Post by Miss Gadget on Sept 23, 2011 3:36:36 GMT -8
Harvest HR 101: Getting the Best Out of Your Trimmers
or “How Not to be a Jackass Employer”
?by Kat Young, GroGroGadgets.com, maker of the Black Magic Odor Barrier Bag
A long growing season has passed and the harvest is in. A farmer might hope that his/her work is done and it is time to relax. But alas, the trim season is only beginning. All of those plants need to be processed by hand (sometimes with the aid of a machine) and packaged. When a farmer is dealing with a large harvest of more than a few plants this task can turn into a huge ordeal. The sudden influx of people working long hours in a confined area often becomes problematic and production suffers in terms of time and quality.
There are simple things that every gardener can do to promote a positive, productive and quality trim. Get the most out of your team of trimmers by providing a comfortable work area, promoting cooperation, and using human psychology to get the most desirable results.
Comfortable work environment
This seams like a no-brainer. A healthy working environment allows for a safe and comfortable trim season. I have worked in a wide variety of harvest situations so I can say from experience that it is actually rather rare to find growers that have spent much time considering their workers’ comfort. Most farmers are so focused on their crop, that things related to the well-being of the trimmers is the last thing on their mind.
This is a shame, because gross deficiencies in working conditions will almost always lead to turmoil among the workers, and ill will toward the employers. This hurts the productivity and security of the entire growing operation.
Here is the bare minimum (by common decency and law) that a grower should provide:
Access to a toilet and bathing facilities. If this means an outhouse and an outdoor shower, fine. Production will suffer if people have to run off and dig a hole somewhere. Access to clean modern amenities will contribute to trimmers’ longevity and loyalty. Be sure there is hot water and privacy so people actually use the shower. A clean trimmer will feel fresh and ready to work.
A comfortable working area. There should be sturdy tables and chairs for everyone and the work area should be flat. A worker with an aching back will suffer and not be able to last as long or as well as one with proper posture. Protect your workers from the elements if they are outdoors. This means mosquito nets and protection from heat and cold. Providing abundant bright overhead lighting is a must to help keep your trimmer's eyes from getting tired. Overnight lodging for workers should be away from the trim area, and be quiet and comfortable.
Provide for their nourishment and refreshment. Have drinking water available at all times. Making coffee and tea available is an easy way to boost productivity and moral. Be clear with your trimmers as to the food arrangements before they arrive, will you provide meals or should they bring their own? There should be coolers with ice or a refrigerator and an area to prepare food and wash hands. Providing snacks throughout the day will keep your workers energized and make them feel appreciated.
To be continued with two more sections…
-Promote Teamwork for a Positive Group Dynamic
-Human Psychology for Speed and Quality