Often in a small meat company a winning workplace environment is one of their secrets of success. A good workplace environment better positions you for on-going success. Employees like to work in an environment that is productive and fun. When you have a winning workplace environment, employees look forward to coming to work, being productive and helping the business grow. Following are some tips to ensure your workplace environment is a winning environment for your employees.


As the owner or manager of a small meat plant you drive the vision and the mission; but your dedicated employees are the engines that help to make the business a success. You MUST set a good example. You cannot expect your employees to be more committed to food safety, product quality, product consistency and customer service than you.


Your employees should feel that they can talk with you concerning work related issues and personal issues that may affect their work performance. While you don’t want to get too friendly or too personal, your employees must feel they can trust you and talk to you in confidence. They should also feel their viewpoints and opinions are respected.


In addition to being approachable you should also be accessible. If you are never around, it does not create a family feeling among workers. Make sure you have an open-door policy and that you make rounds through the plant and visit with employees. This allows employees to feel connected to you. 


Listening closely may well be one of the most challenging things we do. It is definitely an important part of leading a small meat company. When an employee approaches you with an issue, don’t automatically consider it a complaint; instead, consider it an opportunity to improve. These opportunities will disappear if employees feel you have no interest in their suggestions. If it is not possible to implement a suggestion, explain why it is not feasible. This shows employees you value their input and helps to cultivate a healthy company culture.


Sponsoring company activities helps to foster a family atmosphere. It shows your employees you care about them. It can be something as simple as a company lunch once a month. Such an activity gives employees the opportunity to visit with each other and get to know fellow employees on a more personal basis. I also feel family activities such as an annual company picnic help to cultivate camaraderie among employees and generate a feeling of being a part of a group.


Communication is the number one challenge we all face in both our personal and professional lives. How often do issues arise with family members or friends because you did not adequately communicate on an issue? How often do you get irritated with an employee about what they did or didn’t do only to learn they did not understand adequately what was expected of them? Most food safety problems are the result of someone either not knowing what they should do or not understanding the implications of them doing something incorrectly. Remember communication can be both verbal and non-verbal. If you exhibit negative body language it results in negative communication. 

Effective communication is critical to success.