GFM Network News


Performance management pays off, says a University of Guelph associate professor. “Research shows it can improve employee performance, productivity and safety.”

The annual performance review

Does it really make sense to put employees and team members through a performance appraisal?

You’re busy, of course, so finding an excuse for not doing annual performance evaluations with employees and team members looks so very tempting. Would it really be so bad if you pushed the reviews onto the back burner? The answer is an unequivocal “yes,” according to Dr. Sara Mann, an associate professor specializing in human […] Read more

When it comes to deciding who to hire or fire, skill is much less important than attitude.

Time to talk: Building teamwork

In this pair of articles, we find all this talk about communication is more than a trend gone wild. It really does pay

When bad farm managers have bad farm teams, they blame bad employees. And sometimes it seems they have a point. I mean, who hasn’t had an employee who never gets down to work, who makes endless mistakes and who constantly gripes with other staff? But the trouble is, ineffective or inexperienced farm managers can’t see […] Read more


“HR tends to get put on the back burner,” says Jennifer Doelman.

Get professional with your HR

The Doelman family is finding their HR plan is an essential pillar for their farm’s success. You may too

With the current shortage of good labour in the ag industry, putting more effort into HR planning can help you keep your staff, thereby saving the cost and aggravation of recruiting and training new people — if you can find them. Hiring new staff is worse than dating, says Jennifer Doelman, who farms with her […] Read more

If you feel your employee turnover is too high, talk to other farmers with similar-sized farms to see how they compare.

Keep employees on the farm

Do you really know if your employees are thinking of quitting?

Hiring and training the right people is costly, and the last thing you need as you head into the busy season is the added stress of losing a key person. The good news is there is a lot you can do as an employer to keep your staff. Even better, it’s not just about higher […] Read more


A detailed list of requirements will help ensure that you hire the right person for the job.

Job descriptions

Two farm specialists build the case to prove why job descriptions will save you time, money and aggravation

Are job descriptions worth the effort? Simply put, the experts say the answer is a clear yes. Or maybe we should make that YES! Job descriptions are foundational for good management, says Jade Reeve, manager of agri-jobs at the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC) in Ottawa. Their usefulness goes beyond recruitment, she adds. “They […] Read more

The next generation of famers is ready to lead and show their skills using technologies that create opportunities for improvement.

A farmer’s appetite for learning

Continuous improvement: The next generation of farmers is ready to lead

Today’s farmers are confident. They are finding their voices and they are finally becoming viewed as the powerhouses they are. Farmers are hungry to learn and they are also hungry to educate others. They are educating politicians, society and industry on the strength of their operations and on the economic contributions they make. Today’s farmers […] Read more


The next generation of farmers has shown more of an interest in human resources issues.

Top HR issues for farmers

Concerns about employment standards and employee performance are driving more farmers into HR training

When human resources consultant Janice Goldsborough first gets a telephone call from a farmer, it’s usually with questions related to employment standards. “They might be asking about whether they have to pay overtime, the rules around statutory holidays, or is their farm even covered under employment standards; those are typically the kind of questions that […] Read more

Guide HR: Sibling rivalry

… and how to prevent it destroying your family business!

A family business can have many positive advantages, including strong cohesion among members and a shared commitment to success. However, family businesses can also sometimes be highly conflictual and chaotic. It seems your strength can become your weakness. Managing a business with family members creates several issues that can have a huge impact on the […] Read more



Guide HR: Vacations: Why do you need them?

Levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout have never been so high across all industries, but we see it particularly in the farming business. Even though technology purports to simplify our lives, we’re experiencing more and more over-investment in work. Many farmers tell me they’re exhausted, with no time to catch up. Moreover, everyone wants it […] Read more