Recruiting and keeping staff becomes a bigger challenge in times when the number of jobs on offer are greater than the number of applicants.
Good staff can be a cheap investment but poor staff can be very expensive.
One aspect of managing staff that continues to rear its ugly head is when a property owner recruits a farm manager and does not let them manage.
We continue to see owners who involve themselves in all levels of decision making.
When applying for a manager's role it is critical the job description clearly defines the role.
Decision making falls in three categories - strategic, tactical and operational.
If all the strategic and tactical decisions are made by the owner, the applicant needs to have that clearly spelt out at the interview.
There are employers who still recruit under the manager title but do not let the appointee manage. In some cases, they have been recruited in false pretences.
If the title states manager, the employee must be allowed to manage or it will lead to frustration, disappointment and the so-called manager leaving.
This week I was made aware of a situation where the property owner is now looking for their third manager in two years. My first reaction was that owner needed to buy a good hand mirror and take a good look at himself.
Running a revolving door on staff benefits nobody, disrupts many peoples lives and does absolutely nothing for the reputation of the employer.
The real character of a person is judged by the way they treat their fellow human being.
Accepting a new role involves packing up your life and moving, which is a big task.
You leave behind friends, the kids change schools and you have to establish yourself in the new community. To have to do this a couple of times within the same year can play heavily on the minds of those doing it.
Profit is not a production problem in the first instance, it is a people problem - get the people right and the production and profit will follow.
I am pleased to say the landlord - serf situation has diminished in time but there are still elements of this taking place and I doubt those situations will change.
That is why it is ever so important the applicant for a position must do due diligence on their background checks of the potential new employer.
If the employer is making promises during the interview, it may pay to ask the employer to document them.
If the kitchen is to be renovated in the first six months and a new work utility in 12 months, then a good employer will be prepared to write it down. This may be made on the proviso the farm experiences an average or better year.
If promises are not fulfilled then that can be part of the decision if you stay or not. Luring people to work for you on empty promises usually ends in both parties losing out.
Employers need to have regular performance reviews where shortfalls in performance are discussed and rectified.
Likewise, the good work needs to be acknowledged.
It should be a case that you treat employees as appreciating assets and if you do that them both parties will be winners. Playing with others lives should never be an option.
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