Managers learn juggling skills

A group of pig industry managers tried their hand at juggling recently as part of an BPEX training initiative.

Juggling was the first task in a staff development workshop designed to teach managers about how to get the best out of their staff. The event was part of a series of workshops organised by BPEX and was run by Cedar Associates at Topsham, Devon and Bodmin, Cornwall.

The workshops are aimed at managers in the pig industry that have problems finding time for effective training or find their staff work better under direct supervision.

Points covered included the importance of setting good standards of practice, setting realistic targets, creating action plans, coaching and encouragement, and holding one to one meetings with staff members to understand them better and monitor their performance. Setting realistic targets can also help new staff understand quickly what is required of them.

Andy Mitchell owner of Budeford Estates Ltd, a 600 sow unit, said: "I've never been to anything like this before and it has been a real eye opener. It has given me lots of useful tips and I will definitely be putting them into practice on my unit."

Ernie Dymond, owner of 700 sows in Cornwall, said: "I have been in pigs all my life and we have been trained on many things, this is the first time staff training has been offered and organised and is has been excellent."

The workshop was one of several BPEX is running across the country. To find out about future workshops or if you would like more information about staff development call Helen Thoday on 07973 701202 or Tess Howe on 07779 321078.

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