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Is Your Food Handler Training Helping or Hurting?

Effective training can turn any employee into a superstar who can use their new skills and knowledge to help grow a business, increase the bottom line, and become a leader among colleagues. Unfortunately, not all training is equal. Bad training can go just as far in the opposite direction, destroying the potential of employees by giving them bad information, not teaching best practices, and encouraging cutting corners.

There’s never an excuse for poor training in the workplace - especially in the foodservice industry. A poorly trained food handler can be devastating to your business, increasing the risks of foodborne illness incidents, passing on bad practices to other employees, and affecting your business’s reputation by offering bad service to customers. There’s never a bad time to reflect on whether your current food handler training is helping or hurting your business - the risks are too great to get complacent.

HOW BAD TRAINING CAN BE DEVASTATING FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Bad training is bad for business. By not taking the time and effort needed to provide employees with skills and knowledge needed to excel in their position, you’re inadvertently setting them up to fail. Training done wrong can make things far worse for you, your business, and your employees. Employees who receive poor training are unable to meet the high standards set out by your business, meaning that customers will receive consistently poor service and your business will take a major hit to its reputation as a result.

It’s also nearly impossible for poorly trained employees to be confident in their abilities in the workplace - after all, they’ve only been taught the basics and nothing more. A lack of confidence in the workplace affects employee morale across the board, leading to much higher turnover. As a result, you’ll be paying the price by constantly hiring and training new staff, who unless you overhaul your training efforts, will receive the same poor training.

Poorly trained staff are generally unaware of best practices, especially regarding health and safety - things like cross contamination, sanitization, and basic hygiene will be completely ignored. This lack of health and safety awareness leaves your business wide open to the possibility of a devastating foodborne illness incident which can cripple your business, if not destroy it completely.

THE BENEFITS OF GOOD TRAINING

Offering good, in-depth training to employees is the best thing a business can do to set itself up for success. Good training gives employees all the tools needed to succeed in their role, ensuring that they deliver consistently good service to customers, feel confident in their role, follow best practices with regards to health and safety, and foster a healthy workplace culture. Without a well-developed training program, your employees are doomed before they even walk into your workplace.

Good training is often thought of as being too expensive or time consuming, abandoned in favour of a hasty, and often lazy, training program that teaches only the bare essentials. The truth is that good training is the best investment your business can make. Rather than repeatedly hiring and training new staff, you’ll be able to retain happier, more capable staff, saving you a great deal of money and time to invest elsewhere. With your employees being more satisfied and confident in their role, your customers, receiving consistently good service, will undoubtedly take notice. Consistent service greatly increases the likelihood of repeat customers, who are the lifeblood of any successful foodservice business.

WHAT DOES GOOD FOOD HANDLER TRAINING LOOK LIKE?

It’s not enough to just teach employees about policies and best practices - good food handler training needs to be engaging, all-encompassing, and memorable. The best way to capture the attention of learners is to make heavy use of visuals, which are far easier for employees to retain and recall at a later date. Visuals also have the unique benefit of transcending language barriers, making it possible to deliver effective food handler training to your entire workforce without the challenges normally posed by language barriers.

In addition, good food handler training should set up employees for success in even the most difficult situations. In order to learn how to react to these situations, food handlers need to learn how to navigate through scenarios and case studies that will prepare them for difficult situations and potential food safety crises.

Perhaps most importantly, good training should be accessible. Online training offers unparalleled flexibility to your employees, who can now complete food handler training at their leisure. Online food handler training programs like Managing Food Safety feature proctored exams that can be completed by learners any time, with successful employees immediately receiving a digital certificate upon completion. The flexibility of online training programs demand less of your time, letting you tend to the more important aspects of your business.

For more information about how Managing Food Safety, our nationally certified food handler training program, can improve your business and its employees, contact us today at service@foodsafetymarket.com.