GFM Network News



Dealing with problem employees effectively

Instead of firing them, use these tips to coach problem cases into good employees

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s getting tougher to find and keep good employees. Nor, by all indications, is the situation going to improve anytime soon. According to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council’s newly released Labour Market Forecast for the next decade, farmers can expect an already tight labour market to get even tighter. According to the council’s survey […] 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?

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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

With a labour shortage in the agricultural industry, retaining employees is critical, says a University of Guelph professor.

Strategies for successful onboarding

There are better ways for getting a new employee off to a great start, and they really do pay

Reading Time: 5 minutes “I wish they’d told me I was expected to make it a priority for my job” is a refrain Michelle Painchaud hears all too often. Employers somehow think that new employees should simply “get it,” say Painchaud, president of a Winnipeg company that specializes in helping farm businesses recruit and retain new employees. Unfortunately, it’s […] Read more


Excelling as a team leader, not just a boss, means family members and employees will invest themselves in your goals, Bob Milligan says. “They’ll be working with their head and heart.”

Are you a good boss?

Of course you’re a good leader. You wouldn’t have got this far if you weren’t. But the next opportunities may only go to those with a whole new set of attitudes

Reading Time: 8 minutes Farmers today are being called to be leaders, not just managers,” says Bob Milligan, professor emeritus of applied economics and management at Cornell University. Minnesota-based Milligan is now semi-retired and consults with farmers about their human resources. He says leadership of a farm business today is much more than developing an annual strategy. Farmers today […] Read more

Eight steps for your HR strategy

The labour gap in Canadian agriculture continues to widen and is expected to double by 2025. That’s prompting more farm businesses to focus on recruiting and retaining employees. At the same time, with employment standards constantly changing, and with considerations such as health and safety and workers compensation to think about, some farms are beginning[...]
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CN apologizes as farm groups, Ottawa press on rail service

Reading Time: 3 minutes Canada’s largest railway has taken the unusual step of apologizing for its pace of grain delivery in recent weeks and pledging “immediate steps” to improve its grain handle. After parting ways with its CEO Luc Jobin on Monday, Canadian National Railway (CN), through interim CEO Jean-Jacques Ruest, said Wednesday it “apologize(s) for not meeting the[...]
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Intuition: When it’s the right time for change

A leader needs to be prepared to offer opportunities for the next generation

Reading Time: 4 minutes The best leaders today seem to have a keen sense of when to make changes. They know when to share an example of their own struggle and when to motivate the next generation. It’s their gut instinct — that feeling we all get during times of decision-making. It’s the best leaders who know when to[...]
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Getting ‘Thank you!’ right

An honest, well-timed pat on the back can be the best way to boost employee productivity

Reading Time: 5 minutes Happy employees are 12 per cent more productive than unsatisfied employees, according to at least three unrelated studies. Over an eight-hour work day, in other words, a happy employee is going to put in the equivalent of a full hour and a half more productivity than an unhappy employee. Over a month, that’s 30 hours[...]
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For Adrian and Jodi Roelands, the business challenge was clear. How could they grow their operation sustainably and profitably based on a reputation for top-quality product? In that search, employee feedback is now a key strategy.

Farm feedback

On this savvy farm, feedback is mined for real value, producing a happier, more efficient workforce

Reading Time: 9 minutes On the farm, we’ve heard the jokes about feedback being a load of barley that gets rejected at the elevator, or maybe it’s how a cow chews her cud. In bizspeak, though, feedback gets taken a lot more seriously than that. As a human resources strategy, feedback is gaining global attention because of the power[...]
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