Good to Great - Training
What makes a good producer great? Over the next few weeks we will be covering 5 key qualities that push good producers to be great producers. These qualities can be applied to everyone from the back-yard farmer to those with large calf ranches.
The second quality we will be discussing is training. If we expect our employees, or even ourselves to succeed, we need to provide the training and the tools to do so. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Arlindo Gomes, a farm manger in Southern Idaho. Arlindo’s parents immigrated to California before he was born and his father took a job milking cows on a dairy. While growing up Arlindo’s summers were spent shadowing his father on the dairy. Arlindo mentioned how lucky he has been his entire life to have good trainers and mentors that were willing to take the time to teach him on the dairy, and in his professional life. Here are some thoughts regarding training that he shared with me.
Question #1: What methods have you found most effective for training employees?
Arlindo’s Response: I feel you should act as the example. Understand yourself how to do the job before you can teach anyone. Then make sure they know how and understand how to do the job themselves. Allow them to take ownership, and let them feel the manager and owner trust them. They can now teach someone else.
Question #2: As a manager what training for yourself have you found most beneficial? (personality tests, sales training, communication etc.)
Arlindo’s Response: I have been self-taught and self-motivated from a young age. I have really been blessed to have good mentors. Growing up in the dairy industry, I was surrounded with knowledgeable people that are willing to share knowledge and time to teach me.
Question #3: How do you follow up on training and create accountability for the employees?
Arlindo’s Response: First thing I do when I get to the farm, is I talk to the employees. Without them I can’t get the job done. I can visually see what they are doing, I do an evaluation while driving.
It is important to be very direct, and for teaching purposes I let them fail on purpose. I ask them how things are going, and hint that I can see they are slacking. I give them a chance to improve and if they don’t, then I just fire them. The other team members become aware of this and know that I am watching. Then they start accountability with each other and in the group.
It really is important to trust them and help them build their culture. We all want to apply ourselves and succeed. Just because their culture is different doesn’t mean they can’t succeed or be accountable. Build the trust and they will rise to expectations.
I treat everyone as a team, each member has a purpose, and each is important for the end goal. I bring everyone in every 2-3 months, for a meeting and remind them that no matter what your job is it is as important to the whole team. If one fails they all fail.
It was a lot of fun to hear Alrindo’s thoughts on training! Be watching for more interviews about the key qualities of Good to Great over the next few weeks!
Written by Mariah Gull, M.S.