Labour life cycle in agriculture

Labour is one of the greatest assets in farming and growing. Whether you’re looking for your first employee or already running a team, make sure you understand all the steps of the labour life cycle. 

The labour life cycle   

There are five main stages of the labour life cycle: 

  1. Recruiting: Learn how to advertise your job vacancy, become an employer of choice, conduct successful interviews and establish HR policies and procedures.   
  2. Onboarding: Get advice on how to conduct appraisals and inductions and what to include in a staff handbook.
  3. Managing: Learn what you need to consider when managing people, from organising performance reviews to delivering coaching and delegating tasks.   
  4. Developing: Find out how to build a skilled and confident team and retain employers for the long term.  
  5. Progressing: Get support on how to plan for your business and assist your staff through promotions or when someone leaves.  

Four case studies

See how four farms benefited from the Labour Life Cycle information:

Beef & Lamb

See how Lincolnshire beef farmer, Emma Middleton, uses different methods of communication to create an open, supportive and feedback-friendly environment. Emma also talks about how she used labour life cycle resources to get people more involved and make improvements on farm.

Cereals & Oilseeds

Watch Lincolnshire arable farmer, Nicola Carr, talk about how the labour life cycle resources helped her appreciate how her family farming business could offer employees something special by way of listening, caring and learning about her people.


Discover Cheshire dairy farmers, Katy and Andy Goodwin, and how they’ve become an employer of choice by investing in their people and using labour life cycle resources to understand the things that help make their team feel valued.


Hear how Suffolk pig farmer, Alastair Butler, addresses the difficulties of recruiting and how he used the labour life cycle resources to bring his team together, work more efficiently and help save money in challenging times.

Useful links

AgriLeader programme

DairyNZ has kindly given permission for AHDB to adapt their ‘People’ resources for use by the British dairy industry. We share a commitment to supporting the dairy industry and will collaborate to provide benefit to New Zealand’s and British dairy farmers.