Celebrating Small Wins is a Big Win for Food Safety Culture
Hello from the Food Bites Team,
October is here and it’s almost time to start dusting off the Christmas Tree! In fact, just this morning we found ourselves discussing the Christmas Day lunch menu 😊. Although this time of the year is commonly known as “silly season”, it’s the official sign that a welcome break is just around the corner, and it is with this in mind that we soldier on through the next few weeks!
In recent weeks our team has spent a lot of time discussing food safety culture and the concept of organisational culture in general. We have debated and dissected culture surveys, action plans, training programmes and various other awareness strategies. What we have realised is that an annual survey and training is not going to bring about a miraculous change at all. Many of the resulting action plans hardly address the gaps identified through the survey and, in many cases only include actions relating to training staff, re-training staff and repeating the survey. So, what to do?
If you are really serious about food safety culture, you will know that the change begins with YOU! A little introspection and constructive criticism of everyone in leadership roles is a good starting point. This is more than “leading by example” and simply respecting the factory hygiene rules. True leadership commitment shows in your decision-making, how you react to food safety incidents and your willingness to openly admit when you have made a mistake.
By far the biggest positive culture changes are brought about when individuals or teams are recognised for their achievements – celebrating small wins creates a culture of engagement and in food safety terms this translates to compliance and conformance. This process enacts positive change, and, fellow Food Biters, is what we are looking for!
Another game-changer is implementing a programme that brings about leadership interaction with staff on a personal basis. A happy birthday card signed by the CEO, a congratulatory handshake (elbow tap for now 😊) on a sport or academic accomplishment or even a “welcome back from paternity leave” message will increase staff loyalty and ensure a more productive and conscientious workforce. Just bear in mind that your interest must be genuine.
With Formula One (F1) on everyone’s lips, next week we will look at what we can learn from F1 and how we can utilise these learnings to improve our productivity.
From all of us here at Food Bites