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PUBLISHED BY

BUILDING RESILIENCE A guide to planning for the future, sponsored by

Inside your building resilience magazine

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Looking after wellbeing and mental fitness is crucial Why time out is essential and how to make sure you get it

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Motivating your team towards business goals Team resilience: having a plan in place is key

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Shape Your Farming Future sponsored by

Eight core things winning teams do well Creating an open culture where everyone has a say


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Introduction

‘It is more important than ever to collaborate and help one another’

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armers are used to battling on and working all hours in all conditions, but being kind to ourselves and finding time to rest and recharge is essential for our health, our employees, relationships and, ultimately, our business success. Simply put, a positive life-farm balance is critical to living and farming well. Key to this is understanding that being ‘resilient’ does not mean simply ploughing on and never taking a break. I t m e a n s ta k i n g ca re o f ourselves at times of stress, but in-between these times too, so that we can more easily deal with what life and farming throws at us in a healthy way. It also means recognising when we are struggling or feeling overwhelmed and knowing it is okay to reach out, talk to someone and ask for help. There is no shame in this. It takes huge strength to deal with mental ill-health and great courage to talk about it, so we thank the people in this supplement who have done just that in order to help others. Slowly, farming is waking up to the issue, but we have to keep tackling the outdated, misinformed assumptions that create stigma.

Instead, we need to develop a culture in farming that promotes positive mental and physical health. As one step towards that, this booklet is packed with advice on how farmers can look after themselves and their teams, and drive their businesses forward. As we look ahead, a changing environment and food economy

brings about uncertainty, so it is more important than ever to collaborate and help one another. We are all connected by food, so let’s work together and support each other. Caroline Mason Head of agriculture, Co-op

For more information, visit FGinsight.com/SYFF


Building personal resilience

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Looking after wellbeing and mental fitness is essential for dealing with stress and running a strong business, but what is resilience and how do you build it? The next few pages are packed with experience, advice and resources.

Building personal resilience: staying happy and healthy

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ude McCann, chief executive or Northern Irish farming charity Rural Support, says: “Resilience is not just the ability to bounce back to where we were after experiencing stress. It is the ability to bounce forward from it.” We will all experience shocks and disruptions in our lives and everyone has different thresholds in mental health and what causes stress in one person might not in another, he explains. “Farming is particularly prone to shocks. It could be a TB outbreak one year, low prices another, and then something else unforeseen. “When that mounting pressure builds, depression can set in and it becomes very hard to deal with these issues.” Taking steps to build and maintain resilience is not always about big things, he adds. “It could be something as simple as inviting friends round every Friday

Jude McCann

Taking time to appreciate things around you, such as nature, is important to personal wellbeing.

for fish and chips so you surround yourself with positive people.” As well as maintaining a strong social network around them, resilient people tend to keep things more in perspective, says Mr McCann. He says: “It is about concentrating on things we can have an impact on, rather than those that are out of our control.” For some people, taking time to put things into perspective could be as simple as having a cup of tea, going away for the weekend or an evening with family. Taking time to appreciate things around you, such as nature, is also important.

Shape Your Farming Future sponsored by

If things get too much, it is important people put their hands up and ask for help, says Mr McCann. This could include employing a business consultant, accountant or seeing a therapist. “Resilience is a life-long thing you have to work at; you don’t just reach it and that is it. Some people will be resilient in some parts of their life, but things can easily change with circumstances.” This means we should make the most of the good times by building up financial and emotional cushions to help us through tougher moments.


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Building personal resilience

Top 10 tips to combat stress

Poor concentration and difficulty in making decisions can be symptoms of stress and depression.

active: Exercise will not 1butBemake your stress disappear, it will reduce some of the

emotional intensity that you are feeling and clear your thoughts. Take control: There is a solution to any problem. If you remain passive, thinking ‘I can’t do anything about my problem’, your stress will get worse. That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing. Connect with people: A good support network of colleagues, friends and family you can talk to will help ease your troubles, find solutions to problems and see things differently. Have some ‘me time’: We often work long hours and do not spend enough time doing things we really enjoy, but we all need to socialise, relax and exercise. Challenge yourself: Learn something new, such as a new language or sport. Learning helps make you more emotionally resilient, arming you with knowledge and making you feel energised to do things, rather than passive things, such as watching TV all the time. Avoid unhealthy habits: The worst thing you can do is turn to alcohol, smoking or caffeine as a way of coping. In the long-term, it will not solve your problems and could ultimately create new ones. Tackle the cause of your stress.

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SOURCE: NHS.UK/CONDITIONS/STRESS-ANXIETY-DEPRESSION/REDUCE-STRESS

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Help other people: Evi7 dence shows people who help others, through activities

such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient. Helping people who are in situations worse than your own will help put your problems into perspective. If you do not have time to volunteer, try to do someone a small favour every day. Work smarter, not harder: Working smarter means prioritising tasks, concentrating on things which will make a difference. Leave the least important tasks to last and accept that your to-do list will never be finished. Try to be positive: Look for the positives in life and things you are grateful for. At the end of each day, write down three things that went well or for which you are grateful. Accept the things you cannot change: Changing a difficult situation is not always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over and accept the ones you cannot change.

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Stress and

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e alert to symptoms in yourself and others around you. To know what to look out for, farming mental health charity YANA has compiled the following list: Low mood – sadness, frequently tearful or unable to cry

For more information, visit FGinsight.com/SYFF


Building personal resilience

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depression – signs to look for Anxiety – worrying obsessively or worrying out of proportion to the problem Changes in appetite – loss of appetite or increased appetite Disturbed sleeping patterns Lack of energy/feeling tired Reliance on alcohol

Lack of interest in family and friends Unable to enjoy hobbies as before Loss of sex drive Confused thinking, poor concentration and difficulty in making decisions

Shape Your Farming Future sponsored by

Negative thoughts A change in personality, such as unusual aggression YANA can be contacted on its helpline 0300 323 0400, or for more information, go to yanahelp.org


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Building personal resilience Case study: ‘We need to recognise when to ask for help’ MORE than a decade ago, farm business consultant, David (not his real name) was climbing the ladder as a successful farm manager, when a series of events tipped him over into mental ill-health. The estate he worked for was turned over to contract farmers and he found himself under huge pressure looking after his staff, who were about to lose their jobs. He then faced a switch into self-employment and took on more work than he could cope with. A few years later, he faced two serious operations due to physical ill-health, then in quick succession, a divorce and the loss of a parent. It was too much for anyone to cope with, and he reached what medical professionals call a ‘tipping point’, an accumulation of stressful life events. He says: “I do not think you go into depression quickly. It comes from a build-up of things. I lost enthusiasm for life and for a lot of things.

Exercise

“I stopped exercising as much, partly because of my physical injury, even though I had been very fit and played sport at a high level. “I started hiding away and I found it difficult to finish work. I couldn’t concentrate and I bingewatched TV. I procrastinated and started cancelling meetings, which was something I had never done before, but I couldn’t face people. My anxiety increased dramatically and work became overwhelming.”

Taking time off regularly can help deal with stressful times.

With support, David sought help and found that talking therapy helped deal with a certain amount of emotion, but he says a strong network of friends, family and colleagues who will listen is critical. Things have gradually improved, but he still gets depressive periods, so maintaining his wellbeing is paramount. He was also supported by Focussed Farmers (focussedfarmers.com), which introduced him to meditation. He now uses an app, ‘Head Space’, to do 15 minutes of meditation every morning. He says: “Meditation trains the mind to be present and not be flitting around all over the place. “It relaxes and focuses me and stops me revisiting all the crap. It has a stabilising effect, particularly if I am feeling anxious or stressed.” David tries to be kind to himself, as he says he is often

his own worst critic. He knows he cannot avoid stress completely, such as dealing with busy Basic Payment Scheme periods, but instead believes ‘it is about recognising it is a busy period, and not careering onto the next thing straight after’. He is also trying to take time off more regularly.

Support

Having people around him who are supportive has been hugely important. He says: “The people around us need to observe how we are behaving. Sometimes we need to be told we are not right. “I think in the past I might have seen getting help as an affront to my manliness. I do not think that now. We all need to recognise episodes of life where things are getting overwhelming, and we need to ask for help.” For David’s full story, including how he looks after his wellbeing, visit FGinsight.com/SYFF

For more information, visit FGinsight.com/SYFF


Building personal resilience

Help is at hand for mental ill-health.

Help and resources

THE Farming Community Network (England and Wales) Tel: 03000 111 999 E-helpline: chris@fcn.org.uk General email: help@fcn.org.uk Web: fcn.org.uk Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI, England and Wales) Tel: 0808 281 9490, 01865 724 931 Email: info@rabi.org.uk Web: rabi.org.uk Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI) Tel: 0300 111 4166 Email: rsabi@rsabi.org.uk Web: rsabi.org.uk

Rural Support (N. Ireland) Tel: 0800 138 1678, (028) 8676 0040 Email: info@ruralsupport.org.uk Web: ruralsupport.org.uk Samaritans Tel: 116 123 Email: jo@samaritans.org Web: samaritans.org Papyrus – HOPELINEUK Support for young people in the prevention of suicide Web: papyrus-uk.org MIND Information and support about mental health Web: mind.org.uk

Helpful apps ‘Aware’ awaremeditationapp.com and ‘Head Space’ headspace.com (meditation) ‘Tackle Your Feelings’, tackleyourfeelings.com ‘Staying Alive’ (suicide prevention), prevent-suicide. org.uk/stay_alive_suicide_ prevention_mobile_phone_ application.html Mental health apps recommended by the NHS, nhs.uk/apps-library/category/ mental-health TV ‘Royal Team Talk’, men’s mental health, BBC iPlayer

For a full list of organisations, visit yanahelp.org/rural-directory.pdf; for a list of books about mental health, visit yanahelp.org/additional-help.html Shape Your Farming Future sponsored by

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Taking time out

Why time out is essential and Farmers are used to battling on regardless if they feel physically or wellbeing and also good business sense. So how can you carve out time

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arming has unavoidable busy periods, such as lambing and harvest, but working at this level continuously is not healthy or sustainable for you, your team, relationships or, ultimately, your business productivity, says Heather Wildman, agricultural and personal business coach at Saviour Associates. She says: “We have a culture in farming that if you are not working hard all the time, you are lazy, but it is about working smart, not hard. And we should respect people who have that balance.� She believes being organised is a key component for people to allow themselves time out. Here, she gives 10 top tips on how to go about taking time out:

things: Have an hon1thingsAssess est conversation about where are. Look at your satisfac-

tion and time spent on work, personal relationships and yourself. Ask yourself what you are doing it all for and if it is worth it. Are you working towards something or just keeping your head above water? Do you want to/can you stay in farming? This is a good way to start thinking about what needs to change. Plan and communicate: Time is wasted by a lack of planning and communication. Farmers are incredible multi-taskers, but often keep everything in their heads, leaving their team to react to things at the last minute.

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Being organised is a key component for people to allow themselves time out.

Get organised by creating a wall planner of your different enterprises on an annual timeline, for example, arable crops, grass, sheep, beef, milking; the list can be endless. Put in annual events, such as calving, vaccinations, inspections, tax meetings, fertilising and harvest. Use this in regular team meetings to look at the upcoming quarter so everyone knows what they are doing. Book holidays. Staff should have at least one week off every quarter to keep them rested, motivated and productive. Create a farm manual so you can more easily hand responsibility over.

Work smarter not harder: 3 It might sound counter-intuitive, but you might get more done if you

work less. Consider how tiredness and stress might be affecting you and your team’s performance. Assess your enterprises. Are there some that do not make financial sense but are soaking up time? Can you cut these out so you have more free time for yourself and money-making enterprises? Are you using everyone in your team to their best ability? Have you got a family member who can help, for example, with bookkeeping?

For more information, visit FGinsight.com/SYFF


Taking time out

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how to make sure you get it mentally tired. But downtime is essential to to better yourself for the greater good?

We have a culture in farming that if you are not working hard all the time, you are lazy

HEATHER WILDMAN

Get things out of your head: 4 Set a daily finish time and use the last 30 minutes to decompress and reflect. Write everything that has gone well and jobs that are nagging you. Prioritise these and write an achievable to-do list for the next day. Most people plan 120 per cent of their time, so they are always chasing their tails and feeling like they are failing. Try to be realistic about what you can do in one day or week. Use time off wisely: When you get downtime, such as family meals, use it. Leave your phone in the office and try to be present with your loved ones.

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Plan date nights with your partner where you don’t talk about work. So you don’t fill free time with work, have a jar of ideas of fun or relaxing activities you can do at the last minute. Book time off: Put days off in the diary and stick to them. If you are anxious about leaving the farm, consider a farm swap with another family, or ask whoever is left in charge to send you certain information while you are away so you can relax. Use professionals: Money might be tight, but would it be more financially beneficial to

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Shape Your Farming Future sponsored by

employ someone to do jobs you don’t have time for or find stressful? This could free you to concentrate on more important jobs and recharge you so you are ultimately more productive. Find a quiet space: If finding time is proving difficult, find a quiet place you can go to in times of stress to unwind for 10-15 minutes. Collect those debts: Get invoices sent out so you can stop worrying so much about money and chasing your tail.

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Taking time out

Case study: What to do when pressure builds YOUNG farmer and father of two, Michael (not his real name), says he is slowly learning how to have a better work-life balance, but it doesn’t come easy. Since he took over the family farm in south west Scotland, it has been a steep learning curve involving long hours, as he has converted the business from beef to dairy, free-range eggs and renewables. Last year, the pressure and stress built up and he became angry, which manifested in irritated outbursts and silence. He says: “It got to a point where I wasn’t happy with what people might think of me. Five o’clock was crunch time; I had maybe started at 5am and would come in hungry and tired, which is a killer combination.” He became demotivated and his employees’ morale dropped too. He says: “My wife told me in the nicest way possible that I couldn’t keep wishing my time away thinking that if I could just get this next job done, it would be okay.” He called in Heather Wildman, Heather Wildman, agricultural and personal business coach at Saviour Associates, for advice.

Achievements

She encouraged him to finish work 30 minutes early and spend that time writing down the day’s achievements, and anything else which was cluttering his head.

He says: “Downloading before going into the house meant I had a better approach. In the first month I saw big improvements.” Things got busy again and he says he is still trying to work out how to get the balance. However, he now books holidays and days off, works at night less frequently, and him and his wife have evenings without phones or TV, where they talk and catch-up. Instead of using alcohol

to unwind, he takes his motorbike out with friends. He says: “Hanging onto a motorbike for dear life means you cannot help but live in the moment.” Cuddles from his children also help him relax. “Farmers measure themselves by how hard they work. There is this stupid macho mentality about it, so to think about ‘me time’, you have to think slightly differently to a traditional farmer.”

For more information, visit FGinsight.com/SYFF


Motivators & demotivators

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As a leader, your role is to set the direction of travel, then motivate your team towards those goals. To do this, you need to understand what makes you and your staff tick. Roger Pemberton, business coach at ActionCOACH, explains.

Identifying motivators and demotivators

Engaging motivations

A leader is the ‘chief story-telling officer’, who relates the overall team/ business goals to each person’s motivations. Why is it relevant and important to that individual? Hold group meetings to set vision and culture, and monthly individual reviews to discuss what motivates that person, how their work can reflect this and review progress. Informal weekly chats will also help.

What makes you tick?

For you to invest the time, effort and energy to take your team with you, you need your own motivation to be

high and for you to see the goals as significant to you too. This is likely to involve selfactualisation; what is in it for you?

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Selfactualisation: achieving one’s full potential, including creative activities

Self-fulfillment needs

Esteem needs: prestige and feeling of accomplishment Belongingness and love needs: intimate relationships, friends

Physiological needs

Safety needs: security, safety

Basic needs

Physiological needs: food, water, warmth, rest

Demotivators

Demotivaters usually revolve around company policies, supervision, relationships with supervisor and peers, work conditions, salary, status, security, or failure to achieve the motivators as above. These are often resolved at a company level. Shape Your Farming Future sponsored by

Hold group meetings to set vision and culture

ROGER PEMBERTON

SOURCE: ACTIONCOACH

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eople’s motivations are defined by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Everyone in your team will be in a different starting place – your role is to understand where they are so you can engage their motivations. The top three motivators in the graphic translate into being proud and fulfilled by your place in the team; being valued for your role; and the ability to develop, grow and value yourself as an individual. These are key drivers for longterm motivation, which the leader should focus on.


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Team resilience

Looking after your employees will help keep your team and business strong. Part of that is knowing what to do if someone is showing signs of stress, how to handle it if they need to go off sick, and how to fill the labour gap. Stephen Simpson, principal employment law editor at XpertHR, explains.

Team resilience: what to do when something goes wrong

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mployers have a legal duty over health, safety and welfare of employees. An employer can assume an employee is able to withstand normal job pressures, unless there is a vulnerability, such as previous illness. They are not required to eliminate all pressure, but if an employee shows signs of stress, employers should take steps to minimise harm. Be alert to stress in your team. Individuals may become negative, depressive or have increased emotions; loss of motivation, commitment and confidence; mood swings; lack of concentration; changes in eating or sleeping habits; increased smoking, alcohol consumption or drug use; nervous or ‘twitchy’ behaviour; changes in attendance and poor performance. If you notice a pattern, act quickly. Arrange to meet pri-

Adults are entitled to 11 consecutive hours’ rest between working days STEPHEN SIMPSON

vately with your employee in an informal manner, and encourage them to see their GP. If bullying or harassment by other employees is the cause, investigate and take disciplinary action if needed, or temporarily move them to other duties. If the cause of stress originates outside work, help them find sources of support and advice, such as counselling. Discuss an agreed action plan with the employee, monitor the situation and schedule a follow-up meeting.

All sickness absences longer than seven calendar days need medical evidence, usually a doctor’s note or ‘fit note’. The note will state the employee is either ‘not fit for work’, in which case they should stay off work or ‘may be fit for work’, and make recommendations such as a phased return, amended job duties, altered hours or workplace adaptations. There is no legal obligation to follow these recommendations, but employers should consider them seriously.

Paying a sick employee

Insurance to cover sick pay

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), currently £94.25/week, must be paid for up to 28 weeks for employees who are unable to work due to physical or mental illness. To be eligible, the employee must earn at least £118/week normally, and be unable to do their work for four or more consecutive days.

Employers can no longer claim the costs of SSP from the Government. Permanent health insurance (PHI) or income protection may be an option. This pays out an income, a percentage of normal salary, to employees off sick for an extended period. Payments go to the employer to pass on to the employee. Factors to consider when choosing a PHI provider: Percentage of salary employees will receive; normally 50-75%. Length of time before claims are paid (‘deferred’ or ‘waiting’ period), commonly after six months of continuous absence. How long payments will continue until returning to work, retirement, death or dismissal. Lump-sum payments; if an employee is dismissed while receiv-

For more information, visit FGinsight.com/SYFF


Team resilience

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Help keep your team strong by looking after your employees.

ing PHI payments, a final lump-sum can be built into the contract. Employers should seek professional advice from an insurance expert.

Replacement labour

There are three common ways to cover an employee’s sickness absence: Existing employees: This may be possible if the absence is relatively short. But consider the cost of paying other employees for additional work, and what hours they will work. Legally they are limited to 48 hours a week, averaged over 17 weeks, but they can agree to work longer hours as long as it is voluntary and in writing. Adults are entitled to 11 consecutive hours’ rest between working days or shifts, and at least 24 hours’ uninterrupted rest in every seven-day period, plus at least 20 minutes if working more than six hours a day. Consider the impact; will it cause resentment, increase safety risks or lead to stress and burn-out?

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Agency temps: Can offer flexi2 bility and can be hired at short notice. However, an agency worker

will have less commitment to your business and may be transferred to a different assignment, meaning a different worker will be sent to cover the absence. Agency workers have the right to be treated no less favourably than other employees in terms of shared facilities. After 12 weeks in the same role, they are entitled to the same basic conditions than if they were recruited directly, including pay. Fixed-term employee: If the absence is likely to be for a long period, you could employ someone on a fixed-term contract. To avoid issues when advertising the role, ensure it is clear that the position is temporary. Fixed-term contracts can be worded to terminate on a specific date or the return of the absent employee. It is worth enlisting the help of a solicitor to draft this.

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Back to work

If someone has been sick for a while, they are more likely to remain at work

Shape Your Farming Future sponsored by

and not go off sick again if they return on reduced hours and gradually build their hours. Temporarily adjusting their duties may also help. Discuss things with them when they get back. They might have medical advice from their doctor or you may need to do a risk assessment. Make notes of what has been discussed and decide on a timetable and review. If the employee has a disability, the employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments, such as adjusting hours/duties or providing specialist equipment. The law does not stop an employer from dismissing an employee if they are unable to carry out the job that they were recruited for. ‘Incapability’ is potentially a fair reason for dismissal, but the employee must be genuinely unable to do their job and a basic fair dismissal procedure must be followed. To avoid legal disputes, you must take steps to see if you can adjust working arrangements to help the employee return.


SOURCE: VANTAGE LEADERSHIP AND ACTIONCOACH BUSINESS CONSULTING

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Winning teams

Things winning teams do well leadership: Good 1theirStrong leaders build trust and respect in teams and motivate people

towards a common goal. Transparent communication: Key to good leadership is good communication. This will ensure everyone knows what they are working towards at any one time and each person has the information they need to do their job well. Shared commitment to a vision and goals: Is everyone rowing in the same direction? In good teams, everyone pursues individual goals in a way that helps the overall team achieve. Rules of the game: Boundaries and parameters are clear. Have an action plan: Once you have a shared vision and goal, you need a clear plan to make these happen and a good line of

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communication and management so everyone can pursue it. Shared accountability for results: Everyone is 100 per cent included and involved in reaching business goals and feels they have a stake in the goal. They see the work as a team endeavour, rather than the pursuit of one person. Constructive conflict is key: Good teams are able to turn conflict into something of value by finding a solution that improves the situation. Mutual respect and camaraderie: This starts with leadership, which should build a culture of openness and trust where people feel their views, ideas, skills and concerns are valued and respected mutually, by every team member (see p16, ‘Creating an open culture’).

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SOURCE: ACTIONCOACH BUSINESS CONSULTING

Elements of a dysfunctional team

Inattention to results Avoidance of accountability Lack of commitment Absence of trust Fear of conflict For more information, visit FGinsight.com/SYFF


Winning teams

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Mutual respect is key to good leadership. Shape Your Farming Future sponsored by


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Creating an open culture

Businesses are built on good teams; and teams are built on people pulling in the same direction. Creating an open culture where everyone is valued and heard is key to this. Gary Markham, director of farms and estates at Land Family Business, suggests five ways to create an open culture.

Hold family AGMs

Creating an open culture

Invite staff to the AGM

Monthly team meetings

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Hold family AGMs: Hold annual meetings with all family members, farming and not. Start the conversation about succession, retirement, and wills – get it all out in the open. When everyone knows what to expect and work towards, they will feel more motivated and focused on driving towards that objective. Use an independent facilitator and consider keeping them as a non-executive director so they can help keep lines of communication open should problems arise. Invite staff to the AGM: Invite your employees to the beginning of the family

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AGM so they can meet everyone, including non-farming members, and talk about how the year has gone and any issues encountered. This will help everyone feel part of a team. Have monthly team meetings: Hold monthly team meetings for those working in the business, both family and staff. Ensure you have the family AGM first though, so all family members are all singing from the same hymn sheet. Book in staff appraisals: Have regular appraisals with employees where you

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Gary Markham

Staff appraisals

Assess your soft skills

both openly discuss what is working well, achievements, training needs, and any issues. Allow staff to raise any concerns, and encourage them to suggest improvements. Assess your soft skills: Being approachable and good at communication is key, so if you find this difficult, consider getting training. If you are a young farmer battling with a parent who lacks these skills and is unlikely to change much, use your AGM and independent, non-executive director to raise communication issues and collectively decide how to support change.

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For more information, visit FGinsight.com/SYFF

Profile for Agribriefing Ltd

Co-Op - June 2019 Booklet  

Co-Op - June 2019 Booklet  

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