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Managing people

The effective management of personnel goes beyond labour hire and involves leading, motivating and encouraging people. Performance evaluations are also required and possibly the management of disciplinary action.

Each farm employee is different and demonstrates differing capabilities, work habits, attitudes, personality, ambitions and willingness to accept responsibility. Likewise, each enterprise is different in its organisation, management and labour needs.

Managing people is vital to business success and should be carefully considered when formulating the overall business plan.

Employing people

The Australian agricultural industry is facing a labour shortage and this means that farm businesses are competing with other employers for labour. To be successful in attracting and retaining good staff, farm enterprises must consider employing people in the context of:

  • Attracting effective and skilled workers by effectively communicating the nature of the position, including the position's responsibilities and the monetary and non-monetary rewards associated with employment.
  • Ongoing management of the employee and working conditions to ensure job satisfaction and therefore retention.
  • Meeting legal obligations such as superannuation, wages, taxes and insurances.

Attracting, employing, managing and retaining skilled and effective employees is essential for the growth and continued development of a business and the Australian agricultural industry overall.

Occupational health and safety

Employers have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for their employees. Not only does this contribute to job satisfaction and employee tenure, it is a legal obligation under individual state or territory legislation. Agriculture and livestock production provides a physical and, at times, dangerous work environment, so occupational health and safety is an issue that cannot be ignored.

Succession planning

Succession planning is more than the transfer of assets when the business owners retire or pass away, it is an evolving process that ensures the continuation of a business through generations or through layers of management.

Not all businesses require a succession plan as the intention or opportunity to pass a business on may not exist, however, for those that do, succession planning is best addressed as part of the business planning process and not avoided until it is too late.