How to become a Head stockperson (in our company)

Host: Montejinni Station
Written by Amanda Brown – Managers Assistant, Montejinni Station.

How does a person become the leader of a camp of ringers? What skills are required to climb the ladder and have a successful career? What steps does one need to take to achieve the goal of becoming a head stock person?

These are question that I assume many young people entering this industry ask themselves if they aspire to stay in the industry for a length of time.

So we have a tool that will help answer these questions, a tool that gives the fresh new faces of our company direction, goals and a clear cut understanding of exactly what is expected of them to progress in their job. We call it “Skills Framework” and it is basically a defined set of skills for a person to become proficient in before they can move up to the next level. There are four levels and when a person is able to excel at the fourth level they should in theory be ready to become a head stock person.

The “Skill Framework” is broken down into a number of components that are inclusive of horsemanship skills, cattle handling, water maintenance, rangelands (understanding pasture etc . . . ), two wheel bikes, and a few other key skills.

A person is assessed when they arrive at a station by their head stock person and assigned a level to suit their skills. Throughout the year they are assessed two more times, once mid year and once at the end. If they have improved in all areas they may move up to the next level when they return the following year, or if they are a very quick learner, maybe even before then.

A lesson in breaking in.

This tool is a very important one to our company as it ensures that people who reach the level of head stock person have acquired all the skills necessary to run a stock camp and be able to teach all the up and coming jackaroos and jillaroos these same skills. Another thing that it does is highlight where we as leaders need to improve, so if for example someone is assessed as a level one at water maintenance when they arrive and at the end of the year they are still a level one, it shows us that we have not taken the time to teach them what they need to know in that area.

Stock camp at work.

You may now be noticing how highly I think of this tool, and I am going to give you more reasons. It inspires people to be better, to try harder, and of course to come back the following year. And to tie it all together, around August/September every year we hold the “Employee Challenge” which is where all employees who are assessed into a skill framework level compete against others in their level across their regions and the prizes up for grabs are pretty incredible. This is just another example of how we use the “Skill Framework” to improve employee’s skills as well as staff retention.

A group of employees winning a section at the employee 2016 challenge.