DairyNZ Roster Builder

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Looking after your team is extremely important, making sure all of your staff members have regular and rostered time off will result in a more positive and productive work environment and will reduce the possibility of burnout.

A really useful tool that you can use to organise your farm roster is the DairyNZ Roster Builder. It allows you to play around with different options so that you can find the most efficient set up for your farm. You can access this tool by following the link below:

If you are already a user of this tool then there is some exciting news for you as well, DairyNZ have taken on board some of the feedback that they have received from users  Read More . . .

Farm Management Apps – The way of the future!

Monday, August 07, 2017

Do you have efficient farm management systems in place? Is your farm Health and Safety compliant? Are you looking for an easy way to manage both of these things? Well, there are a few apps appearing on the market that will help you to do just that.

Luckily for us, DairyNZ have done all of the hard work and completed a review of some of the most popular apps that are currently available; saving you time, so that you can get on and focus on your business! You never know, one of these apps may revolutionise your management systems and be the future of your farm, take a look at the link below and have a read for yourself:

  Read More . . .

Why are you farming?

Friday, June 23, 2017

As we head into the busy season on farm, it is important to ask yourself this question. Is it because of the business opportunities? Is it because of the lifestyle? Or, is it simply because you get to work outside every day? Whatever your reasons are for choosing this career pathway, it is important that you identify these motivations and goals. In doing so, this will influence your level of productivity, your overall health and wellbeing and your successes within the industry.

To put things into perspective, the introduction of the new season has seen fantastic weather, and during times like this, it’s a no brainer as to why we’re farming; everything is going to plan and our goals are in sight. Although, we all know that it’s not always a walk in the  Read More . . .

Effective Leadership

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The start of the 2017 season may have meant big changes for you in terms of your management responsibilities. You may have moved into a higher level managing position, or, you may be a farm owner who has employed staff for the first time. If you fit into either of these categories then it is vital that you understand the differences between being an effective manager and an effective leader, as they can often blur into one.

Even though the work environment on farm may be viewed as less formal than that of a corporate office structure, the same leadership qualities need to exist in order to create positive results for all parties involved. Management and leadership do not have to be used exclusive of one another,   Read More . . .

Employment Agreements - are you ready?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

As the new Dairy Season fast approaches, it is important that new staff members have Employment Agreements in place. 

Form and Content

  • Must be in writing
  • May contain such terms and conditions as the employee and employer think fit
  • Must contain:
  • Names of the parties
  • Description of the work to be performed
  • The agreed hours of work
  • Indication of where the work is to be carried out
  • An indication of the arrangements relating to the times the employee is to work
  • Wages or salary payable to the employee
  • Plain language dispute resolution clause
  • Employee protection clause
  • Should contain:   Read More . . .

Difficulties dismissing for foul language

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

A recent Employment Relations Authority determination demonstrates the risk of dismissing an employee for foul language when that language is consistent with the language used by others in the workplace. Where an employer wishes to change the workplace culture of using bad language, to avoid personal grievance risks, this should be done through a gradual culture changes process, rather than leading immediately to dismissing an employee for engaging in the same type of conduct which is tolerated for most other employees.

An employee was dismissed, among other things, for using foul language towards his supervisor. A disagreement arose as to whether the employee’s work was done for the day or not. The employee said that  Read More . . .

Mental Models - How we view employees and perspective employees

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Mental models play a huge part in our thinking and are based around the way we perceive or frame something in our mind – also known as our perspective. Mental models are our self-generating beliefs that arise from previous experiences and observations. In employment, the formation of mental models (that often happen without us realising) can set about to create attitudes within us which we may not naturally have.

Often when we are recruiting for new staff we hold onto or “learn” from our experiences with previous staff. So, if we had a bad experience it becomes easy to have an inherent view that all staff are bad. This is where we commonly hear comments like, “Oh John down the road had a young guy work for him and he was terrible, I don’t want that, so I’m  Read More . . .

Employment Agreements

Friday, May 08, 2015

The most important document in an employment relationship is the Employment Agreement. This document, which must be in writing, sets out the obligations of the parties and is the basis for their relationship. In most cases, it is the document that the employer and employee look to in order to define their responsibilities in case of a dispute and it is the document the Employment Relations Authority or Employment Court will first examine. Despite this, sometimes employers and employees may neglect the importance of this document. This is a particular issue in long-term employment relationships when employers may overlook updating or varying the agreement to reflect the changed role of the employee or the changed needs of the employer.

Employment Agreements can be Permanent, Fixed Term or Causal. Casual Agreements are best suited where the employee has no fixed pattern of work and the hours of work are decided on prior  Read More . . .

Successful Employment Relationships

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Farming Employers are no different to the CEO of a corporate business - they juggle the same demands that all have a significant impact on the core business! One of these functions is the management of people and building the capabilities of their team through review, growth and retention – How can we do things better?

Loss of staff knowledge when an employee exits the business will often have the greatest impact on farm results productivity and costs. There are many factors that can contribute to a high staff turnover, some of these include;
  • Burnout
  • Miss aligned expectations
  • Differing values
  • Lack of training or induction
  • Short-falls in frequent communication and feedback

In an effort to limit these influences as much as possible, and allow the team and farm the opportunity to succeed, it is in the best  Read More . . .


Wednesday, January 21, 2015


The interview is likely the most important conversation you will ever have with a potential Employer or Employee. It is the first chance to make a great first impression and to determine whether that person is the person you want to enter an Employment Relationship with and work alongside on farm. The interview is all about giving and gathering key information – how well this is executed could be the difference between the relationship progressing or not. Most importantly, it is about quantifying information; the skills, attributes, attitudes and working conditions needed by each party to assess if it will be the right fit for the people involved. Being prepared for an interview, for both the Employee and Employer, is critical to ensure all the required/desired information is obtained.

The Interviewee [Employees/Contractors]

Attending interviews can be daunting, but rather than fearing the interview process, approach it as an opportunity to grow and  Read More . . .