Feedyard general manager Shane Guest needs a strong team for his operation to be successful. Everyone benefits from investing in and understanding the feedyard’s employees, he says.

To run Wheeler Land & Livestock in Wheeler, Texas, Guest draws on management skills he learned in the PeopleFirst Supervisory Certificate Program, the industry’s first comprehensive human capital solutions service.

“The biggest thing that changed in our team is communication,” Guest says. “Once we figured out how to break everything down and communicate problems and issues, it really opened us up to make a better team.”

The PeopleFirst Supervisory Certificate Program from Zoetis trains agribusiness and veterinary managers and leaders to help maximize their potential. Professional instructors — experienced in multicultural and bilingual agricultural workforce training — help participants through a series of classes to develop the leadership and organizational skills needed to effectively supervise people. By using case studies, exercises and practical applications between sessions, the program offers a series of modules spanning four months to allow for practice and better integration of new skills on the job.

“Since going through the PeopleFirst training, one change I’ve been able to make is at hiring — more in-depth interviews, communicating what our goals are as an organization and what our end product needs to be — getting them on the same page from day one,” Guest says. “As a labor force, we are able to do day-to-day operations more efficiently and get more projects completed in a timely fashion just because everyone is on the same page.”

Guest adds that he and his team work from the program every day. He finds this knowledge particularly useful when communicating with employees and working on employee evaluations.

As agricultural businesses become more complex, having a defined organizational structure, skilled leaders and engaged employees are increasingly important to operational efficiency, explains Annette Thomas, PeopleFirst business solutions manager, Zoetis.

“The primary objective of PeopleFirst is to listen to the needs of managers to deliver programs that meet their challenges,” Thomas says. “Having highly-functional, coordinated teams can help contribute to the profitability of the business.”

A synchronized team helps Guest address problem areas and communication barriers.

“When I first went into the program, I had an open mind on what it was going to do for me,” Guest says. “It has really helped me supervise everyone and understand what they are up against, which then helps them get the job done more quickly and more efficiently.”

Learn more about Guest’s firsthand experiences with PeopleFirst in a new video available at growpeoplefirst.com/testimonials.* For information on how PeopleFirst consultants can assist your operation or to find a class in your area, contact your Zoetis representative or visit growpeoplefirst.com.