Crop Connect '16 — Getting the Most From Your Farm Team


Employees need clear expectations and timely feedback.

It might sound simple, but those are the two keys to creating a farm culture where the business gets the most out of its talent and where employees feel like they’re doing a good job, says Barb Dartt, a Michigan-based farm business consultant.

“We tend to underestimate the complexity and judgement that we exhibit in what we consider to be pretty mundane and day-to-day jobs, and so we often don’t have much thought into training,” she explains, in the interview below (a preview of one of her upcoming sessions at CropConnect in Winnipeg.)

“If you’re doing a halfway decent job hiring, I would guess your employees show up at your place wanting to do a good job. They don’t come the first day wanting to fail.”

After explaining how to complete a task and the expectations that go with it, a supervisor must follow-up with clear feedback.

“We do a poor job with both catching things people are doing well and giving correction right away,” notes Dartt. “We can end up with people who have been there six months and are really underperforming.”

Now you might think “I know those things are important,” but why do farms still struggle in these areas?

Dartt says farm managers/supervisors need to take a step back and examine their role.

“The time you spend with your people is part of your job as a supervisor, as a manager,” she explains. “We in ag tend to be so tangible. We measure acres plowed or cows milked…it’s about measurable outcomes, and it’s hard to measure the training. It’s much less black and white for us. It takes a while realizing a big piece of your job is that time and training.”

Barb Dartt of the Family Business Consulting Group will be speaking on “Getting the Most from Your Talent,” “Becoming the Employer of Choice” and “Working with Generation Y” at the CropConnect Conference in Winnipeg on February 11. Click here to register.

Find more coverage of CropConnect here

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