Friday, 10 July 2020 09:09

Being a good boss during calving

Written by  Staff Reporters
Communication from the boss is the number-one thing that matters to employees. Communication from the boss is the number-one thing that matters to employees.

Despite it being a busy time, being a good boss during calving is absolutely achievable, says DairyNZ’s People Team leader Jane Muir.

Here are some tips to help you be a supportive boss and get the best out of your staff. 

Communication

According to DairyNZ’s recent survey, communication from the boss is the number-one thing that matters to employees. So make sure everyone in your team knows what tasks need to be done, what’s expected of them and what they’re responsible for.

Regular catch-ups are more important than ever and will result in everyone knowing what the priorities are, which actually saves time. This could be as simple as catching up over breakfast or having a 10-minute meeting in the smoko room after morning milking.

Plan your roster for calving

Ensure you and the team are prepared, competent and enthusiastic – at the beginning, in the middle and right through to the end of calving. That means everyone needs to work realistic hours and enjoy regular days off-farm.

This season, there’s a chance you’re going into calving with reduced team numbers. If so, it’s even more important to plan your roster. Consider employing someone to help with calving on a fixed-term employment agreement. That extra person can make a big difference in reducing workload stress for everyone and improving outcomes.

Also think about how you could improve rosters and hours of work, and how you allocate tasks. Are some staff having to get up early all the time? Are people getting enough breaks and time off to recharge?

Wellbeing

Team members may be feeling more stressed or anxious than usual. What extra support can you provide during the busy period? Tea and coffee, bottled water, and nutritious energy-boosting snacks like fruit, muesli bars and protein drinks, can go a long way.

Talk with your team about important on-farm health and safety issues for this time of year. Accidents are more likely when people are tired and busy, so try to reduce risks but also ensure staff know that safety is the most important thing – a strong safety culture will give the best and safest outcomes for your business.

Make the most of every opportunity to upskill your team members – it’s a big factor in keeping people motivated and satisfied in their job.

Remember to take time to celebrate a few milestones during the busy period. A simple fish and chips night, or cake and coffee at morning tea, can be a real morale-booster. It doesn’t take much but it’ll mean a lot to your staff.

For more tips and resources for being a good boss, visit

dairynz.co.nz/goodboss

More like this

Prime conditions for mating

You've worked hard to get your cows in great condition for calving. Next, it’s time to make sure they stay on track for mating.

Sustainability stars pick up awards

Ten kiwi dairy farmers who have shown exceptional care for the environment have been recognised with a DairyNZ sustainability and stewardship award.

Reduce the risks while buying stock

How can you minimise the risks of introducing new diseases or parasites when bringing stock into your farm ‘bubble’ from another one?

Featured

 

Limited feed puts ewes at risk

Severe feed shortages in parts of the country mean many ewes are on a nutritional knife-edge heading into lambing and could be at risk of developing metabolic disorders.

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped him getting out and about in difficult environments.

National

$10 payout!

A small but select group of Fonterra farmers are on the cusp of setting a new milk payout record.

The migrant workers dilemma

Dairy farmers want more Kiwi workers, but they also want relaxed immigration restrictions. So, what's the problem?

Producing milk, the Miraka way

The goal of Māori-owned dairy company Miraka, near Taupo, is to become the most sustainable dairy company in the world.

Machinery & Products

Landpower invests in cow central

One of Australasia’s largest, privately-owned farm machinery distributors, Landpower is building a new $10 million complex adjacent to Hamilton Airport.

Maize moisture in a moment

With forage maize playing such an important part of the New Zealand fodder supply chain, a useful hand-held moisture measuring…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

A ticking timebomb?

There could be another dairy health scare brewing in China and this one starts in our backyard.

Please explain

Does anyone in the Government understand the essential role St John Ambulance has in our society?

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter