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Involving staff in developing dairy farm policies and protocols can boost morale and improve performance, even in tough times.

For a business to run smoothly, everyone needs to understand the farm policies and their roles in the business, according to Dairy Australia's Dr Pauline Brightling who manages The People in Dairy program.

"Policies, procedures and systems provide an invisible ‘structure' to the business that helps everyone understand how and why things should be done," she said.

 "When you employ staff it becomes increasingly important to have documented systems for the smooth running of the farm. You can't personally oversee everything and there is an increasing requirement to demonstrate safe and ethical business management through formal documentation.

 "Integration of all operations, policies and procedures into a farm business manual provides an all-in-one document that guides the business.

"Everyone on the farm should be involved in developing this document so they ‘own' it and are willing to use it.

"Staff have a very clear understanding about what is involved with different procedures and appreciate being consulted and having their role in the business formally recognized."

Dr Brightling said The People in Dairy website had a number of resources and templates to help develop farm policies and a procedure manual, making the task easier and simple. A good place to start is the People Basics section on The People in Dairy website.

People Basics is designed to help dairy employers take a first step into addressing people issues, without being overwhelmed by the details.