Invest in Consistent Employee Training

Give your people the confidence to reach their full potential

The following information is provided by Zoetis’ PeopleFirst. The author is Charles Contreras, a PeopleFirst business solutions manager.

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When you first drive onto an expressway and you’re not sure what the speed limit is, do you go as fast as you can or hold back until you see a sign?

That’s the kind of dilemma that untrained employees face. They aren’t sure what to do. They can’t operate at maximum performance output because they are under pressure to do well and avoid making mistakes. But properly trained employees understand the rules. They know they are doing a good job, are less stressed and use their energy toward being more productive.

Here are some more reasons why operations need employee development at all levels, from new employees to leadership positions:

  • Less risk: Administering the wrong product. Treating an animal incorrectly. You need to avoid these huge risk factors on your operation. One mistake from an untrained employee could cost you millions. Why risk your company’s reputation?
  • Consistency: When you have a good training program, you’ll have a much more dependable output regardless of employee experience. You’ll see more consistent compliance with protocols, and workers will understand why following these protocols is important. And when employees follow protocols, production improves.
  • Better company culture: Employees want to do a good job. Lack of proper training is frustrating for them. Workers can’t know if they are doing a good job if they don’t know what the job requires. This creates stress and a culture of disengaged employees, which can lead to higher turnover. Proper training helps communicate the value of employees’ roles, driving engagement and motivation for employees to put forth extra effort from the beginning.
  • It allows the business to grow: Having fully developed employees will allow you to focus on bigger strategic goals. You’ll have confidence that employees know how to operate effectively. And they’ll have confidence, too, which improves efficiency. No one will have to wait on owners or managers for instruction.

The first step toward business success is formalizing a training program. To establish an effective program, information needs to be consistent. It needs to be presented so workers can understand and remember it. The length of training time has to be practical. And you need to be able to assess whether the training program is working. Online programs can help because the information is always available and delivered consistently. Assessments can ensure whether employees remember what they learn. Developing managerial and supervisory skills through leadership development courses also can improve engagement and leadership on the operation.

Making time to develop a formal, consistent employee training program this new year is not only valuable but also essential for the continued success of your operation, agribusiness, veterinary clinic or equine facility. Unfortunately, training is often viewed more as an expense than an investment. Owners and managers want to make sure employees are going to stay before they spend time and money on training. But if you invest in training first, employees have more of a reason to stay.

For more ways to help develop your operation, business, leadership and employees, visit

Charles Contreras is a business solutions manager for PeopleFirst at Zoetis. He works with cattle producers, equine business owners and veterinarians to meet their human resources, training, development and leadership needs. PeopleFirst is the industry’s first comprehensive human capital solutions program. These services were created in direct response to challenges customers expressed with managing today’s complex operations. For more help on employee and business management solutions, talk with a certified consultant, such as the ones available through PeopleFirst. Visit to learn more.

Zoetis (zō-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on a 60-year history as the animal health business of Pfizer, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. In 2012, the company generated annual revenues of $4.3 billion. With approximately 9,300 employees worldwide at the beginning of 2013, Zoetis has a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 29 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries. For more information on the company, visit

Zoetis is the proud sponsor with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the American Veterinary Medical Association of the mobile educational exhibit Animal Connections: Our Journey Together. Families visiting the exhibit will explore the vast bonds between people and animals and learn about the important role veterinarians play in protecting animal and human health. For more information, visit

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