Why Horse Farm Employees Don't Work Out

Is an employee not working out because of his or her lack of work ethic or missing training from you?
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Sometimes an employee is simply not a good fit for your equine business. That person might be a recent hire, or the change in a long-term worker's production could be due to burnout.

Spring and summer are the busiest seasons at a horse farm or boarding facility and often are when you are hiring additional employees. How can you make sure you are hiring the right people? This series on finding the right employee should help.

There are countless reasons that employees aren’t a good fit for your horse farm or stable. Many people are quick to point to an employee’s shortcomings and lack of performance. This might be accurate in some cases, but in others, the stable manager could be as much at fault as the employees.

Unclear Expectations 

One reason employees underperform is because they don’t clearly understand what is expected of them. Setting clear goals and identifying measurable targets helps engage employees. Hold them accountable and check in regularly on their progress.

What’s In It For Me?

Stable help often have busy days dealing with a variety of situations from horse-related to client-based. The routine can become monotonous and demanding. Workers are motivated by perks, respect and appreciation. Give an employee an opportunity to take a on new project that expands his or her expertise or aligns with a personal passion. That might mean offering an opportunity to ride barn horses, teach lessons or more. It all depends on your barn and the employee.

Lack of Skills

If you decided during the hiring process that you would be willing to train an inexperienced employee, but you haven’t followed through, a lack of knowledge is mistaken for a bad fit. Before asking the employee to leave or risk them leaving out of frustration, offer additional training or the time off during the week to pursue needed training.

Cut Your Losses

Sometimes an employee is simply not a good fit for your equine business. That person might be a recent hire, or the change in a long-term worker's production could be due to burnout. In either case, have a candid conversation with, and acknowledge that, he or she is unhappy. Determine if there is anything that can be done to return the employee to satisfactory work for both of you. If not, encourage the employee to find a position that better aligns with his or her professional goals. Offer to serve as a reference to help the individual find a position he or she would enjoy.