Sam Leadley, PhD, calf and heifer management specialist for Attica Veterinary Associates, P.C., Attica, N.Y, says veterinarians need to ask their clients some questions in order to help them monitor compliance to protocols.

  • Have you selected the most appropriate measures for monitoring sanitation procedures?
  • Do these measures provide feedback for employees? Do these measures provide information for regular protocol evaluation and revision?

Consider how you monitor sanitation procedures. Leadley recommends comparing your actions with the standards in this checklist. When the items below refer to “I,” this is equivalent to an experienced supervisor. When making this evaluation, Leadley suggests using these scores: 1=never, 2=seldom, 3=often, 4=usually, and 5=almost always.

  • Before I observe actual employee behavior, I go to the work site and determine that it is possible to perform the task correctly in that setting and with the tools and materials available.
  • I observe actual employee behavior. This is in contrast to just talking about doing the job.
  • I compare observed behavior to the training standards (these may be incorporated in the protocol).
  • When deviations from the protocol are observed, I review these differences privately with the employee. This is in contrast to “chewing out” the employee in front of her/his peers.
  • When deviations from the protocol are observed, I provide a training opportunity for the employee.
  • When task performance results in an objective measurable outcome, I provide resources for collecting information to provide employee feedback.
  • Employee feedback is related directly to the protocol.
  • Employee feedback is given in straightforward, understandable terms.
  • I actively solicit employee reactions to their evaluations, using this information to revise protocols when needed.
  • Where outcomes are the result of more than one employee’s work, I involve all employees in evaluation,
    retraining and/or protocol revision.
  • I communicate with employees (evaluation, feedback, training) in a language they understand.

For more calf and dairy employee management tips, visit www.attica cows.com.