Secondly, there is the issue of staff turnover. Numerous job roles in the food and beverage industry, particularly hospitality, will be occupied by temporary or part-time workers who are not pursuing long-term careers. Training these members of staff may be viewed a wasted effort if they decide to leave after only a few months on the job.
Other challenges and obstacles are true of every industry, such as time con-straints and employees’ willingness to learn, but it is obvious that the need for effective training is paramount in food and beverage circles as so much rests on protecting the public. However, can spaced repetition really tackle and overcome these problems?
The Need for Different Approaches
Food Quality & Safety has already highlighted the need for fresh approaches to training. In July 2013, an article concerning food safety for grocers stated that storeowners and managers should not assume that training has been successfully completed because an employee has signed an attendance document or barely passed a test. Furthermore, the article found that training has to be presented, repeated, and updated so that employees can develop a sense of commitment to recognize and avoid cross-contamination, maintain cleanliness of hands and equipment, and promote a safe workplace.
The intervals between each teaching are gradually increased when the student gains a greater understanding of the subject in question.
In addition, another piece from 2013 called for allergen training to be given greater importance, but this would only be viable if food companies changed their whole outlook on the subject. The article says that with the number of people with food allergies and the number of recalls due to undeclared allergens increasing, a company’s culture in terms of how it handles allergens has taken on a whole new importance.
Through the right training, it is within the realms of possibility to continually teach staff about critical issues like the ones in these examples. By the same token, organizations can also change the behaviors and attitudes staff have towards subjects such as allergies or dietary requirements, thus reworking the company culture at the same time.
But once again we must ask whether spaced repetition is the answer? And if so, how can it be introduced and implemented?
Implementing Spaced Repetition
In today’s tech-orientated world, spaced repetition is extremely easy to implement and can work around stumbling blocks that the food and beverage industry faces without too much disruption or interference.
Primarily, spaced repetition can fit in with the existing training requirements of any organization. Work schedules do not need to be interrupted and employees can complete their responsibilities without having to attend lengthy and ultimately pointless training courses.
This is due to various spaced repetition solutions that are available online and can be accessed through a range of devices.
Although this means learning can take place in the working environment, it also allows for studying at a time that is convenient for each employee. The employee can potentially learn about new legislation on the way to work or while relaxing at home, whichever is more effective for the individual.
You’ll also find that some spaced repetition applications are hosted remotely in the cloud, which doesn’t require the installation of expensive software. Along with being cost-effective, this also allows for greater control too, as employers can update or revise learning materials whenever they want.
Another benefit is finding out if employees are actually benefitting from training, as spaced repetition software usually comes with some sort of reporting tool. In the past, it would take a mistake to discover that your employees didn’t learn about a critical subject. But with feedback and data about performance, you’ll know for certain whether the workforce is increasing its knowledge and understanding.
The Final Word
As we have previously seen, training is a constant requirement in regards to implementing food safety. From understanding the allergies of customers to avoiding contamination through human contact with food, the average employee has countless things to remember, which cannot be memorized and applied through standard teaching techniques.