Apr 21, 2021

A good start for a blog just around Spring time. But the meaning is different.
It just means: Keep It Super Simple.

On many farms I assist in the picking instruction and the complaint most often heard is that the pickers do not listen. This is not entirely true. They do listen but they do not store it. They are thinking of many things and the mushrooms is not one of them.
So it is up to the supervisor or trainer to make sure the information gets through. She (or he) first has to get to know the picker. Then decide what method can be used. The best supervisor changes her role according to the person she talks to. She can be a teacher, a mother or your worst nightmare if needed. Depending on the person and the situation. But she knows what is going on in the mind of the picker. For the picker money and nice work is important. But they have no notice of how mushrooms grow and how to pick more kilo’s per m². They want to pick fast because most of the time their bonus is related to pick rate. But often they do not realise that it is not about working fast but about working smart. And a good instruction can help with that.

How to do a thing like that in a practical situation?
Let’s say stems need to be longer.
First explain to a picker that a longer stem can give them up to 10% higher pick rate without working faster. Just look at the stem and do not cut it of completely. Then translate the 10% extra to a 10% higher salary. The farm by the way has a 10% higher production. If they understand that, the power is in repeating. Not just in spoken word but also in visual signs. Make a project of this. For one complete week only instruct on stem length in the rooms and do this on individual level. So no shouting through the room but address every picker personally. The next part is a good photo which is shown for a week on all possible places. In the canteen, on the tables, in the corridor and even in the toilets. Just for a week because after a week they do not see the photo anymore. The next week another subject is chosen.
And for the supervisor: the power is in repeating. Tell them once, twice and keep going on. If the pickers see you, they immediately think of stem length. This way it is imprinted in their way of thinking and it is much easier to have success.

So Keep It Super Simple and act like a parrot.


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