Agriculture News

Farm vision benefits employer and employees

Published on 08.15.2019 by Trudy Kelly Forsythe

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A farm vision should be motivating, inspiring and help align everyone to one common goal. An added benefit is its impact on employees.

Increased morale

G3 Canada Limited, a grain handling company in Winnipeg, has the vision statement “Building a smarter path from farmers’ fields to global markets.” G3’s director of customer service and supply chain procurement, Neil Sabourin, says the company vision enables him, as a senior leader, to create priorities and goals for employees that align with the vision.

“This enables me to explain how those goals and priorities will make G3 and employees successful and how resources like money, people and time will be allocated,” Sabourin says. “Providing employees with focus and clear goals that align with what the company wants to achieve increases employee morale as they know they are contributing directly to the company’s success. This gives employees meaning in their work life.”

Sabourin says a strong company vision also informs team members what the company wants to achieve and the direction it’s taking but gives enough flexibility for team members to be creative on how to achieve the goal.

Increased security

Joe Barkhouse is an independent consultant in Ontario who works as head grower and human performance developer at Truly Green, a greenhouse tomato farm in Chatham that employs up to 215 people in peak season. He is passionate about vision and employee performance, believing a strong vision provides unity within a farm business, clear expectations and consistency.

“From the top to the bottom, everyone has one thing they are going for,” Barkhouse says, adding it also provides employees with security. “Employees know when they are stepping out of line as correction is quick because there are guidelines and rules.”

When Barkhouse joined the Truly Green team, employee turnover was high, and the farm had shifted to a corporate operation model with multiple managers. Developing the operation’s vision helped managers align with one goal, rather than thinking of their area alone.

“There is general respect across the company now,” says Barkhouse. “There is a sense of security which is really vital to productivity and general happiness in the workplace and profitability.”

A vision enables leaders to explain how the farm’s goals and priorities will make the business and the employees successful and define how resources like money, people and time will be focused. Tweet this

Involve employees

There are even more benefits if employees are part of the process.

“It’s really cool when owners present a draft vision to staff and ask for their input, particularly in the action plans and strategy,” says Michelle Painchaud, president and CEO of the consulting firm Painchaud Performance Group. “You can feel a room ignite with energy when this happens.

“It definitely helps with employee performance when an employee has helped create the action plans, due dates, etcetera, versus managers or owners presenting the plan without any input,” she adds. "People feel valued and appreciate when they are asked to be involved in creating a vision."

Bottom line

A company vision allows senior employees to clearly explain goals and priorities. Leadership specialists say this provides employees with focus, increases morale and feelings of security, all combining for increased on-farm productivity and profitability.

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