HR Best Practices Series
Week 4 – Training and Development:
A workforce of well-trained employees ploughs the ground for high performance on your farm.
- To retain workers, reduce turnover costs, and save time, it is critical to set up new hires to succeed by ensuring they receive proper training from the start.
- Ongoing training and upskilling of your workforce will encourage creativity, bringing in new ideas.
- Employees want to know what was expected of them, why it is needed, and how to do it. They also want to be trained by someone who knows their stuff so ensure you train your trainers.
Onboarding: Provide clear direction and training to set up new hires for success. Employees with adequate training are more able to perform in their job well. It gives them a solid understanding of their duties, and in turn builds confidence and improves their performance. Using the same onboarding process for all new workers will help them fit in and create continuity within your workforce. Keen employees will want to be busy, so giving them achievable tasks early on is a good way to make new hires comfortable and gain confidence.
Consistency: A robust training and development program ensures that employees have consistent training and background knowledge. When all employees are aware of the expectations and procedures of the business, it will increase efficiencies. A training program will also strengthen skills where improvement is needed. Having employees with similar skills and knowledge will help reduce any weak links who rely on others to pick up slack. Providing consistent training also enables workers to take over for one another as needed.
Encourage employees to pursue training and development opportunities. This will show employees you are committed to them, improving satisfaction and morale. If a worker shows interest in learning something new, carve out the time to support that interest. Provide a training path that is relevant and practical. Weaving a “life-long training” philosophy into the workplace culture will increase growth opportunities—for your employees and in turn your farm. Be sure to ask your employees what their training needs are. They will appreciate your interest and provide valuable feedback about where improvements could be made.
Utilize funding opportunities. Many training and development programs are completely funded through various programs, so be sure to investigate what is available. NSFA offers Workplace Education courses. An online Training Marketplace is still in development, but in the meantime NS Skills Online has many free courses. The Farm Technician trade is under development and will help satisfy for the industry’s need for middle-management training. As always, the CAHRC AgriHR Toolkit is great resource.