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Deepen Your Bench By Cross-Training Employees

10:00AM Apr 17, 2019

Downtime during planting can be a big cost for your farm. Be sure your team can fire on all cylinders by cross training them, suggests says Bob Milligan, senior consultant at Dairy Strategies and former Cornell University professor. 

“Cross training is about two important issues,” he says. “It helps you maximize your team’s productivity and ensures the well-being of your employees.”

Write down all the tasks to complete during planting season. Then, identify who oversees each operation, who the key operator is and who else is qualified and trained to do the task. 

This process makes sure everyone is working a reasonable number of hours and that you have multiple people qualified for each operation. It also reduces stress, if you need an employee to fill in unexpectedly. During the training process, Milligan suggests, write down key steps and develop standard operating procedures (SOPs). 

As your team’s leader, you must not let the pressures of planting cause additional stress and fatigue on your team. Milligan provides three important tips for leading your team.