You invest in the animals and equipment it takes to run your business, but don’t forget about the backbone of every operation, business or veterinary practice — the people who bring it to life every day.
“Dairies are only getting bigger,” said Matt Lawrence, managing partner at Oak Creek Jerseys in Tipton, California. “We’re being more efficient, and we need better people just for that fact alone.”
Lawrence recognized that everyone who works at the dairy is being asked to do more. For managers of people, like himself, that means being able to get a team headed in the right direction.
“At the end of the day, you have more people that are focused on the management goals and more people that are driving the dairy forward than just the owner, manager or the herdsman,” he said. “We’re going to have to start training our people better. We are going to have to start investing in the people that we trust to run our business and really put more responsibility in their hands in order for them to do a better job.”
Lawrence knows how his behaviors and actions can spread across a team. To understand how to use his influence to empower his team, he invested in people management training.
“I grew as a result of training,” Lawrence said. “I changed the way I talk to people, the way I interact with employees. Because of some of the ideas I picked up through the program, I was able to influence my herdsman. I’ve already seen a difference in the way he connects with his people, and he understands better where I’m coming from now because of the way I’m doing things.”
People management is one of the most difficult things about the business, he added.
“There’s a lot of liability,” Lawrence said. “Not to mention the opportunities you’re missing by not having a more qualified, well-trained staff.
“Having supervisors that feel compelled to drive the ideas behind what the management wants, that lets us, or the management and ownership, really focus on other things that are important and drive things forward.”
In this video, hear more from Lawrence about what you can do to help your team feel more valued. For help identifying ways to invest in and strengthen your employees, contact your local Zoetis representative or visit GrowPeopleFirst.com.