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Improve your dairy by inspiring employees

August 06, 2014
POSTED BY: Charles Contreras | PeopleFirst™ Coach

With everything that happens on a dairy every day, it’s easy to forget the importance of good communication.

Poor communication can frustrate you and your employees. Failure to identify and correct communication breakdowns can hurt your dairy. Think improper use of antibiotics, lower milk production and poor efficiency.

When employees receive clear direction and understand their tasks, they develop a strong sense of self-worth. They are more likely to enjoy what they’re doing, demonstrate dedication to the dairy’s success and stay employed long-term.

Take a moment to consider potential communication breakdowns with your employees and start engaging them to help build a stronger communication network.

Diagnose employee challenges

To address employee issues, you need to understand the cause. Do problems stem from miscommunication or a lack of communication, clashing personalities or unclear objectives? Proper direction might be missing from the conversation, or there might be an issue about training. Employees also should be treated as individuals. Differences in personalities and cultures require managers to give feedback tailored to each person.

Lead for change

Invest in employee leadership training. Help employees understand how their work contributes to the overall goals of the operation. Employees need clarity. Make sure they understand expectations. It encourages open communication and increased commitment.

Build a team atmosphere

Engage employees by holding regular meetings. Use this time to identify opportunities for improvement. Meetings can help employees who might be having problems. They also can let other employees know how to help each other. Your team can share successes and understand why it is important to perform their tasks correctly and follow protocols.

Inspire your employees to reach common goals so your farm thrives. You’ll go to bed at night with less frustration and less weight on your shoulders. Read the experiences that Jeremy Portell, farm manager at Lake View Dairy in Gowen, Michigan, and Jorge Estrada, a PeopleFirstconsultant from Zoetis, had with team meetings. Also, watch a video on Portell’s success with improved communication. For more ways to help develop your employees, visit



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