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Three ways to celebrate Labor Day every day

August 28, 2014
POSTED BY: Rodrigo Carranza | PeopleFirst Senior Business Manager | Zoetis

Labor Day is often celebrated with a barbeque to mark the end of summer. But let’s remember, it’s also a great time to recognize the efforts of your hardworking dairy team. Since 1882, the “workingmen and women’s holiday” is an annual tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. 

If you’re not sure how to say thanks today or any other day, here are some ideas from three California dairy managers.

  1. Invest in employees. An employee needs all of the skills that are required to perform his or her job. Do you have people managing people and cattle? Are they ready to do both successfully? Make sure you invest in the right skills for employees to succeed and feel comfortable in their role.

“Dairies are only getting bigger. We’re milking more cows, being more efficient, and, therefore, we need better people. We need to look at this as an industry. 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 put more responsibility in their hands in order to do a better job.” — Matt Lawrence, managing partner, Oak Creek Jerseys, Tipton, California

  1. Open communication. Do you know what employees expect from you? Do they know what your expectations are? You have to ask. If you just tell them what you want, you won’t know what motivates them to work harder. Giving and receiving timely and specific feedback is a beneficial tool for helping workers and you reach full potential and can serve as a basis for improving the dairy.  

We’re doing well, but we can always achieve better with our employees. If you ask employees, ‘How I can better serve you?’ your role changes to serving the employees. I’m not the one who is milking the cows or handling the cows. It’s important that we’re communicating with those who are. The more cows we milk, the further we get from working with the cows to just becoming people’s manager.” — Danny Avila, manager, Clauss Dairy Farms, Hilmar, California

  1. Give more responsibility. More responsibility not only means less work for you but also means trust. When you delegate responsibilities that employees want and value, your team will understand how much you appreciate them and might work even harder to gain more of your trust.

“I learned that if you delegate and motivate people to do the work, they can get better and more things done for you. They appreciate when a manager comes up and says if you do this for us, it’s going to be a benefit for the dairy and you are going to be part of the team. It’s less stress for me because I used to do it myself.” — Cesar Rodriguez, manager, Wreden Ranch, Hanford, California

Learn more from Matt Lawrence about how you can start investing in your employees more in this video. Visit GrowPeopleFirst.com/testimonials for more advice from managers on showing appreciation to your employees. Your employees will thank you, too.

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