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


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


Hiring: Get it right the first time

Searching for the ideal employee starts well before you place the want ad

It’s a number that should wake us up: 80 per cent of employee turnover is the result of hiring the wrong person. That’s according to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), a national non-profit organization focused on addressing human resource issues in the ag sector. Since hiring and training new employees is a costly […] 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

“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


Feeling burned out may involve more than just the feeling of having too much to do or never getting a break.

Beating burnout

No one is immune, so it’s smart to know if you’re showing these symptoms of burnout. For most of us, it’s the best way to avoid the trap

Do you feel exhausted no matter how much sleep you get? Do you feel mentally drained, or do you lack energy or feel like you’re not really accomplishing anything? All of these symptoms can point to burnout, says Dr. Arla Day, a professor in occupational health at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. If this sounds […] Read more

Research is showing a new trend among farm retirees is finding something rewarding to do, which may involve doing something they’ve delayed due to career or family responsibilities.

‘Redirection’

Is it better to keep farming into your 70s, or to retire off the farm in your early 60s? New research suggests that what you may really need is a rewarding change of direction

It’s easy to see the two pincers coming together, at least when you look at farming from a national perspective. The average Canadian farmer is 55, on the one hand, and the average Canadian retires at 62 on the other. But let’s put a best-case face on it. For self-employment Canadians — the category that […] Read more


Analyze your ‘secret sauce,’” Jennifer Moss says. “Get back that thing that makes you feel motivated faster after you’ve suffered a setback.”

C’mon, get happy!

‘Plastician’ Jen Moss tells us why happiness is the right goal if you really want to drive the profitability of your business

Making more money this year would make me very happy. But what if just being happier is what it takes to make our farm more profitable? Clearly, this sounds too good to be true, so I went to Jennifer Moss, the author of Unlocking Happiness at Work. She’s also the co-founder of “Plasticity Labs,” a […] Read more

Who’s too old?

Farm families know that age diversity makes them stronger. But did you know that a spread of ages in your employees adds strength too?

Diversity in the workforce is a good thing, but diversity doesn’t mean just diversity of gender or ethnicity. It also means age diversity. Increasingly, older workers aren’t retiring gracefully to play golf and potter in the garden. Instead, they are making a conscious decision to change careers later in life, when the experience and skills […] Read more