Knowing what to do in the maternity pen is one thing, but actually doing it, and convincing others to do it is another.
To follow up on our last post about what a clean maternity pen environment should look like, in this post we are going to talk about how to get it there and how to make sure others follow protocol too.
- Make it as easy as possible!
- The easier it is, the easier it will be to convince people to do it. We made cleaning and sanitation easy for our employees by adding multiple dropline sprayers with an automatic system that injects DK-ll at the proper level every time. That way, there is always a hose close that you can grab to clean up.
- Make the importance of the calves future wellbeing known.
- Make sure everyone understand the implications of a dirty calf pen, sick calves. The more they understand the WHY the easier it will be to get people to follow along.
- Post protocols.
- You can’t tell someone something and expect them to remember. As crazy as that might seem, it just won’t work most times.
- Make them short and easy to understand, clearly outlining each step of the process, even the things that seem like “common sense”.
- Protocols should be posted at each work space, and should be updated as thing change.
- Consider handing out a protocol binder at the start of employment to help the employee remember their jobs and how to do them. Laminate the sheets!
- Make a schedule.
- Pick days where extra cleaning can get done. Have a list of extra jobs available at all times for your maternity people to work on.
- Things like cleaning the floor in the milk house, or cleaning door handles can go a long way for the calves.
- You don’t get what you don’t check!
- This is probably my least favorite part about being a manager, but it is a necessary evil to say the least.
- Just because you have done all the things above, does not mean someone will do them. You have to check in, and you have to follow up.
- Consider taking photos of things that are not the way you want them, so they have a clear example of what is not allow, then you can show them what is expected of them.
- Get to know your employees.
- Find out how they learn best, and how the understand best. That might be a list, verbal, or even a text message reminder.
- Find out how they best understand feedback. Not everyone is going to take well to a photo of their poor job being shown to them, maybe they prefer a different method of delivery for unmet expectations.
- Find creative ways to reward them when things are going well. Food, drinks, or gift cards can mean a lot!
We hope this helps you and your employees on a path to newfound success and communication. If you are looking for extra support, please check out our calf barn consulting options to see if there is anything we can do for you and your calves today!