Do You Even On-Board?
On-boarding new employees is an essential part of any well run dairy operation, but often employees are dropped in to be trained on the job by other employees. Not only does this open up opportunity for improper procedure, it creates disconnect between management and the employees.
Think of this as imprinting: a basic concept where we have a blank slate or being that is influenced immediately by another person. When I think of imprinting I often have images of little geese following the mother goose around without conviction; but isn’t this a similar concept of what we want our employees to do? You are the mother goose, you have a new hire, and you take the time to go over the farms policy from payroll to animal welfare all the way through procedure. Taking this opportunity to spend the time onboarding not only can reduce procedural drift, it does a few other things.
- Shows professionalism within the company
- Alleviates the anxiety of a new workplace environment
- Engages other employees in the process thus keeping them up to date on the dairy protocols and policy
- Allows management to frequently evaluate company policy and make necessary changes
- Upper management can get to know employees on a personal level. This does many things for the relationship and holds people accountable
- Sets up employees to contribute and advance within the dairy
- Employee retention
Resources are available to aid farms in the on-boarding process. The FARM program provides management and safety resources that can be used for onboarding employees in English and Spanish. Many local extension agencies can provide outlines as well. Talk with your consultant to point you in the right direction for resources.
Several studies have shown that 20 percent of new employees quit within the first 90 days, putting more weight on a solid on-boarding process. When you are spending the time and money to bring in new employees, it is essential to retain them. A solid on-boarding process can help keep well trained and loyal employees on your dairy operation.