Developing team building skills early can help set the stage for future growth, Dr. Coleman says.

“Owners and managers that see the big picture and focus on having good teams, over time their operations get bigger,” Dr. Coleman says. “You can take a young person and grow because he’s such a good operator. But, if he’s unable to manage people, he or she will reach a ceiling, and the operation is maxed out.”

The focus on investing in human capital can be turned inward as well. Dr. Coleman notes his own practice has grown to nine people. There, he sets the stage for a culture of hard work and continued development.

“I’d like to think that I set an example by working the hardest and treat them all with respect,” Dr. Coleman says. “I try to only give them jobs they enjoy or are gifted for. I am focused on their personal development and improvement and try to encourage them with opportunities. In the ag world, if you’re willing to grow personally, there’s always room for advancement.”

Demonstrating proficiency in the area of employee engagement is particularly important when asking clients to invest in the effort themselves, notes Dr. Probst Miller, who now owns her own business.

“It’s always important to practice what you preach,” she says. “Like any normal human being, I have to take a step back and self-assess. I really try to make sure I have people in the right spot. People want to use what they are good at every day. It’s something you have to repeatedly make an effort to do.”

Reading List

These practitioner approved reading materials can help jump start knowledge and skills in employee engagement.


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