Earlier this year I had the opportunity to interview the owner of one of the largest poultry operations in Russia. He mentioned the difficulties he had finding qualified people to manage units within his organisation. Large scale projects require managers who understand the specific aspects of growing chickens. The basics are often looked at as being rather simple do’s and don’ts. The reality is much more complicated.
Growing high quality chickens requires an excellent understanding of the all mechanisms that may have an impact on bird performance and ultimate quality.
Large operations have the possibility to look at maximising the final output instead of focusing on bottom line results of every single unit. They can hold back in certain links of the production chain to increase the performance of the next link. Understanding these mechanisms is of utmost importance before becoming a successful unit manager in a large operation.
This tells that these large poultry operations have to invest a lot in training their own staff. Candidate managers may be available within the same country where it is based, but often qualified managers have to come from elsewhere in the world. This creates a multi-cultural environment where future top managers can develop themselves.
Unfortunately the applicable companies are not always aware of their own responsibility to train and keep these youngsters, who may have had to move from a lively student life in a university city to a remotely based poultry farm. Too often we hear about poor living conditions and/or long working hours and little or no possibilities to maintain a social or family life. Compensating this with a high income usually suits these young people well, but it also stimulates them to do the job for a while and leave again. Those companies who are aware of this and compensate their staff members for these inconveniences may find a reward in highly motivated staff members who are prepared to stay and grow with the company.
The before mentioned company owner in Russia is aware of the needs of the people who are working for him and is proud to have staff members from different parts of the world who are with him already for quite some time.