As farmers, you plan for future. Future crop rotations, increased herds, capital purchases, and hopefully even some well-deserved time off. Unfortunately, what many businesses neglect to plan for is the PEOPLE. The people who work on your farm and support your vision. It’s easy to neglect people management because it’s not easy nor clear cut.
People are the principle asset of any business.
Without good, well-trained people, your business may get stuck. But great businesses focus on their people as much as they do the production.
- Does managing employees have to be stressful? No
- Does it have to be reactive? No
- Do you have to wait until someone leaves before you talk about employees? No
Host a "People-Planning" meeting at least once per year with your leadership team.
This meeting will evaluate your current employees and help forecast your future needs.
Here are some questions your meeting should answer.
- How are your current employees performing?
- Are they trained effectively to accomplish their tasks? Is there a need for additional training?
- Do they lack the needed skills for this role?
- Where are they strong?
- Where are they weak?
- If they were moved to another role, would they be more successful?
- Do you have enough people to complete your current goals?
- What are the upcoming roles the business may have available?
- What skills are missing to help with the growth of the farm?
- What additional people resources do you need going forward?
- Who can fill those roles or where will you look for candidates?
This meeting allows the leadership team to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the team. They can assess the progress and role of each employee to determine if there is a better fit for them. Employees who are not strong in their current role may flourish in a new role, and cross-training is almost always a good thing.
Your most important investment is your employees.
People planning may be one of the most important techniques to increase their productivity. So take the time to plan for, manage, and develop your teams. Your growth and success are related to the talent you have, the talent you develop, and the training you provide.