If you’ve ever tried to teach something to a group of students, you know it’s not always easy. Different people learn in different ways, and part of the challenge of teaching effectively is coming up with a lesson that appeals to a diverse group of students.
Food workers can come from completely different backgrounds and levels of experience. For some, food service is a professional career. For others, it’s just a job that helps pay the bills. It might even be some workers’ first job!
No matter their personal level of experience, it’s important to offer food safety training to all your employees. But it’s not always enough just to follow the training requirements in your area.
Depending on local requirements, the average food worker only has to complete food safety training once every 2-5 years. If training isn’t required in your area, they might only receive training once, during onboarding.
That’s where stand-up training meetings come in — they’re a great tool for making sure your employees are remembering and following good food safety practices.
What is a stand-up training and why should you have them?
In a typical stand-up training, the teacher and students are literally standing up, which helps keep the meeting short. In the workplace, managers can use stand-up trainings to teach their employees about important principles that will help them better perform their duties.
There are many benefits to holding regular stand-up trainings for your employees:
- It’s a great way to constantly reinforce food safety principles and practices, which helps your employees remember everything they should be doing to keep customers safe.
- It shows your employees how much you care about food safety, which makes them care too. This helps maintain a strong food safety culture at your company.
- It offers a natural opportunity for employees to ask questions about practices or principles they might not ask otherwise.
- It helps your employees to form good habits with food safety.
- It’s good practice for a health inspection.
How often should you hold stand-up trainings?
Stand-up trainings will be most effective when they’re held consistently. You decide how often training is necessary — it could be daily, weekly, or even monthly — and stick to it. Communicate with your employees so they know when to expect it.
As you begin holding stand-up training meetings, don’t be discouraged if employees don’t master everything the first time. They will likely need reminders and refresher trainings. If you keep going, you will see results.
What does an effective training session look like?
To deliver a stand-up training effectively, you should focus on teaching just one principle and aim to keep the meeting to no more than 10 minutes. Try to plan trainings that appeal to multiple learning styles to help keep your employees engaged.
There are four basic learning styles: visual, aural, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. Visual people learn best by seeing a demonstration. Aural people learn best by listening. Reading/writing people learn best by reading a description. And kinesthetic people learn best by tinkering.
In general, it’s a good idea to include a hands-on demonstration or activity in every stand-up training. Training best practices indicate that food service workers tend to remember only 5% of what they hear, but they remember 75% of what they do.
Resources to help you with your stand-up trainings
If you need help getting started, StateFoodSafety can help! We have numerous training tips you can share with your employees.
You can even sign up to receive a complimentary e-book with stand-up training guides about 12 different topics. Each guide contains ideas for hands-on activities and discussion points that will keep your employees’ attention.
We also offer a wide variety of food safety posters, videos, and other visual aids for free on our website. Not only will these resources help engage employees with a reading/writing learning style, after the training is over they’ll help remind all your staff members of the important principles you taught them.
Teaching a group of employees with different levels of experience isn’t easy, but with the right resources on your side, you can do it! And as you begin holding stand-up trainings on a regular basis, your food safety culture will grow stronger than ever before.
— Jessica Pettit