Training employees to perform tasks according to a standard procedure is important, but training by itself may not produce the results you expect. Protocol drift often occurs, and can create a gap between what managers want employees to do and what they are actually doing. To be sure protocols are being followed, employee performance can be monitored and compared to a written standard operating procedure. This monitoring process can also provide feedback to employees and may generate ideas for revising existing procedures. Sam Leadley, calf and heifer management specialist with Attica (N.Y.) Veterinary Associates, developed the following checklist that supervisors can use to monitor how well employees are following protocol.

  • Before observing actual employee behavior, go to the work site and determine that it is possible to perform the task correctly in that setting with the tools and materials available.
  • Observe actual employee behavior rather than just talking about doing the job.
  • Compare observed behavior to training standards or the written protocol for the task.
  • When deviations from the protocol are observed, review these differences privately with the employee. Avoid “chewing out” the employee in front of other employees.
  • When deviations from the protocol are observed, provide a training opportunity for the employee.
  • When performance of a task results in an objective, measurable outcome, use that information to provide employee feedback.
  • Provide feedback that is related directly to the protocol.
  • Give employees feedback in straightforward, understandable terms.
  • Actively solicit employees’ reactions to their evaluations and use this information to revise protocols when needed.
  • Where outcomes are the result of more than one employee’s work, involve all employees in evaluation, retraining or protocol revision.
  • Throughout the process of evaluation, feedback and training, communicate with employees in a language they understand.

Source: Dairy Calf and Heifer Association