Thursday, August 18, 2022

Farmers team up to make dairying attractive

A webinar will give farmers insights into how they can attract and retain farm staff in the difficult labour market.

Bay of Plenty contract milker and former DairyNZ consultant Jordyn Crouch is one of four guest speakers.

A webinar will give farmers insights into how they can attract and retain farm staff in the difficult labour market.

Bay of Plenty contract milker and former DairyNZ consultant Jordyn Crouch is one of four guest speakers who will discuss how New Zealand can design dairy workplaces to attract great employees.

Kellogg Rural Leadership project interviews with leading farmers led Crouch to identify four ways dairy workplaces could become more attractive: flexible rosters and pay scales; fostering leaders not managers; developing safe workplace cultures that allow autonomy and innovation; and sharing a common purpose on-farm.

“Involving your farm team is the starting point to improve your workplace,” Crouch said.

“Ask them how you could improve your leadership style, identify common aims your farm team share and for their ideas on changes to make your farm operate better. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas and see if they suit your farm.”

DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle, who is speaking at the webinar, said dairy is experiencing a significant workforce shortage and many farmers are looking at how to recruit the right staff in time for calving.

“We’re excited to have farmers share how they are making workplaces more appealing to current and future employees and what they’re doing to look after their teams. We know that the workforce shortage is putting significant pressure both on farm teams and on farmers trying to recruit new staff,” Mackle said.

Three other guest speakers will discuss ways to reshape farm workplaces into better working environments.

Canterbury dairy farmer John Totty will talk about how his farm’s participation in DairyNZ’s flexible milking project has changed life for his team, while maintaining good milk production.

Owl Farm demonstration manager Jo Sheridan will discuss how technology and innovation are being used to reduce pressure on their farm.

Experienced rural recruitment specialist and No8 HR director Lee Astridge will also share her recruitment knowledge and how farmers are developing and supporting their workers.

More: The DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum webinar on Attracting and Looking After Great People is at 7-8pm on Wednesday, April 20.

Farmers can register for the free webinar at www.dairynz.co.nz/ffseries 

The webinar recording and other Farmers’ Forum webinars will also be available to download via the web page.

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