Training employees, whether they're at a dairy, calf operation or heifer facility, should be an ongoing, active process, says J. Miguel Morales, a veterinarian and technical consultant with Elanco Animal Health.
Morales believes successful employee management stems from "an environment that encourages people to be fully involved, to know what to expect and to know what is expected from them.”
That includes an effective training plan, he says, where a manager can explain, show, practice, observe and praise.
"Training can trigger new interest in employees and open opportunities to take new roles,” Morales says. "Training can help workers see the big picture and imagine the future.”
To improve communication, Morales advocates creating an environment where everyone is willing to share experiences and points of view without negative consequences.
Developing a simple but informative employee handbook helps communicate the norms and working environment of a business, Morales says. It reinforces behaviors that are expected and defines those that are unacceptable. It provides guidelines and a reference for disciplinary action. It also gives grounds for praising the team.
Morales encourages managers to set high expectations. "When managers' expectations are high, productivity is likely to be high,” he says.
And take time to praise and recognize, he adds. Don't communicate only when there is something to correct, but also where there's something positive to say.