What do Farm Operations and Major League Baseball Teams have in common? Or perhaps I should ask, what SHOULD they have in common? SPRING TRAINING! Like a professional baseball team, there are several benefits and an added value to an organized, comprehensive spring training or Pre-Season Training before you start rolling in your fields.
This series of two blogs is focused on the importance of a pre-season/pre-planting meeting and training session for your farming operation. We’ll discuss why you need it in this blog and the who, when and how in the next part of the series.
Some farm owners and managers ask, “Why do I need to train my team of workers every single planting season?” One of our long-time farmer clients, Stan Mehmen, explains it this way: “As farmers, we have only about 40 chances (growing seasons) to get it right.” It is critical that you do everything you can to make each and every season the best it can be.
Benefits of a good pre-season and pre-planting training:
- Improvements and upgrades on your existing skills
- You'll bring more value and better efficiencies to your operation. Your employees will know more which makes them more confident in their work. They'll bring more to the table and more value to you and your farm.
- Higher morale and job satisfaction
- Your employees will feel valued due to your investment in them
- Identify employees with potential
- You're now enables to promote internally vs. hiring outside. This is more cost effective and your employees will "grow up" in YOUR system
- Better employee recruitment and retention
Not having pre-season and pre-planting training results in:
- Dissatisfied employees
- Underperformance which can result in more mistakes, injuries, etc.
- Poor quality of work, ultimately leading to lower yields
- Lost time
- Poorly trained workers will take longer to perform tasks
- You may have to pull resources away from other priorities to help pick up the slack
- Mistakes can be made which means loss of time and materials, injuries and the need for re-dos
The bottom line is, pre-season and on-going training saves the farm money and improves worker satisfaction.
Regardless of tenure and/or experience, your crew will benefit from the conversations that occur during a pre-season training session. It’s an opportunity for your seasoned vets to build rapport and get to know any new employees. These sessions enable you, as owner, and your leaders to help identify skills and skill gaps in employees where you can focus on additional training needs. These sessions will foster team building.
Look out for part 2 of this series on spring training, “When and How to Conduct Spring Training for a Farming Operation.”
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