Overcoming dull jobs

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Some jobs on the dairy farm can be repetitive and, oftentimes, boring. However, you can find ways to motivate employees to accomplish dull jobs, says Dave Grusenmeyer, senior extension associate with Cornell University. Consider the following points:

  • Enrich your employees’ jobs. By giving employees some interesting jobs, in addition to boring ones, they will probably perform well on all jobs. For example, milkers may be interested in keeping production records or managing the parlor’s maintenance, in addition to milking. Grusenmeyer notes that this shouldn’t be extra work for the employee, but rather a diversification of their job.
  • Create an opportunity for conversation. If more than one person is assigned to a dull task, make the environment suitable for conversation. You may want to check the noise level in the parlor or other work areas to make sure conversation can occur.
  • Allow employees to swap jobs. For example, a milker may get a break from working in the parlor and have the opportunity to bring cows in or push up feed. This also helps you cross-train employees, so you’ve got people who can cover the jobs in times of illness or under-staffing.
  • Upgrade the radio in the parlor or other work areas to a compact disc player. Employees may enjoy listening to their own music or even a “book on tape.”
  • Ask your employees what would help make the dull jobs more interesting. This shows that you care and will help generate ideas.

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