By: Sarah Clausen, Global HR Director
John Deere Worldwide Construction & Forestry Division
At a time when an aging workforce and declining number of young loggers entering the workforce has become a major concern, it is crucial for logging professionals to advocate for the industry and get the message out that a career in forestry is a thriving, dynamic and rewarding opportunity. In doing so, we must also practice what we preach. For loggers in business management positions, this advocacy can take shape in your leadership skills, which in turn will make your company a better, and more desirable place to work.
One of the single greatest investments you can make as part of your business is in your people, the backbone of any successful logging operation. Here are some easy and effective ways to get started:
- Lead by Example – Attracting and retaining good stewards of the land who are passionate about their work starts with you. Be vocal about your commitment to enhance the quality of the forestry industry as well as your current and future business goals. Lead by example, and your employees will follow.
- Communication – Communication is key for business productivity in and out of the forest. There are numerous ways to get that extra load each day, but your equipment can only take you so far. Help your crew communicate effectively, and watch your bottom line increase. Beyond the trees, create a culture of open, honest communication and allow for feedback. Employees who feel heard will also feel cared about and proud to work.
- Be a Motivator – Loggers are hard working, self-motivated professionals who are passionate about their work and forward thinking toward the collective success of the entire industry, traits that should be recognized and rewarded. Showing your employees you value their work and commitment to the forestry industry is a simple, yet effective way to drive morale and productivity.
- Training & Development –The most important part of a forestry machine is the operator, which is why an investment in general safety training, equipment safety training, communications and safe operating procedures should be an essential part of any logging operation. Not only is safety training necessary for the well-being of your crew, it is also an important step to keep your machines operating efficiently and issue-free.
Though simple in nature, these tips are simple changes that can improve performance, profitability and the overall perception of your company.