How to Keep your Farm Workers Happy
There’s no denying that farming can be tough, hard work. It can bring a lot of satisfaction, but it’s a year round, all-weather occupation that has its fair share of stress. When you find great farm workers, it’s so important that they remain happy through the good times and also those busy times when it’s all hands on deck and extra hours are required to get the job done.
Training your farm workers has a double benefit. Your workers gain new skills, giving them a confidence boost and a good outlook for their career in the future, but of course, you can also take advantage of the new skills they learn. Some training may be done in-house on the farm, while other skills and knowledge may be acquired on a day release to a college, also bringing a little rest from the physical labour of the farm.
Be clear with expectations and information
A lack of communication when you first hire someone can cause problems down the line so be clear from the outset with everything you expect from your workers, and also what you are offering to them. Make sure policies regarding disciplinary action, holiday pay, sick leave etc. are all transparent.
Farm work can be busy, but it’s really important to set aside time to have a regular meeting where your employees can have their say and air their concerns or ideas. Problems can then be addressed before they become a major issue, and thoughts and ideas of better or more streamlined ways to do things could be invaluable. When employees feel they are part of a team rather than simply a paid worker, they will be more inclined to put their all into their job. If they feel they can make suggestions without fear of instant rejection, they will be more likely to speak freely. When their ideas are implemented, it gives an even greater sense of being part of the bigger picture. With everyone striving for a common goal, to ensure the farm is successful and profitable, it can only be for the good for everyone involved.
Have fun and give rewards
Happy people work harder, there’s no doubt about that, and just because you’re doing a job, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Get involved yourself and get to know your workers. A laugh and a joke once in while shouldn’t be classed as ‘slacking’, it’s team building and boosts morale. Treats can go a long way such as barbecue party after a particularly arduous job is completed. Get to know your workers, and their families. A team that feels like one big family will certainly get along better with greater levels of tolerance on those days when the workload is big and problems crop up!