The resource dilemma – Managing self and staff wellbeing

Contributor: Rachel Mudge, Wai Kōkopu Technical Advisor

Most landowners are enthusiastic when describing their passion for the land, the products they produce, and the hard work required to achieving it. 

Yet, hard work and passion do not protect you from pressures arising from the challenges associated with working in an environment that changes daily. Sometimes the multiple challenges associated with decision-making, can compound  over days, weeks, and even years, becoming overwhelming and resulting in decision paralysis.

The common ‘she’ll be right’ attitude in New Zealand often delays difficult discussions and decision-making. This can be isolating and detrimental to both the business and one’s self.

View our tips to help manage self and staff wellbeing:

  • Ask for assistance. It is better to ask for assistance and avoid delaying difficult decisions.
  • Seek support early. Seeking support around issues you are facing on your land and in your business as soon as they start to happen will prevent people or systems reaching breaking point.
  • Connect with others. Nurturing a sense of community by asking for, or lending, a helping hand is a constructive way of developing healthier staff, businesses and communities. 
  • Having a long-term farm plan which identifies stressed or risky components of the system is a useful tool to clarify priorities and identify meaningful actions. By working collaboratively and using evidence-based information, new ways of working can improve the quality of life for the landowner, staff, and livestock. 
  • The current business philosophy is that people, as well as the land, water, animals are often, referred to as ‘resources’.  While this can help to streamline allocation and management discussions, it also fails to acknowledge the intrinsic value of the most important resource, the people.  A holistic approach is needed to repair both ecosystems and people’s wellbeing. 
  • Developing a working culture where work-to-live balance is promoted will lead to better outcomes for all involved in the business. Making time for breaks from your land and business for recreation such as sport and hobbies will help with effective decision-making and long-term health

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