Making Your Business A Comprehensive Learning Environment.
If you’re in the food manufacturing industry you’ll be familiar with the importance to training of SOP and HACCP. In this blog I want to draw attention to some preconceived notions we often encounter about what we do, and maybe suggest some new ways of looking at employee training that might address some of these common challenges. In order to operate, any organisation in the food industry must identify critical control points for potential hazards and construct and institute procedures to be followed by staff to best address them and minimise the possibility of food contamination or human error. Anyone in the industry will know the standard procedures; regularly review your hygiene pre-requisites programme, appoint a specific HACCP team to oversee the identification and implementation – basically, thoroughly and regularly review all aspects of the food production process, and show real commitment to the implementation of any recommendations stemming from those reviews. Obviously, every time a review produces new recommendations, there’s a subsequent training procedure required for the organisation.
Certainly the manufacture of food requires a great deal of responsible management; any issues or mistakes at any stage along the line can potentially have very dire consequences. It does create a list of training dilemmas, however. All employee initiation has to cover these areas. Any updates or newly-identified critical control points must be flagged and highlighted for existing staff, and while not all staff necessarily require an in-depth training in every critical control point, to segment staff responsibilities (and therefore training) along these lines has consequences for staff mobility and versatility within any organisation. We build custom training content and learning management systems for organisations in the food manufacturing sector, so we’ve encountered all these problems and limitations before. Our systems can facilitate new ways of dealing with the HACCP and SOP challenges encountered in the food industry.
The first is elearning content; I want to dispel the preconception (which we often encounter) that elearning content is essentially a Powerpoint presentation that a “trainer” can purchase, simply press play on, allow employees to sit passively through and hey presto, your regulatory obligations are complete. While we do provide generic online courses to address common training issues, SOP and HACCP is obviously something that can be unique to each organisation. Because of this, when we sit down with a company to construct an online training course, we bring the same commitment to varied, interactive content to engage and users and improve knowledge retention as we do in our pre-constructed courses- your employees won’t be sitting in a room dozing through a training video, they’ll be actively engaging with the content, testing their knowledge as they go.
Secondly, the role of an LMS is often misinterpreted. It is not one more expensive system to be kept dark and hidden on a company server, to be cracked open once a year after the HACCP review, or for induction every time a new group of employees are hired. Our learning management systems are not designed that way. They’re not a theoretical outgrowth of educational experience or the practical application of some pedagogical principal, they’re built to address real business needs – the needs we’ve seen rear their heads time and again over the 20 years of our training experience. They’re also highly accessible – even Seams Cloud, our subscription-based saas product can be accessed by staff on work PCs, laptops, tablets or smartphones. The learning content that we supply isn’t something to be rolled out for induction then shelved never to be thought of again. Through our learning management systems it’s instantly accessible by any employees you choose time and time again, for refresher courses, retraining or to make sure all staff members have access to critical information regarding any element of your production facility – staff mobility should not be an issue again if systems like ours are implemented properly.
We don’t pretend that our systems can replace proper training procedures, mentoring or good HR systems, but what they can do is increase the adaptability and versatility of every element of your existing training systems and procedures, allowing you to respond and adapt to the requirements of your industry faster, more comprehensively and with a smaller administrative burden than you ever could before. We don’t replace the commitment and discipline required to successfully run a modern food manufacturing or processing business, but we can help turn that business into an environment where training is instantly accessible when and where it’s needed, and where the staff is consistently up-to-date with the specific knowledge and competencies they need, wherever and whenever they need it.