Whether you have 100 cows or 1,200 cows, it’s likely you have a few employees. I’m sure you have employed plenty of good, quality workers as well as a few bad employees. The question is, “How do we create and keep quality employees?” – especially during a time when pay increases and bonuses may not be an option.
Wegner annaliese
Dairy Producer / Ettrick, Wisconsin

The answer is fairly simple: praise and recognition. Provide your employees with the proper training and tools to succeed at the job, and when they are doing well, let them know. Remind them their job is important and that they are part of a team.

Here are a few ways to give praise and build a team:

1. Give employee reviews

Schedule one-on-one time with each employee a few times per year and let them know what they are doing well and what they need to work on. It’s also a great time to ask them what else they would like to learn or if they have any questions for you.

2. Encourage classes, conferences and workshops

Help your employees learn and grow by paying for them to go a calf care seminar or dairy conference. It’s a way to give praise and recognition without just saying, “Good job.” It also reminds employees their job and role on the farm is important and you care.


3. Celebrate them

Whether it’s a team meeting or an employee birthday, celebrate! Get together with some pizza or donuts. Everyone loves an office or shed party, especially when the boss is buying.

4. Create a great work environment

When the facilities are clean and working properly, everyone is happy. Pay your employees on time, and stock the supplies they need to do their job well. A coffee pot in the barn or break room is never a bad idea either.

5. Communicate roles, expectations and feedback

Greet your employees each morning and chat about the tasks for the day. When they are doing a good job and you see them taking initiative, let them know you are thankful. When we take care of our employees, they take care of our business.  end mark

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Annaliese Wegner