When Food Safety Team Members LIVE Food Safety
Hello and Hi from the Food Bites Team!
At Food Bites we understand more than anyone how important food safety and the buy-in of every single individual is when it comes to delivering a safe product. Our entire team of expert facilitators have all worked in the industry and we know the challenges you face.
We also know that Food Safety Teams are made up of individuals who represent different departments and functions in the organisation. These members not only need to understand their functional responsibilities in terms of logistics, engineering, production, etc. but they also need to understand the concept of food safety within these functional responsibilities.
The role of Food Safety Team members extends way beyond attending a few extra meetings or participating in training and audit activities. Food Safety Team Members play an enormous role in influencing those around them and in the context of food safety, this means influencing others to always do what is right; even when nobody is watching!
If you are a food safety team leader or even a member, here are a few useful tips which you could use to improve the current food safety culture:
- Give people the tools to do the job – make it easy for people to do things right. The food safety team know what resources are required and it’s your responsibility to fight for what is needed!
- Empower staff by enabling them to make the best decisions under the circumstances (especially when management may not be around) by explaining the “why” behind the “what”. When staff understand the implications and consequences of not following a rule, or the basis or reason for a rule, they are in a better position to make a decision when things out of the ordinary happen on a shift.
- Staff need to be heard. They know more than anyone what is wrong – and they have solutions to the problems – if only there was someone who would listen… Listen and act. Provide feedback and watch your problems disappear. The biggest concern for any organisation should be when their most passionate people become silent!
- Everyone wants to feel valued. For a job well done. For tough decisions they made. For their contributions in solving a problem. Start catching people doing things right! Make employee recognition a priority!
- Involve staff in problem-solving – the best and most practical solutions are those originating from staff inside the organisation. Co-ordinate the effort and remember the words of Harry Truman: “It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit”.
People look for leaders who can appreciate their vulnerabilities and inspire them, understand them, support them, and guide them through chaos (which is often a day in the life of a worker in the food industry). Let’s be the food safety team members, leaders, who can inspire trust, and improve the food safety culture in our organisations.
If you are still craving some food safety culture information or want to upskill your food safety team, why not enquire about our Food Safety Culture Excellence and Food Safety Team Training Workshops. We know they are worth the investment!
Until next week – be safe, take care and most importantly, be a Leader worth following!
Food Bites greetings!
P.S. Stay tuned – next week we look into why companies still have food safety incidents despite food safety system certification…