New article: Rules to manage employees. Read here
New article in Spanish: 3 key drivers of feeding success "3 factores claves para el exito en la alimentacion de las vacas. Leer
Dairy Employee handbook: Read what a dairy manager thinks about it: "This employee handbook was exactly what we were looking for! We were at the point where we needed to convert our family farm to a business and this handbook was perfect! Our handbook was translated in a very reasonable time! We are very satisfied with your work and already suggested you to another dairy!! Thanks so much for helping us progress our Dairy!"
Kristen Duschner - Duschner Dairy
"Integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership. Always keep your word" - Harry S. Truman
Labor is the most important resource you have in your dairy. Employees play a key role in the success of your dairy, so just as maximizing cow productivity is one of your primary goals, striving to maximize labor productivity should be as well.
What is productivity? Dr. Gregory Billikopf, from the Univ. of California defines productivity as:
PRODUCTIVITY = ABILITY (can do) + MOTIVATION (will do)
I have adopted this definition but also added a third component to the formula, so that now the formula looks like this:
PRODUCTIVITY = ABILITY + SKILLS + MOTIVATION
So how do we improve labor productivity according to this equation? Let’s look at each one of these three components:
First, it is important to clearly understand the difference between a person’s abilities and skills. This is how Gregorio Billikopf defines them as:
Abilities = An innate or more stable talent. What a person can do. (Example: The physical ability to reach the front teats of the cow when striping and wiping, or having good animal senses).
Skills = Converting an ability or innate talent into something of value. (Example: skills to breed a cow, or IV a cow with milk fever, etc).
Remember, that the abilities are those traits that a person needs to have to perform a job properly. A person’s abilities cannot be developed through training or coaching. On the other hand, skills are those that the person can learn, improve, or develop.
This is why it’s so important to take more seriously the selection process when hiring new employees. It doesn’t matter if you are hiring a milker or a herdsman, hiring the right person for the job is critical to the success of your operation and it should be taken very seriously.
Furthermore, once the people with the right abilities are hired, a well planed and organized training program should be defined to ensure that the employees will have a chance to succeed at that job. Read more
Felix Soriano, MS, PAS