Things happen -sometimes, we have to leave a role or up-take a new role. Often, in the food industry, this transition period is quite short and demanding that it can be overwhelming for new and experienced food safety and quality system manager. Keeping in mind that production processes will still be running during the transition period to meet on-going customer’s demand.
Taking a New Food Safety Role:
Here are few tips to be successful if this is a new role for you:
- Listen to your team. That includes your boss and your team member. No one
knowthe production processes better than your quality team members. So, getting that important tips are crucial to building rapport with the team and improving the system.
- Review the program in detail with the person leaving the person, if possible. You may be surprised how much information will be shared if you show the willingness to learn and ask the right questions.
- Never believe that you knew it all. You will be surprised how
a food safety program is being managed in the same industry. difference
- The best tips that I
learntfrom my mistakes: Do not think to make any changes just yet. There is a reason why things are the way they are at the moment! Understand why before startchanging things around. It may not be acceptable by the local team. Ask if it is okay to make a change.
Leaving Food Safety Role
If you are leaving the job, do the next person a favor. I don’t usually get to see the next person. My favorite thing to do is actually leaving notes about
- Pending tasks, projects and timeline
- Special notes on how to manage customers and the team
- Urgent projects
- Location of the documents
- Improvement comments for food safety program
In addition, I typically organize my folders and keep email correspondent so that it is easy for the next person to keep track of what is going on. I would also inform my supplier and customer on what to expect during the transition period so that they don’t give the next person a hard time.
Starting a New Food Safety Role:
When I start my food safety role, I typically like to review the documents and records because they gave me a brief understanding and overview of the food safety program. During the document review, I am always seeking for the opportunities for improvement and keep them for later stage.
I like to understand my team (the key members of the food safety team) including Production, Sanitation, Maintenance and Supply Chain in particular to see their food safety values and beliefs. It is so important to establish a baseline to understand the food safety team’s commitment to implement the food safety program.
A food safety program represents a team effort. Without team members’ commitment, the program will not be successful. That is why it is extremely important to build the trust and dynamic between your food safety team member. It takes time to build trust because it needs to be earned. My tips are to please commit to your promises and always, be willing to admit that your team has better ideas. I love acknowledging ideas from the team especially if it helps to improve the food safety program. Plus, if the idea came from someone else, they are keen to implement it.
What do you think?
If you have any additional thoughts on how to help others successful in their upcoming role -please comment below. Or if you are thinking of trying some of these, I did be happy to hear how it works for you.