Larson is a third-generation dairy producer in southern Florida, milking 4,200 cows.
**Extended comments highlighted in blue.
How much is a good employee worth? Managers and business owners often ask themselves this question.
Good employees perform the job they are hired to do and they take the stress off their manager by being responsible and trustworthy. Good employees follow protocols and procedures but are not resistant to working outside of their job description when the need arises. Unfortunately, sometimes you find out just how valuable a person was to your dairy operation when he or she leaves.
Our strategy is simple: Take care of your most valuable employees and try to hire more people like them to help our operation succeed. People are one of our greatest assets, and we must understand their needs and make sure we meet them to keep them from looking elsewhere for employment.
While in a human resource management class at the University of Florida, I was told that money was not a motivator. In my experience in the dairy industry, this is not true. Employees do physically difficult work, and they expect to be compensated. In our area, local employees will often change jobs for $10 extra a day even if they have no complaints about their job.
Money and benefits draw interest from potential new employees and also keep faithful employees satisfied. At Larson Dairy, we provide housing for most of our employees who work with or feed cows. We also provide housing for on-call employees, such as mechanics and maintenance personnel. We also provide house maintenance for employees living in Larson Dairy houses. Housing is an important benefit that draws employees.