Calf managers often focus on addressing sanitation, nutrition and general calf management concerns. But, how much time is really spent on addressing employee-related issues? Could poor communication be at the root of calf management challenges?

Is poor communication causing calf problems?Here are a few questions to consider from Christie (Stanley) Underwood, calf and heifer specialist with Purina Animal Nutrition LLC.

• Do employees understand what authority they have to make decisions?

• Is there a system in place to report issues as they arise?

• Is there an open line of communication between employees and managers?

• How is the line of communication between managers and employees maintained?

• Do employees feel comfortable conveying needs and misunderstandings to rectify a problem?

• Are employees told what their specific duties are, and are their roles defined or is it a learn-as-you-go position?

“If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, communication could be an issue,” Underwood says.

To improve communication, put the right people in the right place, stick to your protocols and acknowledge employees that are doing quality work.