Code of Conduct for Ag Business

Code of Conduct for Ag Business

Universities have been having graduations around the West in the last several weeks. Many young people are returning home to the farm — either for the summer or perhaps as the start to their new career in the family business. Does your family business have a Code of Conduct in place?

Family business consultant, author and farmer Jolene Brown says that having and using a Code of Conduct can be very important tool in family businesses.

Brown: "And this is what we agree that is right, correct and how we want to be known. It's things like we're going to be upfront with each other. We're going to be honest and we are going to keep our word with people. Another one is that we are going to be timely in our work place."

Brown shares a classical example of when timely can be an issue.

Brown: "I had a farmer say to me, 'My son is just a slow starter. He doesn't like to get up and work' I asked what time does a slow starter come to work? He said, "Well, not to 9 or 10 o'clock. I asked if he had other employees. He puffed out his chest and said he had six other employees. I asked when they had to come to work. He said, '7 o'clock.' I told him do you know what happens between 7 a.m and 10 a.m.? Resistance, resentment and revenge. And people perform to the lowest standard you tolerate. That is for you and I in all of our business. It is not the standard you wish they would do; it's not a standard they said they would do; not the standard that you told them to do but the standard that they do. Make sure that when you have a standard, we have a leader holding him or herself to account and also those in the workplace."

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