Monday, 08 January 2018 08:55

Key tools to help improve your workplace

Written by  Jane Muir

It's not always easy making sure your staff enjoy coming to work, right?

DairyNZ people team leader Jane Muir shares some of the evidence-based tools we’ve created to help keep your team happy, healthy and productive.

Many farmers are keen to improve their work environment but aren’t sure where to start. Before we look at the tools available, let’s consider what makes for a good dairy farm workplace.

The Sustainable Dairying: Workplace Action Plan outlines five pillars: balanced and productive work time; fair remuneration; wellness, wellbeing, health and safety; effective teamwork and rewarding careers.

These are equally important but at DairyNZ we’re most focused on achieving change in two of them. We want to help farmers enjoy a balanced and productive work time, and assist with making some gains in wellness, wellbeing, and health and safety.

If our sector can improve in these two areas, we’ll end up having more of the people we need on our dairy farms – people who are capable, reliable, willing and respectful.

Balanced and productive work time

Below are some tips and actions you could take to make positive change on your farm.

• Create different roster options quickly using the DairyNZ roster builder at

• Check out our review of different timesheet apps at Keeping timesheets is a legal requirement but also confirms the actual hours being worked – a necessary starting point if you want to get more efficient.

• Find and remove operational waste (e.g. time, equipment, production) from your farm system by taking DairyNZ’s six-step waste challenge at

• Do things easier, better, faster and safer while delivering results (profitability, farm systems and work environment) by participating in a FarmTune course with your team. It’s a significant time commitment but you won’t look back. Visit

Wellness, wellbeing, health and safety

• Find practical ways to keep people safe onfarm by checking out our new web pages on health and safety at

• Enquire about a GoodYarn workshop ( This will help you recognise and respond appropriately to friends, family, farming colleagues or customers who are suffering from stress or mental illness.

Key points

1. Good work environments attract and retain good people.

2. Good people increase your chances of a successful farming business.

3. Save time by using the tools that exist; you don’t need to start from scratch.

*Look out for this article and other interesting on-farm management stories in Getting the Basics Right 2018 issue arriving in your mail boxes soon.


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