Food Processing Management and Training Blog

Employee Training: Your Key to Success

Employee Training: Your Key to Success

Food safety is a prime concern for food processors and consumers alike. Massive recalls in recent years of many types of food from ground beef to canned and packaged food and fresh produce have made it even more critical to assure safe, wholesome food for your customers.

The major risk to producing safe food is people. The most sophisticated machinery and detailed HACCP plans are only as good as the employees working with them. And some of the biggest risks involve the most basic tenets of personal hygiene and maintaining clean work spaces. The success of your business relies on each and every worker to understand and adhere to safe food handling practices.

The final report of an FDA Ad Hoc Committee on Training stated that "80% of all foodborne illness can be traced to a procedural problem due to the actions of employees who either did not know or understand the value of using designated procedures to keep food from becoming contaminated."

In talking to one training manager, even after taking their training courses employees repeat mistakes on the line that could lead to contamination.  Only after several repeated lessons that physically showed learners what they were doing incorrectly did they perform the safety measure correctly.

So, while training is absolutely the path to success, how does a training manager know for certain that the lesson sticks?  Employees are turned off by dry, dull, dated training material.  Studies* have shown that video holds a learner’s interest,outclassing other training media and increasing information retention by 51% (Wharton School of Business).

Video has the advantage of being visually stimulating, as well as providing the next best thing to a hands-on demonstration.  However, as with all mediums, video can be done poorly or well.  Learners are increasingly sophisticated, and poorly produced video lessons can be as ineffective as a dry lecture.

Done well, video curriculum is amazingly effective.  Ask yourself, how is it that you can remember the smallest detail about your favorite TV characters?  Emotional content aids memory.  By personally relating to a character or a situation, our emotions are stirred and memories stimulated.  The latest employee training curriculum for food processing facilities, produced by Brevidia, uses these techniques. 

Another way to increase effective learning is through Serialized Learning™, one of the most advanced learning methods today.  Now being implemented in training curriculum by Brevidia, Serialized Learning repeats critical lessons over a period of 6 weeks in 6 consecutive modules.  Lessons are placed in slightly different contexts, a method that requires the brain to “refresh” its orientation, recall the past reference and increase the chance of having the lesson ‘stick.’ 

The best training engages adult learners and provides the information and motivation they need to do the job right. That’s where the value of Brevidia’s training system really shines.