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The Feed Alchemy Systems Blog

COVID-19 and N95 Masks: What Does OSHA Say?

Posted by Rick Gehrke

Apr 2 2020
Apr 2 2020

We’ve received many questions regarding OSHA regulations and the use of N95 masks in the workplace for protecting personnel from COVID-19, and whether the respiratory protection standard applies.

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Topics: Training Best Practices, Compliance Matters

Grants: An Untapped Resource (Free Money!) for Your Employee Training Program

Posted by David Smith

Mar 9 2020
Mar 9 2020

Every day, 20 million US and Canadian frontline food workers grow, process, distribute, cook, and serve the food eaten by millions of people. These frontline workers can — and do —  make individual decisions that impact food and workplace safety, product quality, and operations.

Despite the importance of frontline workers, there’s limited research to help understand their motivations, attitudes, and perceptions about the workplace. To remedy this, the Center of Research and Public Policy (CRPP) conducted a survey to identify any perception gaps between frontline workers and those in corporate leadership roles. They found that new frontline workers start their jobs without the confidence that they really know the proper procedures.

This lack of confidence, coupled with workers making their own individual decisions, often results in unplanned downtime and injury. This has dangerous implications! It’s also expensive  —  each year, the cost of injuries runs companies $161 billion dollars.

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Topics: Training Best Practices

How to Define a SMART Leading Indicator: A 5-Step Plan

Mar 2 2020
Mar 2 2020

Leading indicators are one way to provide line of sight into future performance, as well as indicate how you have performed so far. By balancing the use of leading indicators with lagging indicators, you will get an overall comprehensive understanding of exactly where you are and what you need to do, to get to where you want to be.

Joy Inouye, a research associate at Campbell Institute at the National Safety, recently shared key insights and information gleaned from her long history in this field. 

So how to get started?

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Topics: Training Best Practices, Compliance Matters

Time is Running Out: How to Capture the Institutional Knowledge of an Aging Manufacturing Workforce

Posted by Desmond Smith

Feb 25 2020
Feb 25 2020

Currently, 27% of manufacturing workers are over the age of 66, which means many of your frontline staff and supervisors will be retiring within the next few years.

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Topics: Training Best Practices

Five Elements of Effective On-the-Job Training

Posted by Megan Renart

Feb 11 2020
Feb 11 2020

On-the-job training (OJT) is often hailed as best practice in manufacturing. After all, it just makes sense for workers to learn right where they’ll be applying the training, using the actual equipment.  Workers themselves love it, too, because they are learning by doing. And the frequent one-on-one dialogue provides opportunities to strengthen employee/supervisor relationships.

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Topics: Training Best Practices

4 Methods to Reduce Unplanned Downtime in Manufacturing

Posted by Desmond Smith

Feb 5 2020
Feb 5 2020

Not all downtime is created equal. Traditional, standard downtime typically entails any scenario when a machine or piece of equipment is not in production, but unplanned downtime is different. This is when a machine breaks or fails or a worker is unexpectedly absent.  

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Topics: Operational Tactics, Training Best Practices

Top Tips for a Robust Training Program

Posted by Megan Renart

Jan 20 2020
Jan 20 2020

This post is the first in a series that reveals the best practices and latest developments presented by experts on the leading edge of safety training at our 11th annual Engage conference.

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Topics: Training Best Practices

Most Training is Designed for Office Workers. Here’s Why That’s Dangerous.

Posted by Megan Renart

Dec 31 2019
Dec 31 2019

Are you a manufacturing company? If so, the likelihood that you are using a training platform designed for the average, college-educated office worker is pretty high — almost every employee training program is built using the same techniques, methods, and philosophies of training that were developed for a corporate, sit-down-at-your-desk-and-work-on-your-computer type environment.

But for workers on the production floor, this is not only impractical, but dangerous. Those suit-and-tie DVDs (and even VHS tapes!) don’t resonate with production team members.

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Topics: Training Best Practices

Common Communication Faux Pas in the Workplace

Posted by Megan Renart

Dec 16 2019
Dec 16 2019

You’ve likely heard over and over that communication is the key to any successful relationship. The stakes, however, get higher when it involves manufacturing environments. Interdepartmental communication provides purpose and builds a positive company culture. But according to Gallup, only 13% of employees strongly agree that leadership communicates effectively.



Navigating the waters of office etiquette can be a smooth experience for the most part if you honor the most basic ones, like the Golden Rule, for example. But successful communication —the kind that drives safety, quality, and productivity — requires a little more work and a little more understanding of the nuances . . . especially if you are a leader.

Sometimes a misstep can not only negatively impact an interpersonal relationship but the office environment as a whole which is why it’s best to immediately address a small matter before it becomes a big issue.

Here are some typical office miscommunication mistakes that may be affecting you and your team members:

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Topics: Training Best Practices

Microlearning on the Production Floor

Dec 3 2019
Dec 3 2019

Microlearning is the buzzword in the training world. But be warned—it’s not solely a method to learn “faster” or simply have shorter courses.

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Topics: Training Best Practices

Where Do Your Employees Fit in the Knowledge Confidence Square?

Posted by Megan Renart

Nov 18 2019
Nov 18 2019

Every single one of your workers fits into one of the categories in the Knowledge Confidence Square. Think about your team as we move through each square: Who is often full of doubt? Who is uninformed? Who has reached a mastery level?

 

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Topics: Training Best Practices

Leverage New Learning Methods in Manufacturing

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Mar 20 2019
Mar 20 2019

Today’s manufacturing workers are diverse, spanning generations, education, and cultures. Finding universal ways to effectively train all workers is key to maintaining quality and safety on the floor.

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Topics: Training Best Practices

3 Tips for Operational Excellence within Pet Food Manufacturing

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Feb 28 2019
Feb 28 2019

When it comes to food manufacturing, the pet food industry isn’t always in agreement on how to properly test and inspect pet food products. While it’s true that pets aren’t people (although some might argue with that!) it’s still critical to reduce the number of pet food recalls that have been steadily rising in recent years. Setting standardized industry guidelines that improve safety in pet food manufacturing can do much to reduce pet illnesses and fatalities due to foodborne illness.  

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Topics: Food Safety Insights, Training Best Practices

How to Transform Frontline Workers into Leaders

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Nov 1 2018
Nov 1 2018

Imagine this: your best frontline worker is promoted to floor supervisor. Yet, after weeks on the new job, juggling unfamiliar tasks such as managing former peers and dealing with compliance paperwork, they become overwhelmed. When frustration rises, they throw in the towel, leaving management scrambling to find a replacement. But what happens when the new supervisor is also underprepared? 

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Topics: Training Best Practices

How a Strong Orientation Program Improves ROI

Posted by Jessica Bergey

Oct 26 2018
Oct 26 2018

Did you know new employees who have a good onboarding experience are 69% more likely to stay with the company? In fact, according to some research, up to 20% of employees will bail within the first 45 days if they don’t feel welcome and prepared.

At Clemens Food Group, a family-owned company that provides quality pork products for retail, foodservice, and manufacturing customers, we employ about 3,000 workers throughout the United States. Part of our training program focuses on a strong onboarding program because we believe solid orientation training sets employees up for success. 

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Topics: Training Best Practices

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