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Bite Sized Insights for Food Industry Professionals

The Feed Alchemy Systems Blog

3 Key Training Elements That Motivate Restaurant Employees

Posted by Michael Holland

Mar 23 2017
Mar 23 2017

Interactivity, gamification, and competition engage Millennials and Gen Z.

All restaurant operators face the challenge of sufficiently engaging their employees, particularly during training. New employees might show up on Day One bright-eyed and ready to go, but in the restaurant world, the job is often more complicated than many people believe.

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Topics: Training

7 Ways to Win the Hearts & Minds of Your Millennial Retail Workers

Posted by Ric Agostini

Mar 17 2017
Mar 17 2017

Retail operations are increasingly filling job openings with workers from the generation born between 1981 and 2000 (aka, millennials). Baby boomers have aged and are retiring. Generation X, the group falling between boomers and millennials, is smaller in population—only about 40 million compared to 80 million millennials. So millennials will constitute the main source of workers for some time.

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Topics: Training

Smart Action by Your Frontline Is Key to Effective Cleaning and Sanitation Operations

Posted by Laura Dunn Nelson

Mar 14 2017
Mar 14 2017

Food processing companies go to great lengths to clean and sanitize their facilities frequently. Many plants devote an entire shift with dedicated sanitation crews to accomplish this important task. Cleaning and sanitation crews must know how to dismantle equipment, which chemicals to apply, and when and how to apply those chemicals effectively—all within a specified schedule of frequency of cleaning and sanitation. So, what could go wrong with this routine task?

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Topics: Training

Command and Control vs Collaborative Engagement: Is It an Either/Or Proposition?

Posted by Ric Agostini

Mar 10 2017
Mar 10 2017
There are different ways to lead teams—perhaps as many ways as there are leaders. And a given leader might manage with a different style in a different set of circumstances. While there isn’t a single accepted way to lead or manage, the “right” way should be defined as the one that works to achieve the goals of the organization.
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Topics: Training

Knowledge, Confidence, and the Effectiveness of the Well-Trained Employee

Posted by Ric Agostini

Mar 3 2017
Mar 3 2017

Everyone is familiar with the old expression, “Don’t just stand there, do something.” The original context of the saying was very likely an admonition to help a person in distress—to toss a line to a drowning man, for instance, rather than watch him go under—but over time it has come to be used by leaders in all fields to express a preference for action over inaction.

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Topics: Training

The ROI of Employee Engagement

Posted by Raj Shah

Feb 24 2017
Feb 24 2017

It’s a truism in business that employee engagement is key to employee performance. But what does “employee engagement” even mean? At a high level, think of it as employees making their best effort on the job, fully committed to their company’s values and goals, and contributing to the company’s success. Of course, this definition will vary by company, job, and individual. When you look at the ROI metrics of positively engaged employees, the numbers are convincing.

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Topics: Operations, Training

8 Ways to Get the Most from Your Minimum-Wage Employees

Posted by Ric Agostini

Feb 24 2017
Feb 24 2017

With the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour now likely to hold steady for the foreseeable future, retailers might be tempted to breathe a collective sigh of relief regarding the impact of compensation on their bottom lines. But 29 states have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, minimum wage standards higher than the federal rate.

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Topics: Training

Engage Your Retail Workers with Intrinsic Motivation, Recognition, and Positive Reinforcement

Posted by Ric Agostini

Feb 17 2017
Feb 17 2017

Money talks, as the old saying goes. But in the lower-wage world of the frontline retail workforce, since dramatic pay increases are unlikely to materialize, managers have to look for alternative means of motivating employees. And while there are plenty of perfectly justifiable reasons for not increasing financial rewards for frontline retail workers—tight margins being just one example—supervisors and managers must try to shape specific jobs and tasks in the retail workplace to carry their own intrinsic motivation.

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Topics: Training

A Multi-Channel Approach to Ensuring a Safe Workplace

Posted by Holly Mockus

Feb 6 2017
Feb 6 2017

About 130 years ago, a German psychologist named Hermann Ebbinghaus was doing research on human memory, using himself as the primary guinea pig. His experiments proved what many people strongly suspected: that newly learned information is quickly forgotten—sometimes by as much as 90% within a few days or weeks—unless a specific effort is made to revisit the information and refresh the memory.

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Topics: Training

How to Incorporate Storytelling into Employee Training

Posted by Kristin Kastrup

Jan 20 2017
Jan 20 2017

There’s a growing trend in the training industry in which more and more companies are relying on storytelling to improve the level of employee engagement in their current programs. Storytelling is most effective when instructors personalize the message for their specific audience. When a personal connection is made, workers tend to remember well-thought-out stories much better than instruction alone.

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Topics: Training

Closing the Gaps: Global Food Safety Training Survey Results

Posted by Raj Shah

Sep 28 2016
Sep 28 2016

Across the global supply chain, the frontline workers who handle our food play a direct and critical role in food safety. With increasing pressure from customers, regulators, and consumers, food companies must ensure their workers are trained, monitored, and coached on proper food handling techniques and practices.

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Topics: Food Safety, Training

Setting Passing Rates for Food Industry Training Courses

Posted by Laura Dunn Nelson

Aug 4 2016
Aug 4 2016

By design, training courses should be created to focus on critical learning objectives that are foundational across the broad food industry to reduce a plant’s risks. Typically, many of these courses are needed for compliance to GFSI schemes such as SQF, BRC, IFS, FSSC 22,000; regulatory requirements including those from USDA-FSIS, FDA, and OSHA; and EPA and NLRB requirements. Specific courses can be created to achieve a variety of goals, such as compliance to internal standards, proficiency in job tasks, increased productivity, general awareness and communication, culture-building, etc., so score achievements in these areas are obviously discretionary.  

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Topics: Training

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign – Three Ways to Train with Digital Signage

Posted by Jeff Moores

Jun 21 2016
Jun 21 2016

While driving to a meeting the other day, I was toggling through Sirius when I stumbled across the classic ‘70s song “Signs” by Five Man Electrical Band. For those that don’t know, it has a really catchy chorus that goes something like this:

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

Hearing those lyrics inspired me to think about how digital signage helps food companies to communicate “do this, don’t do that” to their workers. Now, I realize this song has nothing to do with digital signage — it’s more of a commentary around social rules — but it directed my thinking to how those lyrics relate to our industry. Whether you’re managing a restaurant, a retail grocery store, or a food production floor, digital signage grabs attention and creates engaging, memorable experiences for your employees.

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Topics: Training

5 Tips for Attracting, Retaining, and Developing Employees

May 25 2016
May 25 2016

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Regardless of the particular industry, it’s becoming more and more difficult to attract and retain good employees. Potential employees look for the money, stay for the relationships, and talk about the development they get at work. Good managers are critical, and your company culture should always be a primary area of focus. Keep the following five things in mind when determining your corporate employment strategy.

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Topics: Training

What’s All This Talk about Huddle Talks?

Posted by Holly Mockus

Apr 28 2016
Apr 28 2016


It doesn’t matter what you call them – huddle talks, tailgate talks, pre-shift meetings, team meetings, stand up meetings, etc. – they all play a critical role in setting up high performing teams for success.  They may be short and sweet ‘chats’ but they pack a punch in helping to navigate the complexities encountered during each production day.  It is also an awesome opportunity to reinforce workplace safety, food safety, and quality requirements

Here are a few tips for conducting an effective huddle talk.

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Topics: Training

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