Most dairy owners tend to agree that working with people is one of the most challenging and frustrating jobs that a manager has. Without a doubt, employee management is tough. And similar to a good repro program, you can’t just wing it and expect to get good results. If you want your team to do their work better and help you reach your goals, you have to invest more time working with your people. In other words, there’s no quick fix.

But there is good news: Although managing employees can be a real challenge, there’s a way to make it easier. In fact, we can boil it down to 3 steps.

1. Make a strategy for managing employees.

You don’t just blindly shoot in dark with other areas of your business, so why would you try to make it up as you go along with one of the most challenging areas? Creating a consistent process for managing employees and utilizing tools like job descriptions, pay scales and an employee manual will help you and your employees know what to expect all the time.

2. Stick to your plan.

Now that you have a plan in place, everyone’s waiting to see if you’re actually going to follow through with it. Your actions show your employees what you expect from them and how much you’ll put up with. If you’re not disciplined enough to consistently implement and follow your own policies, your employees won’t be either.

3. Stick to your plan.

Yep, following through with your strategy is so important, it’s on here twice. Being a manager isn’t just a job title. Managing and leading your people is a full-time responsibility. If you’re constantly and consistently monitoring and interacting with your employees, they’ll learn that you have specific expectations… and you’ll enjoy the results.

You see, employee management is like everything else at the dairy. If you truly want better results from your people, you have to put in the time and effort. No, it’s not always going to be fun and easy. But if you sincerely make your people and their performance a priority, being a manager can be really rewarding. Now, go make a plan… and stick to it!

 Tom Wall is president of Dairy Interactive LLC and Language Links LLC. He can be reached at or 888-667-6455.