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Two Questions Every Farm Employee Has

 by Amber Roberts, Extension Educator, Agricultural Business Management

Every employee needs their employer to answer two questions: What performance is expected of me? and Am I meeting expectations/(winning)? To answer both of these questions, measurements need to be implemented. 

To fully answer these questions, employees need timely, high-quality feedback from their employers to know what they are doing properly. It also requires pre-specified quantified performance expectations to compare with the actual performance. Even having a job description isn't enough to thoroughly answer the two questions, employers need to tell the employee if they are adequate at their role.

For a dairy operation, an employee might milk cows twice during their shift. Just knowing that they are completing the task of getting the cows milked isn't enough to answer these questions. Is the employee milking in a proper way and how the employer expects them to? Are they milking in a timely manner? This is where implementing measurable goals can help both employers and employees answer the two questions.

When setting measurements for employee success, employers need to ensure they create quantitate accomplishments that can directly be measured and focused on daily. Employers should provide as much clarity and description as possible when establishing the measurements for employee success. Additionally, measurements should ensure success for both the individual and the farm, with the end goal being for everyone to succeed.

When writing employee measurements, farms should assign a timeline to finish or complete the project. Depending on your operation, this timeline could vary from three days to fix the tractor or the amount of time to feed the hogs in the barn. Measurements should also detail how much production per the specified time period. An example could be the expected number of acres harvested per day. Lastly, measurements should detail the quality of work expected and how to thoroughly complete the job. This could include guidelines for the parlor cleaning process after milking.

To learn more about implementing measurements to address the two essential employee questions, listen to the entire podcast.

Episode 9 Transcript

Episode Content:
  • 01:31 - 2 Questions of all Employees
  • 04:26 - Implementing Measurements for Employee Expectations
  • 06:00 - Measurement Examples
  • 08:27 - Clarity for Employee Expectations

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