Tips to Help Your Employees Become Team Members

(Dr. Nels Lindberg) Hello folks, Dr. Nels Lindberg here with Production Animal Consultation and Animal Medical Center out of Great Bend, Kansas. Today, we want to talk about people. People is something we have to deal with every day, whether you employ them or they’re part of your team, or they’re not part of your team, or you don’t employ them, you still deal with people on a daily basis, inside your operation or outside of your operation. Today here, we’ve got Luke Knight here. We’re at Knight Feedlot in Lyons, Kansas. Luke here’s the manager of this feedlot. As we think about people, Luke, tell me what is your number one issue or challenge on a daily basis or that you deal with here? (Luke Knight) Well, I think the hardest part for me has been getting people to buy into what we’re trying to do. I think it’s important for me as a manager, to lead my people in the direction that we’re trying to go and be clear to them what’s expected of them. My biggest challenge is then to try to show people the direction we’re wanting them to go. (Nels) Yes, when we think about that, it’s about expectations and clearly telling them their expectations, as well as sharing what the yard’s purpose, or vision, or goal is, and that is our why – why we do what we do here. At Knight Feedlot, our why and most beef producers is we produce great, awesome, wholesome beef, right? (Luke) Yes. (Nels) As we think about expectations, what’s one way that you do those things or relay those to them and how do they know? (Luke) I think the easiest thing to do is just set them down. Explain what direction we’re trying to go as a yard, and what their role is, and how they can help us achieve that goal that we’re after, just being very clear with them, no gray area, just black and white, explaining how they can contribute and what we expect on a daily basis. (Nels) Yes, that’s perfect. In our setting, in any setting – in ag business – whatever it might be, we all have teams that we work with, again whether we employ them or not employ them but we need to think about sitting down with our people. Sitting down with them on a regular basis, weekly, monthly, whatever it might be, daily even but we need to help our people understand their ‘why.’ Why do they do what they do every day? We need to share what is our purpose with our people so they can know what their purpose is and what the operation’s purpose is so they can help carry out those goals and that process that is about our expectations. Once you start lining out those things, what their why is, what our purpose is, and our visions and expectations, I think if you do that regularly, routinely, tell them time and time again, awesome things can begin to happen. Give those things some thought. Luke, [laughs], keep after it. Thanks for your time everybody and give those words some thought, and you guys keep after it too. Thank you.

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