Tuesday, 16 April 2013
For immediate release
Preparing new staff for the season ahead
DairyNZ is reminding dairy farmers to prepare for new employees as the new season nears.
DairyNZ people team leader, Jane Muir, says people management practices have improved greatly on-farm in recent years,
but there are always opportunities to do things better.
“The recent Federated Farmers/Rabobank Farm Employee Remuneration Survey showed 91 percent of dairy farmers provided
permanent employees with written contracts – a sharp increase on previous years,” says Jane.
“This is great news because one of the areas where big wins can be achieved is around the staff recruitment and
orientation process – the contract is just one part of that.
“Developing a detailed job description, discussing and matching employer and employee expectations and the creation of a
thorough orientation plan are other critical aspects of this process. Doing them right will make life easier for
everyone in the long run.
“A good orientation plan means taking the time to properly introduce new employees to the business and will ensure they
become a productive part of the team, sooner rather than later.
“In the first three months it’s a good idea to meet with the new employee monthly to set training requirements, review
and give formal feedback on progress. This process will help identify training needs and ensure the new person has the
opportunity to learn new skills they might need.”
Canterbury farmer Shirlene Cochrane says by focussing on their people, they have increased their productivity by an
estimated 25 percent.
“Happy staff provide many rewards. It’s achieved efficiency, effectiveness, peace of mind, a happy lifestyle and the
best return we feel we can get with the resources we have available,” says Shirlene.
DairyNZ recently released the Quickstart Recruitment Kit which provides step-by-step processes for the first 90 days of
the employment period, to ensure expectations are clear and the employment relationship gets off to its best possible
For more information and to order the kit visit peoplesmart.co.nz.