October 8, 2020

Plan for People Power

 |  By: Elizabeth Griffith

As farmers, you plan for future crop rotations, increased herd size, capital purchases, growth of the business and, hopefully, even some well- deserved time off.   

It is possible to spend months and years drawing plans, purchasing land, researching products, meeting with builders and completing the financing. Unfortunately, what many businesses neglect to plan for is the PEOPLE who will support your farm, support your vision.  

People are the principal asset of any business. Without good, well-trained people, your business cannot fully succeed. Great businesses place a strong focus on their people; training and preparing them for new tasks and roles before the need exists. They are proactive, not reactive.  

Before moving forward with any growth, a good manager should first determine if the current people management is effective.

  1. Are your current employees trained effectively to accomplish the necessary tasks?  
  2. Do you have good employees but in the wrong roles?
  3. Do you have enough people to complete your current goals?
  4. What additional people resources do you need going forward?
  5. What skills are missing to help with the growth of the farm?

People planning is a tool that can be used to maintain the staff you have and grow the staff you need. If your new barn is ready but you lack the number of qualified personnel to operate, you may go backward instead of moving forward.

Consider hosting a “people planning” meeting at least once per year. Bring together your leadership team and evaluate your current employees as well as create a plan for your future needs.

  1. How are your current employees performing?
  2. Is there a need for additional training?
  3. Do they lack the needed skills for this role?

a. Where are they strong?

b. Where are they weak?

  1. If they were moved to another role, would they be more successful?
  2. What are the upcoming roles the business may have available?
  3. Who can fill those roles or where will you begin to look for candidates?

A people planning meeting allows the leadership team to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of each team member. With further discussion, your team can assess the progress of each employee and determine if there is a better fit for them. 

Employees who are not strong in the current role may flourish in a new role and cross training is almost always a good thing. 

People planning may be one of the most important planning techniques to increase employee productivity.  Your most important investment is the people, so take the time to plan for, manage, and develop your teams .

Your growth and success are related to the talent you have, the talent you develop, and the training you provide.