Putting Culture Front and Center During World Quality Week
The Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) is celebrating World Quality Week, an annual campaign that raises awareness of the quality management profession worldwide. CQI is the professional body for experts dedicated to improving product, project, and service quality by setting professional standards for quality management in the UK and globally.
From the perspective of CQI, quality management is more than improving and maintaining product and service quality. It’s also about how organizations deliver quality to customers and stakeholders. This year’s World Quality Week theme emphasizes corporate culture’s role in delivering quality, enabling companies and people to do the right thing for all their stakeholders.
Intertek Alchemy is fully aligned with CQI’s theme. And we’d like to use the attention of World Quality Week to give a round of applause and appreciation to the quality professionals at our 1,500 food manufacturing clients.
Quality professionals are staples of every manufacturing company, driving continuous improvement efforts. But food manufacturing specifically is a unique niche, whose quality professionals carry extra responsibilities. In food manufacturing, quality and food safety go hand-in-hand, even in the job title of Food Safety and Quality Assurance (FSQA). The only way to prevent food-borne illness outbreaks is to establish and vigilantly maintain production quality standards with added food safety measures.
The quality profession already demands a strong knowledge of systems and processes, creating an alphabet soup of acronyms unknown outside the profession. Our clients add to the list by staying laser-focused on things like GFSI, HACCP, FSVP, PCQI, and more.
The focus on culture is appropriate, as FSQA professionals must be dedicated to developing and retaining a frontline workforce empowered to say something when they see something.
And in today’s environment of labor shortages and quiet quitting, this is no small feat. A strong food safety culture depends on an engaged workforce guided by the Five Dimensions of a Food Safety Culture, as defined by GFSI:
- Vision & mission – part of a comprehensive commitment that covers a company’s overall goals as it grows and delivers products and services to customers.
- People – including key stakeholders and learning organizations, along with the organization’s governance, communications, and incentives/rewards/recognition programs.
- Consistency – evenly aligning food safety priorities with people, technology, resources, and processes.
- Adaptability – to provide the agility needed for companies to quickly respond and adapt to changes in their environments and take advantage of new opportunities.
- Hazards & risk awareness – to help all employees understand the potential food safety hazards that can impact customers and their organization.
We know highly motivated, engaged employees are over two times more likely to adhere to food safety protocols on the manufacturing floor consistently, according to our recent Global Food Safety Training Survey.
This can only happen if you hire, retain, and motivate your employees. Here is a sample of client successes.
- Bonduelle developed a training program that reduced employee turnover from 80% to 10%. With the help of Intertek Alchemy, the company launched a new employee engagement program focused on increasing employee skills, addressing gaps and opportunities.
- Conagra worked with Intertek Alchemy to develop a continuous skills development program that reduced employee turnover by more than half.
- Ventura Foods created a continuous learning environment to maintain consistency across multiple plants with digital tools like Alchemy Coach that help reinforce and verify correct behavior was applied.
While technology, tools, and regulations can go a long way to sustaining product quality, it will always come down to engaged employees to keep companies on track. During World Quality Week, we’re proud to play a significant role in helping companies create and maintain a culture that drives quality.