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The Dairy Progression Framework is a state wide project that considers one of our states largest consistent issues on-farm – how do we attract a skilled work force and how do we then keep our staff engaged to enhance retention?

NSW Dairy Industry Fund Project - ‘The Dairy Progression Framework’

A project run by Dairy NSW, in conjunction with Murray Dairy, Sub Tropical Dairy and Dairy Australia

This is a topic that is consistently discussed amongst dairy farmers and service providers alike, however there is no straight answer or solution to the problem. The list of factors relating to attracting and retaining staff on-farm is long and varied, however there are definitely ways to help improve practices on-farm to target this issue. Initial research stages of the project have identified gaps in current leadership teachings, where focus is predominately being placed on industry and advocacy leaders, and skipping what we call the on-farm leaders. Given that employee engagement and satisfaction is directly linked to management and leadership, the project team feel this is an area that can be improved to help retain a skilled labour force.

Therefore, our project’s objective is ‘to develop an extension piece focusing on farm level leadership and culture, with the purpose of enhancing staff engagement and retention, and further fostering an awareness and desire to pursue advanced leadership opportunities across the NSW dairy supply chain’.

During an earlier market research phase of the project, a number of workshops were run across the state with Employers of Choice, focusing on what they believe helps contribute to making them great employers, managers and leaders on farm. A number of key concepts were highlighted across all workshops, including;

  • Communication
  • Reward and Recognition
  • Self Awareness
  • Feedback Systems
  • Development Opportunities
  • Clear Processes and Protocols

To avoid any bias, the decision was made by the Project Steering Group that an Employee Survey would also be undertaken to help identify the leadership capabilities where dairy farm leaders need the most improvement. This in essence will be a gap analysis, to help determine the crucial capabilities that need to be targeted in later stages of the project and help form the learning outcomes for future resources. It is our hope that in improving these crucial capabilities, staff engagement and retention will improve on farm.

The link to the survey can be found here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F7Q6KNY and we encourage all dairy employees to take the time to complete the survey. Your insights and support are appreciated, and we thank you for your involvement.

Please note that at this stage, only employees from the STATE OF NSW are invited to complete the survey. It should also be highlighted that responses are 100% ANONYMOUS.

For further information on The Dairy Progression Framework Project, please contact Project Officer Emma Ludington at emma@dairynsw.com.au or on 0428 642 228.

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