Attention to detail is a key to success in farming operations and most other businesses. It's a matter of motivation, says Lee Gross, educator at St. Cloud with the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

"Successful farm managers learn how to motivate employees and contributing family members to pay attention to critical details," says Gross. "It's not a matter of making people do something. They have to want to do it. That's what motivation is."

Gross offers these ideas to help motivate workers to attend to critical details:

  • --Regularly review your mission statement with your workers.
  • --Tell them how important your business is to you and your family.
  • --Let them know how important they are to the success of your business.
  • --Let them know that they are important to you as individuals.
  • --Tell them you need their skills and experience.
  • --Tell them the business can only succeed with their help.
  • --Tell them you want to see them grow in their job and achieve whatever they want and are capable of doing in your business.
  • --Show them that your business is a fun place to work.
  • --Tell them the "little things" are the most important things.

It's not easy – it takes serious effort to convey these messages to your workers on a regular basis, says Gross. It may be necessary to write reminders on your calendar. But the effort can produce abundant benefits.

"People who are appreciated are motivated," he says. "People who are valued are motivated. People having fun are motivated. People who know they matter to the organization or family are motivated. And motivated people do great things."