Management Matters

Building a High-Performing Team

Enhancing Trust and Competence in Your Staff

I see this not just in beekeeping circles; You hire someone and expect them to know the job and be good at it without any training. You then end up constantly slagging them off for not doing the job right or maybe you have been subject to this yourself as an apprentice.

 When employees are thrown into roles without proper training, it not only undermines their confidence but also erodes trust over time. This leads to micro-management becoming a symptom rather than a solution, further reducing your trust in them and creating a downward spiral. They eventually leave, and you have to start again. 

It becomes a vicious circle, leading to decreased morale and high turnover rates. This instantly reduces your potential to grow your business and leaves you stressed out, as many business tasks are not getting done.

Breaking the Cycle:

Competence can’t be bought straight off the shelf like a box of cornflakes. True competence takes years to craft. 
Surveys show that teachers, police, pilots, firefighters, vets, nurses, and doctors are the most trusted people. Why this? They train repeatedly, adding to their knowledge and skill base, which keeps them at the top of their game. We trust them, and they trust themselves to get the job done. 

If your confidence is low in your staff, it's likely their competencies are low in the areas that are important to your business. To fix this, you must train them in the competencies of your business. How can you trust your staff to perform at their best and make the right decisions when they haven't been taught what is right? Training and trust are inextricably linked. 

So, when your trust is low in your staff, ask yourself:

  •  How much time are you committing to training?
  •  Do you have a dedicated budget and plan set aside for professional development?
  • When did you last learn something new yourself?
  • How have you shared your learning with your team?
  • Have you established a culture of learning from one another?

The most trusted professionals always train; they never stop getting better at getting better. This is what makes them so trusted to get the job done.

Starting off on the Right Foot - Hiring Right:

Set out a professional development plan for you and your staff.
Set aside time for training and sharing of ideas. Use incentives like sending your top-performing staff on courses or scientific conferences to bring new knowledge and ideas into your business.

By investing in training, setting clear expectations, and fostering a positive company culture, you not only improve your trust in your staff, but productivity will improve as you create a workplace where employees feel valued and motivated.

Remember, trust is a mutual journey — as you trust your team's abilities, they reciprocate with dedication and loyalty, fuelling the success of your business.

Now, when it comes time to hire, you can communicate the incentives to attract the right staff, who will stick around as you can demonstrate a clear path for career progression.

Instead of taking years for a new employee to become a competent beekeeper learning from their mistakes, you can now shortcut the process by having standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all the processes you know work in your business and teaching these processes while they learn the nuances of detecting a sick or struggling hive.
To conclusion;
In today's competitive landscape, this is particularly important as, in many states, the minimum wage is set at a fairly high rate, even for migrant workers. With high wages, proficiency, and productivity are even more important when margins are tight.
 To get the best out of your staff, you must invest some time in training and develop trust in their ability to do the job correctly, and they must have trust that you react the right way when they do make a mistake as no one is perfect. Trust is a two-way street.

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