Better Manage Employees With Extension

Motivated and engaged employees are key to the success of a business. UW-Madison Division of Extension is hosting webinars focused on strategies to engage employees in their work.

Employees are more likely to stay with employers who value their knowledge, while employers want their people to care about their job and complete tasks as assigned, according to Extension. 

Farm Management Fridays webinars are a part of Extension’s Farm Ready Research winter programming for farmers and ag professionals to improve business profitability and lifestyles through informed decision-making. There is no charge to participate in the sessions, but pre-registration is required to allow access to the session. Register online:

UW-Madison Dairy Science Professor Jennifer Van Os says Wisconsin dairy farmers have expressed a need for improving employee skills in cow handling.

“The principles for moving cows in a ‘low stress’ manner for both the animals and their handlers are well established, but how can we get these concepts to stick with employees?” she asks. “We are working on several projects to develop innovative tools for learning good practices for animal handling that will be interactive, engaging, and effective.”

February topics and presenters:

Feb. 4: Building Effective Training Programs that Engage Your Team

Understanding what motivates adult learners to learn can help build training efforts that have a lasting impact. Extension specialists Jim Versweyveld, John Shutske and Jennifer Van Os will discuss training tips and techniques that show employees the direct connection between the information being shared and their personal success on the job. They provide tips to make training and addressing issues interactive, show your employees the value and relevance, and get them excited about skill development.

Feb. 18: Employee Trust and Engagement through a Culture of Safety

Your employees may be viewing safety on the farm as an afterthought or even as an obstacle to getting work done. By creating a culture of safety, change happens through care and compassion versus reprimands and consequences. Farm managers lead by example and workers view safety as a priority. Extension specialists Jim Versweyveld and John Shutske will discuss how to help your workers feel comfortable advocating for safety, recognize good and bad safety practices, and challenge each other to work safely every day.

Farm Ready Research webinars continue until May 2022.