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Labor Matters

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Experts cover today’s key dairy labor issues and offer fool-proof techniques to optimize employee performance, sat­isfaction and longevity.

Ten Management Don’ts for Your Dairy

Aug 29, 2011

Follow these suggestions yourself, and ask everybody from managers to all employees to stick to them on a daily basis.

 
By Dr. Mireille Chahine, Associate Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, University of Idaho and Mario de Haro Marti, Extension Educator, University of Idaho
Chahine photo   Copy
Dr. Mireille Chahine
 
1.                   Don’t create a policy every time an employee makes a mistake. Employees are humans and they will make mistakes as we all do. In the place of overreacting and implementing a new policy immediately, have an open conversation with the employee and explain what should have been done and the reason why.
 
2.                   Don’t yell and say profanities while talking to your employees. We personally know several employees that have left the dairy due to the way they were treated. They could not take it anymore. Screaming and using profanities are considered unprofessional in any workplace, including dairies. The workplace is a place where everyone should feel respected.
 
3.                   Don’t threaten employees. Threatening employees is a sign of a weak leader. A good manager knows how to discuss employees’ responsibilities and how to correct behaviors without threatening and intimidating employees.
 
4.                   Don’t assign tasks that are impossible to complete on time. It is frustrating to start a task when you already know it would be impossible to complete it as required, no matter how much effort you put in it. These situations demoralize workers and generate hard feeling toward the manager or owner who gave the order.
 
5.                   Don’t ask any employee to do anything illegal. Many employees don’t know what is legal or not, and it is the responsibility of the management to make sure their employees always follow the rules and regulations.
 
6.                   Don’t underestimate the power of one-on-one conversation with your employees to build trust. Even if your employees are Hispanic and their English is not very good, they will still appreciate your effort to talk to them.
DeHaro Marti photo   Copy
Mario de Haro Marti
 
7.                   Don’t assume your employees understand the reason behind a certain decision. Make sure any decision you make is fair for all employees, regardless of their ethnical background, and explain the reasoning to them.
 
8.                   Don’t let your employees chose between work and family. Employees really appreciate and need some flexibility in their work to be able to take care of family emergencies or important events like the birth of a child, children’s graduation, marriage of a relative, or other life events.
 
9.                   Don’t speak negatively about other employees. Also, discourage gossiping among employees. Be fair and cool-headed when one employee comes to you with negative comments about another employee. Stick to the facts and listen to both sides before taking any course of action.
 
10.               Don’t lie to or mislead employees and stick to your word when promising something.
 
Follow these suggestions yourself and ask everybody from managers to all employees to stick to them on a daily basis. Having a cordial and good relationship with your workers and promoting good relationships between employees encourage a relaxed working environment where everybody will be more productive, creative, and comfortable.
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