are not always interesting or exciting. Try to provide as much variety as possible, e.g. job rotation. Give people the freedom to organise their own workload and tasks. Foster a positive team culture through shared meals and social activities outside work.
Remember everyone has different personalities and different motivations. What engages one employee may not be the same for the others. Consider the differences within your team and read more about understanding personalities.