How to be a ‘‘Bloody Good Boss’’ virtual workshops were held by the Dairy Women’s Network last week, with the aim of ensuring dairy farming employers know what a good boss is, what is expected of them, and that they are implementing the changes needed to enhance their workplaces where it is needed.
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The workshops were originally held in person throughout the country but adapted to run as an online webinar series, and Dairy Women’s Network chief executive Jules Benton said they came at a great time despite Covid-19 setbacks, especially in Canterbury.

“The new season is kicked off by Moving Day which sees many farming employees and families around the country move their cows, equipment and families to new farms on June 1. This is also a time when farmers review their systems and team.”

Employment skills needed on farm were discussed in sessions designed to support the Good Boss campaign launched earlier this year in a sector-wide initiative from Federated Farmers, DairyNZ, Dairy Women’s Network and NZ Young Farmers.

“We have worked hard to ensure we can continue to provide our communities with good, informative, relevant knowledge so they can continue to enhance themselves, support their teams and their businesses from home. It is important we attract and retain great people within the dairy industry and offer a positive environment and employment opportunities.’’

Rebecca Miller is the business group leader for Ashburton’s Women’s Dairy Network and last year won four awards at the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards for her on-farm management strategy.

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She was part of the South Canterbury ‘‘Bloody Good Boss’’ webinar, focusing on people and teams.

‘‘The main lessons focused around identifying the roles and needs on farm, job descriptions, adverts, where to advertise, finding HR consultants for support, phone interviews, reference checks, interview questions, compliance and HR, preparing for a new team, health and safety and farm processes, payroll, weekly meetings and performance reviews,’’ she said.

“There are many ways to be a bloody good boss and we need to ensure farmers have access to the tools, resources and other farming leaders, to help them have better workplaces and [well] performing teams who are well recruited and supported and understand their roles and responsibilities.”

Mrs Miller owns and operates River Terrace Dairy and Ealing Pastures in Mid Canterbury.

She attributed her success to communication within the Dairy Women’s Network and the value of staff.

‘‘The Dairy Women’s Network is about connection and learning. The amount of invaluable advice and professionalism given to all women involved, it is unmatched.’’

Central Rural Life

The giant Holstein cow with spots arranged as a map of the world is designed to celebrate the farmer-owned cooperative’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

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