Q: My job in this business is to haul pigs any place they need to go. Sometimes it’s close by, sometimes for a fairly long haul. The boss is always giving me a hard time about my driving, where I stop when I’m on the road and even how well I’m dressed.

If I get the pigs there on time and in good shape, why do all these other things matter so much?

A: Every activity that a business performs is critical to its survival. There are no insignificant duties within a pork operation. The process of moving animals to a marketing location or from one facility to another is  important because it involves community interaction. People in the local neighborhood get few opportunities to witness visual evidence of business activities from a pork operation, so they tend to take note of what they see.

Few livestock producers have any type of advertising, and most are located in small communities. The truck and its driver are the only “billboard” that the company has, and they serve as a form of direct exposure to the public.

Additionally, in small communities everyone knows the owner of a business or a vehicle, so any poor driving or inappropriate behavior is easily traced back to the operation.

In reality you and your truck may be the most direct and, in some cases, the only contact that the community has with your boss’ operation. It is imperative that the company’s image be a positive one, so showing respect to others by driving within the speed limit, obeying local ordinances and keeping your truck (and yourself) clean help project that positive image.

For more complete information on how to design and implement bonus programs, you can e-mail me at don@dontyler.com.

If you have questions for Dear Boss, send them to:

Don Tyler, P.O. Box 67, Stockwell, IN47983or e-mail to don@dontyler.com.

Your letter will remain confidential, and may or may not get an individual reply.