Human Resources

  • The Drive Behind Your Team – Dairy Module 2015

  • Know Where you are Heading – Dairy Module 2014 – 2015

  • Eyes Wide Open – Dairy Module 2014

  • Advertising for Staff

    The following information was presented at Dairy Days March 2008 by Lee Astridge / Sarah Watson, and provides advice on how to advertise for your next employee.


    The Right Advert

    Your advertisement is our opportunity to ‘sell’ your job to the right kind of candidates.

    When putting together your advert, think first about why someone would want to work for you and do that job?.Talk about these things first in your advert because they will be the ‘point of difference’ that will attract people to your position.

    When advertising, particularly in the current recruitment market, it is critical that you establish what you can do for the potential employee first?.and ideally this will be different to all of the other adverts out there!

    Next, think about the kind of person who would be able to fulfil the requirements of your position.  Try and word these requirements positively i.e.

    – Looking for a challenge
    – Enthusiastic about a career in farming
    – Proven ability to ???.
    – Keen to work unsupervised
    – Looking for a great mentor

    The following ideas were taken from our Dairwn discussion forum and offer some great ideas for advertisements

    Experience required? ? Keep your options open

    I have recently had conversations with some very successful and very interesting people who are seriously looking to come into our industry. The fact that some have no prior experience in dairying should not be a negative if you are looking for staff. These people have many valuable skills from their current and past employment histories and let’s face it, putting cups on cows and the other basic practical tasks are very easy to teach and learn. On the other hand, these people have motivation and an attitude towards achieving success which is something that cannot be taught and is often not present in those who go dairying just because it’s a job with a house.

    If you are advertising on fencepost, please put “experience required” if that is your requirement. Career changers are being encouraged to look on fencepost for positions and to also put their own advert on. Knocking them back at the first contact by saying “you have no experience, we don’t want you” is a bit unfair if you haven’t specified that experience is necessary. They may be intelligent but they are not mind readers! At a time when attracting good staff is necessary, you might also like to think about how professional your approach is. I have had comments from job applicants who have selected one job from a choice of offers simply because of the professional way in which the farmer dealt with them.

    Word of Mouth

    People often ask what works best for attracting good staff in ads etc, but the most important thing to remember is that you could have the most amazing recruitment system and advertisements in the world, but a good track record and word of mouth seems to be the best way to attract good people to your business!

    Fencepost for advertising

    We have placed two adds in the paper and posted one on Fencepost (this was in Dec.). We had approx. 8 good replies on the paper add and more than 10 replies not counting replies from Kenya, India etc.) through We have found that there are some really good (potential) LOS out there and were impressed with the replies.

    We have been employing staff for the last 7 years. We have found that we get the best response by using the job listing service on Fencepost. We find that keen and interested people look for jobs on the website. We are in the process of employing at the moment and have had a very good response to our ad. Make sure that you think very carefully about what sort off job you are listing and the qualifications that you think the applicants will need. Check references! We have learned this to be very important. Trust your instincts at job interviews and make sure that the applicants get a chance to tell you what they would like to get out off the job. It might not be the same as you would like. Good luck. There are some great people out there!

    Links to useful websites:

    Fencepost – Home Page – Guide to advertising for jobs

  • Staff – Recruit, Train and Retain

    Over the coming months we will be building a library of advice, information and useful links focussing specifically on the theme of ‘Staff Recruitment, Training and Retaining Good Staff’.

    The majority of the advice is taken from our Dairwn discussion forum and provides an insight into successful ideas used on other farms.

    Links to useful websites might provide you with a more formalised approach or provide guidance on taxation issues specifically around employment or bonus payments.

    A number of tools will also be added for you to print and use on farm, these might include interview questions, motivational guides or forms for use with staff.

    Department of Labour – Ask a Question

    ‘Ask a Question’ is an advanced search facility that enables you to search for frequently asked questions (FAQ) in the areas of employment relations, health and safety, and immigration. If the answers provided do not completely answer your question or if you have a specific matter, you can submit a question via the “Email Us” tab. 

    Department of Labour – Workplace Productivity Snapshot

    The Workplace Productivity Snapshot is designed for owners and managers of small to medium-sized businesses. The online questionnaire enables businesses to assess how they are performing in relation to the seven drivers of workplace productivity.

    The articles and information in this website are solely the views of the individual writer and are not to be attributed in anyway to the Dairy Women’s Network. The Dairy Women’s Network takes no responsibility for the accuracy or otherwise of their content.  See terms and conditions…

  • Motivation

    The following information was presented at Dairy Days March 2008 by Lee Astridge / Sarah Watson, and provides some insight into Motivation for your employees:

    What Motivates People?

    There are a number of different theories around why people work.  These attempt to explain the complex sets of behaviours that lead people to not only come to work, but to actively seek out work in preference to other activities.  In considering why people work it is important to remember that every individual’s circumstances are unique.  When considering the topic of motivation it is important to consider not why people work, but what makes them work at their best.

    Discretionary Effort

    Discretionary effort is that level of effort people can give if they want to, but is beyond what is required.  In other words, since discretionary effort is more than what is expected, or even paid for, there is no punishment if it is not applied.

    The only behaviour over which we have total control, is our own.  Therefore, it is within our power to give or retain our discretionary effort.  People who are using their discretionary effort are much happier and self-fulfilled.

    It is our job as leaders to ensure that we know and understand the individuals who work for us in order to enthuse them to use their discretionary effort.  We have to generate a situation to which people will respond because they want to.

    The key steps are:

    • Understand what motivates YOU and develop a plan to capitalise on these motivators
    • Understand each member of your team and help them to develop a plan to capitalise on their motivators
    • Review these plans regularly

    To do this, have a discussion with them around what is important to them, record essential information, and help them to take responsibility for making it happen.  Give them support, opportunities and resources, communicate with them about their progress, and help them work through obstacles.  Encourage them and celebrate.

    Herzberg’s Two Factor Motivation Theory

    The American psychologist, Herzberg, suggested that the best way to interpret motivation, or lack of motivation, was to consider two factors:  Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction.

    Herzberg noticed that the causes of satisfaction at work lay in the contents of the job itself (motivators) and that the causes of dissatisfaction lay in the working environment (maintenance factors).

    Herzberg’s Maintenance Factors

    • Pay (basic pay, shift and overtime rates, bonuses)
    • Job security (permanent vs. fixed term contracts, redundancy agreements, lay off history)
    • Competent management (including things such as job knowledge, helpfulness, fair work allocation)
    • Working conditions (all aspects related to working conditions on the job eg environment, the amount of work, facilities and tools available)
    • Status (the regard – the organisation has for its members; these may often be seen as perks)
    • Interpersonal relationships (the quality of the relationships within the organisation or work team itself)
    • How the organisation is managed and organised Communications within the organisation

    The importance of these factors is their power to cause dissatisfaction if they are not adequate.  If these factors are provided employees will not be dissatisfied.  No amount of improvement to these factors will motivate a person to work harder in the medium to longer term. Insecurity and uncertainty are strong de-motivators and you can see that many of these maintenance factors are designed to reduce these feelings.

    Herzberg’s Motivators

    The motivators appear to arise from the components of the job content itself.  People will be motivated if the job gives them opportunities for:

    – Recognition (acknowledgment and praise for a job well done)
    – Achievement (the personal satisfaction of completing a job, solving the problems and seeing the successful results of their efforts)
    – Responsibility (the degree of control a person has over the work itself, the extent to which the work is varied, stretching of skills and abilities)
    – Advancement (the opportunity to exercise initiative in the workplace as well as opportunities for promotion in the organisation)
    – Growth (opportunities to develop new skills)

    It is important to remember that we all have something in common when it comes to ensuring the ‘maintenance factors’ are in place.  However we are all different and individual when it comes to the ‘motivating factors’.

    Basic Needs of People at Work are therefore:

    • Tell me what you expect of me?
    • Tell me the standards by which my performance will be judged?
    • Tell me how I am getting on?
    • Keep me informed about changes that will affect me?
    • Teach me to develop and how to use my skills?
    • Reward and promote me according to my contribution?
    • Provide stepping stones along which I may advance?

    Motivation is individual.  What works for one person may not work for the next.  Critical for leaders is to know their people so they can find the right things to motivate each individual?.even better if you can find some strategies that meet the needs of more than one person!

    Motivation – General