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Can you hear me now? How to be heard by your farm staff

1.5 min read

Without personal bonds, farm team members might not be listening to your words with an open mind.

Is your farm team listening to you, or has your voice become like background noise to them?

There are differences between hearing and listening. The biggest is that listening is a choice that requires concentration to process information.

Your explanations and instructions don't automatically sink in, and without personal bonds, farm team members might not be listening to your words with an open mind.

Build relationships

Eric Spell, former president of AgCareers.com says tomorrow’s success no longer depends on yesterday's way of doing things. A more flexible approach may be needed to ensure the farm team is engaged and listening.

That includes knowing your employees’ lives outside of work, such as their interests and challenges.

Young people place a very high value on relationships. If they don’t feel a sense of community, it’s not uncommon for them to quit a job, potentially meaning costly staff turnover.


Farm team members, including hired hands and spouses, won’t be lending you their ears if they’re distracted by external factors.

No longer can you tell employees to leave their issues at home when they come to work, especially if they're younger staff.

Keep employees on board and actively committed by showing compassion for their non-work issues. Instead of pushing a do-it-or-else list of tasks, take an interest. It can mean a lot to someone whose child is being bullied at school or who’s going through marital challenges.

People are your most important asset, and connecting with them and understanding what they’re facing at home can make the difference between their listening and being engaged or just going through the motions.

With the success of your farm hinging on your farm team’s commitment to pull together, as well as create and support ideas, it’s critical team members be at least neutral — but preferably happy — in the workplace.

Bottom line

Instructions to your farm team don’t automatically sink in – it takes some extra effort on your part to ensure you’re being heard. Build relationships with staff and show compassion for non-work issues. By building a connection, farm team members become more open-minded to hearing what you have to say.

Article by: Richard Kamchen

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