In agriculture we often see businesses operating with limited structures around people management. This is not only for employees but also for sons or daughters working in the business.
I’m a great believer in having simple and formal processes in place to ensure everyone is clear on their roles and responsibilities. It helps with accountability, manages expectations and reduces those assumptions which often end in tears or resignations.
Having job descriptions and performance reviews in place for sons and daughters in the business enables open discussion and provides an avenue for gradual transfer of decision making as skills and confidence grow.
Even if there are only two of you in the business clarity around roles and expectations assist with the separation between work and family life.
A couple of websites with great resources to help make it easier include
- The people in Dairy website http://www.thepeopleindairy.org.au/live-library.htm This website is a result of Dairy Australia recognising the importance of people to the industry. It includes masses of downloadable templates which can easily be adapted for any agricultural industry.
- For an overseas perspective – Labour Management in Agriculture comes from the University of California, Prof Gregorio Billilkopf. This site also has free downloadable books on labour management and conflict resolution. http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7labor/001.htm
Partners in Grain (www.partnersingrain.org.au) has been funded by GRDC to develop a workshop on managing farm staff. Contact your state coordinator to find out more information.
It would be great to hear of other useful resources any readers may have found! I look forward to some comments.