Calling all Leaders – It’s time to shine!

Calling all Leaders – It’s time to shine!

Hello fellow Food Biters,

Thank you for your positive feedback on our weekly blog.  It makes our hearts smile knowing that the information is meaningful and helping you make a difference every day!  Pop us an e-mail if there are any specific topics you would like us to cover…  We aim to please!

The time has come to address the “elephant in the room” (nothing to do with our lockdown bodies) – leadership and the role of top management in food safety management systems.  Have you ever wondered how some organisations make implementing, maintaining, and improving their food safety management systems look like a walk in the park while others grapple with the same challenge as if it were Mount Everest?  No, they do not have unlimited funds or access to state-of-the-art technology and neither do they have unusually intelligent employees.  What they DO have is an engaged leadership.

We know that engagement is not necessarily something that comes naturally to everyone and we are convinced that there are a lot of leaders out there who just need a bit of guidance in terms of how they could demonstrate their commitment. Here is a list that we compiled based on our own experience:

  1. Wise up: Although there is no expectation that top management needs to understand the intricate details of the FSMS standard requirements, a basic knowledge of the standard is a good starting point.  We acknowledge that the responsibility for implementing the system is usually delegated to someone else but just enough knowledge about the standard will allow top management to be more empathetic about the complexity of the task.


  1. Show up: You may think that as a Managing Director, CEO or Operations Manager you do not have to be involved in the day to day running of the FSMS and you would be 100% correct. But attending food safety meetings, holding management reviews, and attending the opening and closing meeting of the certification audit goes a long way in showing your support.  In fact, why not pop your head into the boardroom during the audit just to hear if everyone is doing okay?


  1. Own up: Set an example by taking ownership for your own processes. Follow company procedures.  Be involved in establishing organisational best practices and integrating them into the formal documented system – do what you say and say what you do!


  1. Measure up: Show an interest and become actively involved in measuring and determining the effectiveness of important processes.  If everyone agrees on the key outputs for each process create a platform where the results can be reported, reviewed, and proactively actioned when necessary.


  1. Cash up: We certainly cannot expect phenomenal results when we provide mediocre resources.  As a true leader you need to be in-tune with what the resource requirements are and try to be less grumpy about investing in proper cleaning equipment, training for staff at all levels, infrastructure improvements, etc.  And don’t forget that time is the most precious resource of all!  Time to meet, time to investigate, time to train, time to measure, time to clean…


  1. Listen up: Create a culture where staff know that they can count on you to listen when they have something to say. Demonstrate your commitment by following through on actions and decisions, sticking to due dates, and instilling a sense of accountability.


If you are ready to take a bold step into the world of the committed leader, we have a selection of workshops that will equip you with the knowledge and skills to be the best leader you know you can be!


E-mail us with your needs and we will be happy to present a session to your management team on-site or via one of our digital training platforms.

Bye-bye until next week…