Navigating the First Day on the Job

It doesn’t matter what area of agriculture business you’re involved in. Chances are you’ve had to try and hire someone to fill a vacancy. And with spring planting just around the corner, finding quality employees on the farm is more important than ever. The question is, is your operation welcoming to them?

UW-Extension Farm Management Specialist, Jim Versweyveld, says there are simple things that you might be overlooking on the first day on the job that could undo all the work done to recruit those employees in the first place.

“Sometimes things seem pretty straightforward and basic to the employer. But to the employee, it could be all new information. So over-communicating is probably the side you want to air on with new hires,” he says.

From discussing basic expectations such as attire and safety protocols to clarifying logistical details like parking arrangements and meal breaks, the first day on the job sets the tone for the entire employment experience. Employers are encouraged to anticipate potential areas of confusion or apprehension and address them proactively.

Furthermore, the onboarding process extends beyond mere paperwork and administrative tasks. Employers are urged to foster a culture of safety and support by engaging in interactive training sessions and demonstrating genuine concern for their employees’ well-being.

“I encourage farm managers to approach safety not as a checklist of regulations but as a genuine commitment to the welfare of their workers. Employees pick up on whether their manager truly cares about their safety and comfort. That can profoundly impact their job satisfaction and retention.”