Avoiding micromanagement on the farm

By Brian Ravencraft

It can be challenging for farmers to not micromanage their employees, whether they are members of the family or not. But there comes a time when overmanaging can become a detriment to the employees, the family and the farm. If this is happening to you, it is better to evaluate it now instead of waiting for the situation to improve on its own. 

It can be hard to know if your employees truly feel micromanaged. Often times, they won’t speak up about it. So, it is up to you to look for trends that may bring their feelings to light. Do you find yourself needing to be involved in every issue that goes into your operation? Do you feel the need to have your employees run everything by you? Does every small detail need your approval? Do you find your employees to be buried in addressing those smaller matters, keeping them from working on larger revenue driving exercises? If you answered yes to some of these questions, it might be time to step back and look at how you can improve your relationship with your team. 

You might be thinking, how does this tie into accounting? Afterall, I write a monthly accounting and financial article for you. The answer has to do with productivity. The happier your team is, the more productive they are. More production leads to more revenue. More revenue leads to financial success. If you are working with a qualified accountant, they should be helping you look at your operation from all angles, and this is one of them. The accountant in me will of course tell you when it comes to doing jobs correctly and accurately, management is most certainly called for. However, you can be a manager and leader all at the same time. 

You can be both at once by empowering your employees to perform their duties correctly and at the best of their ability while also focusing on business practices. Set your employees on the path to success by making your expectation known before they start each assigned task, then set them free to complete it. You can then spend your time focusing on high value tasks for your operation that truly need your expertise and approval. 

Remember, all those on the farm work as a team. You might be the leader of the team but you still a player right along side everyone else. Encourage team building and allow employees to voice their concerns and ideas on a regular basis. Together, you can all forge ahead towards continued success.

If I can help with these types of matters or anything else as it pertains to the success of your operation, please reach out. I am always here to help. 

Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, primarily focusing on the areas of Tax Consulting and Management Advisory Services within several firm service areas, focusing on agri-business and closely held businesses and their owners. Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we offer the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that each client deserves. You can reach Brian through www.agribusinessaccounting.com or www.HolbrookManter.com.

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