August 11, 2016

Tips to Take Your Team from ‘I’ To ‘We’

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

It’s common for dairy farms to employ large numbers of people. Keeping all staff members in lock-step can be a challenge. Here are some tips from dairy farmers from across the country that can help build team unity and connection.

  1. Off-Farm Team Building. Angela Tauer, a Minnesota dairy farmer, says group outings off the farm have helped her employees become more united. “We try to have an employee lunch once a month or so,” she says. “We go out once a season for bowling/dinner etc.” Tauer thinks the outings help build team work. “The more our employees associate in a non-work setting, the more they tend to get along,” she says.
  2. Hire the Right People. According to dairy farmer Shannon Seifriet, the best way to ensure your team gets along is to only hire people that fit your company culture. “Employ and screen for people that fit your farm culture,” she says. “During interviews ask scenario questions that pose a team working problem and see how they would solve it.”
  3. Hold Monthly Staff Meetings. Wisconsin farmer Chelsea Scheider recommends monthly staff meetings to make sure everybody is on the same page.We also do monthly meetings and track objective goals such as somatic cell count, percent of calves born in the calving pen (we hit 100% last month!), and IGGs indicating quality of newborn care,” she explains. “When targets are hit, bonuses in food and gas cards are paid out.”

Do you have any helpful team building tips to add? Have you joined the Dairy Girl Network? Learn more about the group at www.DairyGirlNetwork.com.