Spring is right around the corner. And, everyone is busily preparing for cropping season – input purchases, machinery maintenance, etc.

Are you similarly preparing your workforce for the challenges of long, hard hours in the cropping season?, asks Bob Milligan, senior consultant at Dairy Strategies and professor emeritus at Cornell University. Now is a good time to prepare your employees for the impending spring planting.

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Ask for the employee’s ideas.  Ask two questions: what went really well last year? And, what could have gone better?
  2. Get employees involved in planning including how you will handle staffing the long hours.  All of us are more engaged when we are involved in planning, says Milligan.  Learn about the employees preferences and needs.  Some employees depend on the long hours to supplement their income; others hate them
  3. Consider hiring additional seasonal employees.  Labor is more available now that it ever has been.
  4. "Everything depends on the weather," is not an excuse to not plan, notes Milligan.  Of course, your plans will depend upon the weather, but the more you can alert fulltime and seasonal employees to your needs, the happier they will be.   

Source: Dairy Strategies