Walk in a plant and pose the question: “Who’s responsible for food safety?” Two things are likely to happen. One, everyone points to the Quality Manager or Food Safety Lead. (This issue gets a blog post all it’s own!) Two, someone pipes up with: “Everybody’s responsible for food safety!” Great concept, but it’s rarely the reality in the plant. Most often there are things being neglected that nobody wants to be responsible for, some workers seem to be on ignore and overall, there’s no cohesive team effort.
I met a Plant Manager once who was the only person on the entire staff who knew how to operate a label printer. Labelling was quite a process in this particular industry. Labels are custom printed for each job, and this printer was a finicky piece of equipment. (The technical term they used to refer to it was ‘a piece of junk'). All that to say, the task wasn't easy. And as the most senior member of the team, the Plant Manager had taken on the task of printing labels as his alone. Consequently, he spent hours every day printing labels.Read More
High-performance teams have a process to manage food safety. Key to that process is figuring out exactly who should be doing what in the plant. Sounds simple right? Well add to that, they also align responsibility with authority and align responsibility along natural roles. Let's look at what the Food Safety Leader is typically doing, and then explore what they really should be doing when everybody is working as a team.
First, let's get the title out of the way. The Food Safety Leader is the person who holds the ball on food safety. She often feels like a babysitter and not well supported by everyone in the plant. Typically, she is in charge of Quality or Sanitation. She holds the glorified title of Food Safety Team leader, but there isn’t much teamwork happening so there's not much leading going on. More like coercing and nagging...
Sound familiar? Read on...Read More