Jared Osborne’s grandfather, Hollis, founded Top Notch Farms and is known to say, “People are our true business.” Turnover is low because the team is respected and asked to provide feedback, says Jared, general manager. “Our employees share our values,” he says. Farmers should develop a culture to retain good employees, says Chuck Schwartau, an educator with University of Minnesota Extension. “A good team needs to be cultivated, nourished and developed to function at a high level,” he says. His advice:
- Be sure the staff knows what is expected of them. Communicate high expectations and make it clear minimal standards are unacceptable.
- Communicate appreciation to your staff. Everyone appreciates a little praise for a job well done, and leaders should deliver it.
- As skills grow, involve them in decision-making.
- If they offer a suggestion that makes sense, give them the chance to help implement it.
- Build your own management skills and abilities.
- Look for opportunities to learn and grow as a leader, and invest in them whenever possible.
- Let employees be in charge of a process or job. Show trust and add appropriate responsibilities to increase self-esteem and potentially profits.
Learn more about Top Notch Farms by reading "A Fresh Perspective" from the October issue of Top Producer.