Upcoming workshop to tackle staff shortages

Published 19 April 18

Nollaig HeffernanWhile the current labour shortage facing agriculture has been well reported, some experts argue that this is partly due to a shortage of good employers.

Independent business consultant Dr Nollaig Heffernan will share her tips for becoming an employer of choice and improving staff recruitment and retention at an upcoming AHDB event in Lanarkshire on 3 May.

“We’re really lucky to have secured Nollaig to speak at this event, she is highly respected for her expertise on staff management and leadership,” says AHDB Dairy Knowledge Exchange Manager Iain Pirie, who organised the event. “She will challenge the assumptions of farmers attending and give them real practical advice on how to become an employer of choice attracting and retaining high quality staff.

“The event is suitable not just for dairy farmers, but any agriculture business manager looking to improve their practices in this area.”

Based in Ireland, Nollaig has spent many years working in the field of leadership and workplace psychology, and says that the best businesses have leaders who are self-aware, interested in people, eager to improve the business and have a strong understanding of their own dispensability. They also invest in their own personal development as well as their team’s.

She says: “Professional development is critical and while employers have strong opinions about whether to train their staff or not, they are often surprised to hear that they should look at their own training first and invest in their own ongoing professional development especially in the disciplines of management and leadership.

“A critical differentiator between good and poor employers is the willingness to invest in their staff as an asset. This involves providing and or paying for skills training, not begrudging time off to do the training and ensuring a supportive environment that has a tolerance for trial and error in the initial learning phases.”

As well as covering professional development, the workshop will also focus on defining business roles and responsibilities, setting standards and attracting and recruiting ideal candidates.

The event will be held at the Radstone Hotel, Larkhall, ML9 2TZ on Thursday 3 May from 10.30am to 1.30pm; Dairy Pro points are available for those attending. The event is free and lunch is provided, farmers should register by contacting the KE Events Hub on 01904 771216 or at ke.events@ahdb.org.uk.