Bulletin #4807, Farm Coaching to Support Farm-Family Communication: Session 3
Goal of S3: Highly individual based on specific goals and needs of Communication Plan. Activities selected if appropriate.
Review Homework from S2.
⇒ Activity: Roles and Responsibilities
- What jobs does each person do?
- How does staff know who to go to for what? Where/how is this communicated? (Employee manual, orientation, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs))
- Which jobs are wonderful? Which ones are slogs?
- How to minimize slogs and plan for more wonderful?
- Which do you like to do alone? Together?
- Are there seasonal shifts (ie: from transplanting & planting to harvest)? How do these change/impact daily and seasonal schedules?
⇒ Activity: Identify and/or develop a few SOPs (e.g. hiring, farm stand management, cleanliness, vegetable processing, crew meetings, microgreen production)
⇒ Activity: A ranking tool to assess and evaluate opportunities/choices/changes
⇒ Activity: Plan a Team Building Meeting for/with farm crew
- What are the goals of the meeting?
- Have each crew member do a SWOC and share with group?
- Plan for crew meetings through the busy season.
- Do crew members need role clarification?
- Does a particular area of the farm need a whole crew troubleshooting session?
- Are there policies that need refining, discussion, development?
- Does the crew need help with disagreements, grievances?
- Craft an agenda and materials list based on the findings from the above questions.
- SOP article from North Carolina State Extension
⇒ Activity: Craft a Communication Plan. (This may be saved for S4 or done at S3 with an amount of time for implementation prior to S4)
A Communication Plan might serve the farm team in:
- Prioritizing tasks
- Making financial decisions
- Managing staff
- Planning off-farm work
- Planning for childcare
- Brainstorm the following parts of a Communication Plan:
- What (meetings for prioritizing, meetings with financial focus, staff/management meetings, personal needs like fitness, reading, family time, etc.)
- Where (on-farm, over dinner out, etc.)
- Who (Managers? Family? Crew?)
- When (Daily, weekly, monthly, annually)
- How (Email reminders? Farm calendar as a communication tool?)
- Any from S1 and/or S2 that are applicable
- Write up a division of labor SOP for staff so everyone knows:
- Their job description, expectations and “chain of command”
- Which manager/farmer is responsible for which tasks
- How to communicate about that subject (email, text, in person, etc.)
- Contact specific support people/organizations (Small Business Development Center, Insurance company, lawyer, etc.)
- Coaches model answering the question “How did I do?” Expressing appreciation and correcting any gaffs, oversights, unintentional harms, etc., that may have occurred. Farmers are invited to do the same.
Closing: Plan next meeting time and place
Send out S3 Notes 5-7 days after S3 meeting
Send out S4 Agenda 5-7 days before S4 meeting
Example of a weekly plan of contact, meetings, farm needs, work schedules:
|Person A||Work||On Farm||Work||Work||Work|
|Person B||Work at Flower Operation||Harvest Day||Work at Flower Operation||Harvest Day||On Farm|
|Person C||Fitness Class||Fitness Class||Farmers’
|Person D||Preschool with child|
|Farm Needs – Farm||15-minute Farm Meeting|
|Farm Meeting||CSA Newsletter||Financials
Big Project Day?