April 17, 2019

Show Employees You Care

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

On our farm we have a team of five full-time employees. As with all people, each one of them is unique. At least one day a week I try to show up at the farm with a treat for the team. That might be a coke or donuts and on occasion even pizza or tacos from our favorite Mexican store. I was reminded this week that while our staff members appreciate those consumable treats, they really just want to know that we care.


Spring has sprung, and like many of you, we’ve spent the past two weeks deep cleaning our parlor and tank room. If your inspector is like ours, a blind eye can be turned on clutter during the winter but once spring arrives, she expects a spotless barn and a fresh coat of paint. In the process of pressure washing the hallway, a note one of our Spanish speakers (who happens to be our nighttime milker) had left for himself got wet.


The note was simple:



Prender el refir



Prender el refir



Prender el refir


It’s a reminder to turn on the tank cooler after the milk is picked up on the days he works. A reminder he put there after an incident where it was forgotten.


It was one of his days off, so I took a picture of the wet note, ink running all over the place, brought it home, typed it up and laminated it. The following day when he arrived for his shift I explained that his note got wet, so I took it home and made it plastic so it couldn’t get wet again. He was so happy. Happier than he’s ever been about a cold coke or a cupcake.


I guess what I’m saying is bring the treats. Give your team the free hats. If you have Hispanic employees who offer to let you try what they brought for lunch, do it. But most importantly, find small, significant ways to show them you care.