When you hire a new employee on your farm, you must perform several regulatory procedures, but you will also find there are benefits in making a priority of providing an orientation for the employee.
University of Minnesota Extension educators find that orientation on the first day of work helps producers meet their business goals.
Meet new employees the minute they arrive for their first day of work. Introduce them to others and provide an overview of what happens on the farm. Orientation is not the same as training. Training enables the employee to function effectively as part of the farm team. Orientation helps that employee become part of the team.
Every farm has its own procedures and routines. If this is your first day at work, you may not know where to park, change clothes or put your lunch. Mistakes in any one of these routine tasks might seem harmless, but they could affect the farm’s biosecurity plan.
Make sure the new employee knows and understands rules of the farm and basic work policies, as well as whom to approach with questions. It’s better that employees ask a question than make a potentially expensive mistake.
Check back with new employees regularly in the first few days and weeks. There will be questions coming up that they may hesitant to bring to you, but they may open up more if you come to them. Not only will this show them you care, but it could help you protect your business.
For more information on managing an agricultural business, visit www.extension.umn.edu/AgBusiness
Chuck Schwartau is a dairy educator with U of M Extension.