Team Leadership Tips to Stay Connected During Harvest
Read Time: 3 minutes
October 19, 2020
Barry Scarborough, North America Marketing and Sales Competency Lead, Bayer With input from Sean Daugherty, Climate Activation Manager
Harvest can be full of unexpected roadblocks, and this year is no exception. You’re used to troubleshooting things that happen in the field. But this year has thrown a new curveball that may have turned what used to be team chats around a table into meetings in front of a video camera. If you find yourself with fewer in-person meetings with those you rely on, you may be looking for the best ways to keep everyone on the same page at this crucial time. We’ve got some ideas.
“Fortunately, Dr. David Rock, a noted leader in neuroscience, has guidance that can help. He advises focusing on who, when, and how.”
Don’t Miss a Beat During Harvest
In my role at Bayer, I work with leaders to help them grow the skills they need to maximize their teams’ effectiveness. Often their teams don’t all sit in one place, so leaders want to learn methods to connect that don’t require in-person meetings. If you’re the person who leads your operation, this year you may find yourself in that same boat.
Like most farmers, you probably wear a lot of hats — from equipment repair to accounting to field data analyst. But perhaps your most important role is leading the team that makes your operation successful. And your team isn’t just those who work directly on your farm — it can also include your dealer, agronomist, crop consultant and more. At harvest time, you don’t have room for your team to miss a beat. Fortunately, Dr. David Rock, a noted leader in neuroscience, has guidance that can help. He advises focusing on who, when, and how.
Look at your team and ask, “Who is the least likely to communicate?” That person should be your priority. By keeping them connected, you’ll improve your team’s ability to work together.
Secondly, examine when you communicate. Time of day, especially for virtual meetings, is an important consideration. Meetings disrupt workflow and when possible should be reserved for times of day when the participants can focus on the topic at hand.
Finally, focus on how you communicate. Showing where you are can help your team feel more integrated and invested in the process. Whether you're at your kitchen table, or prepping to go out into the field, turn on the camera during video calls. Your team will feel more like they are there with you.
This season has necessitated a lot of change in how we all interact with each other. For leaders, it’s important to understand that it takes time and new ways of thinking to adapt to change. Creating an environment that embraces new ways of working together will aid in navigating change. Participation is key — ask your team for ideas on improvements and how they would bring them to life. Whether you're virtual or in person, this may be a great time for you and your team to find new opportunities for your operation.
Using FieldView™ to Stay Connected During Harvest Time
Now that we’ve covered leadership tips to keep your team connected, let’s look at the tools that make that job easier. Thanks to my colleague, Sean Daugherty, for lending his expertise to highlight the FieldView features that give you the harvest help you need.
Replace a Combine Ride-Along with Harvest Reports
Harvest summary reports are a simple way to share detailed results. Saying things like "the new hybrid looks good" doesn't give information your team can act on. Generating a report after harvesting each field takes less than a minute and shows exactly what happened in that field.
Harvest Help, No Matter Where You Are
Giving key team members permission to access RemoteView enables them to help you solve problems and see yield data in real time, no matter where they are.
Check Wet Fields in Minutes
Rainfall reports on each field help everybody agree if it's time to harvest or best to wait. If you choose to share field data, your team will always have the most up-to-date rainfall reports and be ready to provide counsel when you need it.
Monitor the Combine From Miles Away
Regardless of who is driving the combine, you can be sure that the person behind the wheel moves only as fast as they should. With FieldView, you can set up text message notifications alerting you if the combine speed goes beyond a specified threshold. Keep everything in check, no matter where you are.
Good luck this harvest. Farming is never easy, but this year offers a particular set of challenges. During such a demanding season, the FieldView Support team has experts ready to help. Call 888-924-7475.
About the Authors
Barry leads the North America Sales and Marketing Competency effort in the Strategic Business within Bayer Crop Science and has held roles in leader development, sales leadership, and talent management across several industries. His breadth of experience includes roles in consulting (PwC), manufacturing (Frito-Lay), pharmaceuticals (Bayer), and crop science (Monsanto and Bayer Crop Science). Barry holds a CPA acquired during his studies at The College of William and Mary and numerous leadership development practical certifications.
As a Climate Activation Manager, Sean specializes in helping Southeast Iowa & Missouri FieldView dealers and farmers get the most out of their field data to drive decisions that help optimize yield and maximize profit. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration and management from Lindenwood University in St. Louis.