Every day we all make decisions and choices that provide a return to us in some way or another - every day, most of these are small and part of what we do to survive and get us through our work day (the payoff that we stay healthy, sustained and get what we need to get done and there we have the return).
Sometimes the return on something is not always clear – and fails to be communicated and understood by people.
In addition, we all focus on different things, we all have our own areas of specialty and keen interest which we default to focusing on in any given situation.
For instance, to hold and feed lambs for an extra fortnight we take the risk of price movement and the cost of investing in extra feed. The return (hopefully!) is in the increased value per head.
To send our staff on a grazing course we take the risk of the cost of the course and time away from the farm, the return being increased knowledge and new learning for grazing management for the business, and the development of that person.
The former example can be objectively represented in a dollar/time relationship and risk assessment.
The latter is a bit harder. We don’t have a value to put on implementation of new practices and staff development.
We speak anecdotally about such things, which is great, but it is harder to build an objective case for it, and hence many of us find ourselves taking a ‘leap of faith’ in making such decisions.
We fear what we don’t know. When I see people becoming frustrated because ‘he just won’t let me go and do that’, or ‘I don’t know why they didn’t want to be involved in this’, I often wonder how well they have communicated the idea.
I’d hazard a guess it’s pretty poorly!
To these people, in one form or another, I try to ask: ‘what was in it for them and did they clearly understand it?’.
If we feel like people have understood what we have said and still declined an offer or request, we walk away feeling good about it and that we have been given the chance to put our case forward.
From individual salary/pay expectations to minor input decisions, everyone needs to understand and appreciate the value proposition and what it means to their business or the business for which they work.
If it doesn’t have a decent return (or reward), I would suggest it’s likely not worth investing in.
To my fellow Generation Y’s and younger: please give serious thought to what you are doing and asking for, in a broader sense than yourselves. Bounce your thoughts off someone to get some insight and perhaps get a reality check!
To Xennials and older: please help out your next generation, don’t throw your hands up, explain why or why not.
- Dan Korff is Future Farmers’ Network chairman.