Top 3 Reasons Why Workers Leave Your Dairy

Managing your employees

If you’re having trouble maintaining your workforce, look at these reasons to see if there are areas in which your farm can improve.

  1. Poor Management - You’re good with cows, and good at dairying, but how are your leadership skills? Every team needs a leader, so be sure you’re setting the example you want your employees to follow. If you have other managers or supervisors, make sure they’re qualified, have leadership skills and are receiving training to help them fulfill their roles. Make sure your team is constantly communicating and dealing with any issues right away. And lastly, everyone must respect each other. Management, owners and employees must all have mutual respect for a fully functioning team.
  2. Pay and Benefits - Be sure you’re keeping up with wages in your area. A great way to keep your employees engaged is to have a raise or benefits schedule. As an additional “thank you,” try paying extra on holidays or paying a night shift premium. A full benefits package may not be feasible for every farm, but get creative and talk to your insurance and business agents to see what will work for you.
  3. Housing - Housing has become critical as the times become more uncertain and political agendas look a bit scary for immigrants. Providing housing, especially on-farm, can help you retain employees. Although it’s not feasible in every situation, be as flexible as you can.

There’s no easy button to reducing turnover. Adapt to your employees and the current times, listen to their wants and needs, and see if you can meet in the middle. There’s a few things the farms with low turnover have in common: great leaders, consistency and communication. Be the leader your employees need you to be; stay consistent in all aspects; and most importantly, keep communication open.

Article from Progressive Dairyman, July 2017.

Tags: Management Tips, Managing Employees