Feed Lot

AUG 2017

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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Managing people is commonly listed as one of the toughest re- sponsibilities of managers. They can handle production issues, weather, animal health, facility and other challenges as a regular part of their day, but when it comes to people, their frustration level seems to hit the red zone. Difficult people in particular consume tremendous amounts of time that could be used more ef- fectively in other areas. They are a distraction to other managerial du- ties and other employees, and a dis- ruption to many areas of produc- tion. These people may also be more prone to poor treatment of animals and equipment. some considerations: Your employees need to know the behavioral expectations for your company's culture and have a clear understanding of appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. These expectations must be con- sistently and constantly reinforced. Difficult employees have an ef- fect on the entire operation. One of my clients had a difficult em- ployee that was having a negative effect on everything, and everyone. He finally terminated that employ- ee, and he could not believe how well everyone got along for the next three months! Termination is not the solution for every situation, but it may be necessary. your Action steps: The key to dealing with difficult people is—don't put it off. When you see inappropriate behavior, mediocre performance or conflicts being created by an employee's attitude, take care of it. As my pas- tor likes to say, "You can deal with the two guppies you have today, or the 500 you will have next week." You can fix small problems or big problems. If you delay, your prob- lem just gets bigger and bigger. You can initially talk to the em- ployee about appropriate vs. inap- propriate behaviors and attitudes and the effect that it has on their coworkers. Be sure that if you are pointing out their inappropriate be- haviors be sure to give an example of a more appropriate response or action. Some people simply don't know how to behave in certain workplace situations. If your initial actions don't get the desired results, plan your dis- cussion and document your key points in writing. Use examples you have seen personally so there can 22 FEED•LOT  August 2017 MANAGEMENT Managing Difficult Employees By Don Tyler, Tyler & AssociATes u

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