A lack of food safety is a major problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 48 million Americans get sick every year as a result of food-borne illness. For some, these consequences are massive: 128,000 people are hospitalized, and 3,000 die on an annual basis as a result of food-borne illness.

There is good news, however: With proper training and awareness, food safety risks can be significantly minimized. How can this be done? Here are some thoughts.

Employees must, unquestionably, be made aware of the various rules that they need to follow when they are conducting business. This means that regular education is key. In today’s age, this education can occur in a variety of different ways, and generally speaking, it is better to educate your employees by using a multitude of different methods. These include:

  • e-Learning, which can be done at work or at home. This e-Learning can incorporate a variety of different educational methods, including tests, animations, lectures, interactive components, and more.
  • Periodic, interactive in-person training, which can give employees the opportunity to ask questions and review the latest available information.

As an employer, it is not enough to just train your employees by giving them knowledge. You must make sure they fully understand the stakes and know why food safety is so important. You must make sure that your employees not only fully comprehend what the rules are, but why those rules are so necessary. You must make sure they know that failure to comply with those rules can have consequences not only for their careers but for the health and safety of those who consume the products they are involved in producing.

Safety Culture

This means that you have to not only train your employees but create a culture that values safety above all else. Management should lead by example, emphasizing safety above profits. Your manufacturing facility should have ample signage, explaining what employees should be doing, what the rules are, where to go for questions, and how to report safety violations.

Continuous

It’s also important to recognize that employee education and safety isn’t a “once and done” sort of thing. You must do whatever you can to regularly update your education and safety procedures, making sure to incorporate the latest practices, information, and laws.

Covid-19

The COVID-19 outbreak is a great example of why this is so important. There is no doubt, of course, that COVID has had a massive impact on the food manufacturing industries, forcing an even more stringent emphasis on training for employees on proper safety and sanitation procedures. For many employers, this can be expensive and time-consuming.

However, if your organization has already established procedures for how to update educational materials and get that information to your staff, this process becomes much easier, as new information can simply be plugged into already existing platforms. e-Learning has also been critical during the COVID pandemic, as it has allowed employees to engage in education in the comfort and safety of their own homes, minimizing their risks.

Last, it is important that employees regularly refresh their educational materials, even if there is not an active global pandemic. Rules, manufacturing processes, and technology regularly change, and your company must ensure that your employee’s knowledge changes as well. It is only by regularly updating educational and safety procedures that a company can truly ensure the safety and health of the products they produce.

One of the most important lessons anyone in business can learn is this: Spending is often not just spending. If you do it right, it’s an investment.

This applies to many specific areas of where you spend your company’s limited and valuable resources. Indeed, there are some areas where the expenditure is really worth it. One such example is investing in your employees via training. This is true across almost every industry, but particularly true when it comes to giving your employees the skills they need in the food industry. Proper education can help with many areas, including improving workforce efficiency, flexibility, and safety. It can also ultimately help you save money by improving employee morale and reducing food waste.

As such, here are five reasons why training in food manufacturing is so important.

It can incentivize employee growth and talent

If you run a food manufacturing company, you are probably constantly struggling to retail employees and push them up a career ladder towards future success. Proper education can help with this. With the proper education, you can discover what an employee is good at. Indeed, proper guidance for your employees can help make them aware that they possess skills that they never knew they had. If an employee feels competent in their job, they are more likely to work harder, stay at a company longer, seek promotions, and try to identify other ways to improve. In the course of doing so, they will, of course, continue to benefit your company and help it grow.

It can show your employees that they are valued members of your team

One of the biggest benefits of engaging in the education of your employees is that you can essentially prove to them that you do not view them as simply cogs in a machine. Indeed, this can help prove to your employees that you value them and their contributions enough to spend money on improving their skills. Numerous studies and analyses have shown that this is the case, and as we all know, happier employees are more likely to stay with your company and perform better.

It can reduce food waste

A fascinating study, conducted in 2018, showed that a huge part of the reason behind food waste is a lack of awareness of proper procedures. Interestingly, this was present for both employees and managers, showing how a lack of employee education can occur at all levels. This was a serious cause of food waste, with 1 tonne lost for every 35 tonnes produced. Furthermore, food waste is extremely expensive and can be a major financial loss to food manufacturers. As such, this study demonstrated a very serious financial reason for how appropriate employee education can assist food manufacturers to save money, reduce waste, and ultimately help the environment.

It can reduce employee turnover

As noted above, caring for your employees by preparing them to be better can have multiple benefits. It can improve their morale, make them more competent at their job, and demonstrate their value to you and your entire company. This all comes back to a major core benefit: Proper education of your employees can reduce turnover. This, of course, can only benefit a company’s bottom line, as it is significantly cheaper to train an already existing employee than hire a new one and starting from scratch. It’s also worth noting that this is an issue that impacts the food industry in particular because this is an industry that has historically struggled with employee turnover.

It can increase employee efficiency

One of the most obvious reasons to spend time working to train your employees is also the one that can make your business the most money. Simply put, a healthy program of employee education can help your employees become more efficient, working harder, and accomplishing more in the same amount of time. This, of course, will lead to more money for you and your company. If you structure your employee incentives right, it can also lead to more money for them. This, combined with an instruction program for your employees, can create winners for the entire company.

A recent study has come to a rather definitive solution as it pertains to food waste in the manufacturing process. Thankfully, the same study was able to identify the cause and a potential solution.

First, the study. In January 2019, researchers at Brunel University and Ghent University examined 47 food manufacturers in Belgium, attempting to find where the most food loss was found. When food waste occurred, almost 11% was due to human error. This reason was easily the highest cause of food waste.

The reasoning? According to the study, a lack of standardization, visual management or management supervision. A lack of set procedures or a standard of manufacturing led to this loss.

It’s also important to note that this food waste was not a small number: For every 35 tons of food produced, 1 ton was lost.

The Need For Training

The study identified numerous potential areas for both management and line production workers that can be potentially studied. These include:

  • Setting and adhering to standard procedures.
  • Identifying common errors and ways to prevent them.
  • Correct ways to switch out products, also identified as a key issue when it came to food waste.
  • Appropriate supervision tactics.
  • Appropriate measurement of food waste.

The study also noted that this issue was particularly prevalent at many smaller manufacturers. Unfortunately, this makes sense, as it is very possible that many of these smaller firms are unaware of just how much food they are wasting and may not have access to the tools available which can better train workers.

Thankfully, the same study identified a possible solution to this issue: Increased management supervision and training within the food process.

Numerous training modules already exist that would allow for this training to be conducted. E-learning and online training can be ideal for these situations, and particularly appropriate during the COVID-19 outbreak that has shut down large swaths of the world economy. Indeed, E-learning can be ideal for many of these training opportunities, providing that online training is followed up with practical demonstrations.

This type of training comes with numerous benefits. It can be done at any time, in any place, ensuring that typical barriers to training are removed. It can be done on a massive scale and for as many employees as a manufacturer chooses. It is also cost-effective and can be done for an employer’s entire workforce at the fraction of a cost of in-person training.

As we specialize in trusted e-learning solutions for the food industry, we can help reduce your food waste with effective e-learning. Please contact us.

Starting at a company can be a very stressful experience for a new employee. There are new coworkers to meet, customers to be introduced to, paperwork to be filled out and a work culture to be assimilated to. That’s why onboarding is so important for new employees: It can ensure that they are introduced to their new company in an effective and efficient way, one that gives them a better idea of the company culture and company values of their new workplace.

Many times a lot of time, effort and money is spend in finding the right person for a job. After spending all this time, money and effort into hiring your new employee, you wish for your new employee to integrate well. From the moment you have found the right person the onboarding program should begin.

But how can you create an effective onboarding program? Here are a few tips:

Formal Program

Most importantly create a formal onboarding program. Make sure to include all relevant departments, including human resources and accounting. The program should lay out, step by step, what a new employee needs to do in order to start working at a new company. A good LMS, or Learning Management System, is essential for a solid onboarding program. It provides structure and allows the onboarding process to be monitored.

Start before the first workday

Start the onboarding procedure before the first day. This will allow the employee to get used to the company and be more prepared for their first day. A good way to get started is to create an interactive video about the history, values, mission and vision of the company. Give new employees access to the interactive video before their first workday.

Define Expectations

Make sure that you specifically define the expectations about your employee’s new role. Which tasks and responsibilities are associated with the new job? Which new skills does your new employee need to acquire to be successful at his or her new job?

Role specific Training

Procide role speficic training. Based on the expectations associated with the new job, your new employee will need to follow role specific courses and trainings. This process cannot only contain straight lectures or videos – that will bore your new employee to death. Instead, utilizing the LMS, create a mixture of interactive courses and classroom training.

Engaging Content

Whatever you do, make it engaging. A good program will have elements of gaming, micro-learning and a variety of interactive components. This applies to both company-wide courses and role specific training courses.

Personal Growth

Happy, motivated employees are employees who have the means to grow within the company. Your new employee needs to know which courses and training are available for them. Make sure you explicitly explain to employees how they can grow, train and ultimately move up a hierarchy within the company. The message you deliver should ensure that your company is one that values growth and training.

Mentor

Conclude the program by introducing your employee to a mentor who can guide them through the rest of their orientation. A good mentor must embody the company values. Ensure that this mentor is available to answer any questions. Of course, a good mentor not only answers questions, but also introduces the new employee to his or her new colleagues. The mentor plays a key role in the feeling of being included in the new workplace.

Remember, when done correctly, this process has several elements. It should successfully introduce a new employee to their company, establish company values, create a pathway for future growth and make a new employee feel good about their new job. If done correctly, this process will help create an employee who is excited about their new position, ready to get to work, and feels comfortable with the company that hired them.

In a world with an increasing emphasis on valuable skills, the rapid eLearning business is reaching and influencing more people than ever before. Rapid eLearning courses are training courses that can be developed in three weeks or less. The modules can be completed in under an hour.

Many companies have adopted rapid eLearning as the standard for teaching concepts and skills. Rapid eLearning enables companies to teach faster and with lower costs than ever before, due to quick development times and customizable rapid development templates. After accounting for all of the advantages of rapid eLearning, it becomes clear that utilizing them leads to a higher return on investment for the company and more efficient learning for learners.

Rapid eLearning Has Lower Costs Than Traditional Learning Programs

One major advantage of implementing rapid eLearning is lower costs. This is due to the use of standardized course templates, reusable and easy-to-update components and the development of a common user interface. These things all lead to quick development, saving on the costs normally associated with producing learning programs, such as paying for extensive development and implementation. In addition, organizations that make use of rapid eLearning services have a significantly better experience when it comes to updating and maintaining their programs, as the standardized modules can be updated to account for policy changes or advanced educational standards quickly and easily, saving further on costs.

LMS

Learning Management Systems have the tools necessary for producing rapid eLearning courses. It is vital for a corporation to select the correct LMS that will fulfill their needs as many LMS cater to various requirements, from sales-oriented training services to personal education programs. Each LMS has its own options as it comes to tools to develop your own online courses.

Drawbacks of Rapid eLearning

Despite the aforementioned advantages of rapid eLearning including cheaper production and speedy development, there are some disadvantages that come with the service. Due to the standardized course templates and sometimes generic graphic-design styles used in rapid eLearning courses, a learner may become disengaged after following a few courses.

It is important to use fresh graphics and design to avoid disinterest. And most importantly make sure the course content has depth to keep the learner motivated and engaged.
Rapid eLearning is not well suited for in-depth, specialized training. In addition, when a subject matter is extensive and requires many educational tools to teach properly, rapid eLearning may not be the most effective method of training.

Why Rapid eLearning?

In summation, rapid eLearning combined with the correct LMS is very effective for organizations seeking to reduce costs and streamline the education of their employees. Overall, if implemented correctly, rapid eLearning brings with it many significant advantages that can change the way a company teaches its employees.

The need for a centralized platform to effectively and efficiently address multiple facets of learning management has given rise to the increasing popularity and ubiquity of the learning management system software.

Different aspects of learning management such as administration, course design and management, progress tracking, training management, and more are now unified within a single, easy-to-use solution.

There are various learning management system examples to choose from. With a good LMS software, organizing content and creating courses is a breeze. Students or learners are able to access learning materials from any device and learn at their own pace. Educators can monitor the progress of their learners and evaluate their performance more effectively.

One can easily list the advantages an LMS brings to any organization. But how do you optimize your learning management software and fully maximize its potential?

5 Strategies to Improve the Effectiveness of Your Learning Management System 1

1. Go Mobile

Mobile learning is not a recent innovation. It has been a staple functionality for many common learning management systems. The adoption of mobile-based learning has seen an increase in the past 4-5 years. The trajectory of its implementation shows that this e-learning trend will be a mainstay in the future.

Learning management system experts credit this to the extreme flexibility that mobile learning gives to its learners. They can easily access reading materials, instructions, and other content through their laptops, desktops, smartphones or tablets. They can perform tests and submit essays on-the-go.

Looking from an administrative standpoint, mobile learning gives educators and administrators higher engagement. Such strategy empowers learners to perform and learn at their own pace. This significantly improves completion rates, which positively impacts the organization’s bottom line.

Such insight raises a few expectations. Organizations have to come up with courses, content, and other materials that are either mobile-adaptive, mobile-responsive or both if they are looking to get the most out of mobile learning.

2. Adopt a Digitized ILT Strategy

Instructor-led training, or ILT, is not a dying method of teaching and learning. There are still organizations that prefer to train or educate people within a controlled physical environment with an instructor physically present at the helm.

However, with the advent of mobile technologies, as well as innovations in online communications, ILT-based courses and programs are getting boxed in and limited. On top of that, there is a growing demand for tech-friendly learning that is either blended and/or fully online.

In fact, there’s a ‘classroom vs. online learning’ debate going on. From the looks of it, the online side is winning.

Among the reasons that fuel said demands are the reduced budgets for training and the need for shorter, faster employee training cycles. A traditional ILT setting costs more since it requires more money and resources (instructor fee, printed materials, use of office facilities, and accommodation of instructor and trainees) to conduct the training.

Blended and fully online ILT is significantly cheaper, as instruction is delivered online or through video conferencing. It eliminates the need to gather people in a single location and shoulder other expenses such as the instructors’ accommodation, fare, and professional fees. 

By shifting to a digitized ILT, learners are able to consume content and other learning materials as well as instructions and insights from their instructor via online channels. Trainers can access their course management system and track progress and analyze the performance of their trainees. They can provide feedback and further instructions as effectively as they can even if they are not physically present. 

The digitization of ILT not only speeds up learning, but organizations enjoy significant savings on costs while reaping huge returns. 

3. Give Learners Control

Self-directed learning is seen as an effective approach to learning and development, particularly in the corporate environment. Employees are encouraged to choose what they want to learn and how. They are given the onus of learning instead of placing that responsibility to the teacher or instructor.

To empower self-directed learning, organizations must provide employees unhindered access to instructional materials, LMS metrics and other content for learning to make them feel like they are in charge of their learning path. This enables them to map out their growth and development within a time frame of their choosing.

Experts believe that many organizations are recognizing the value of self-directed learning as well as its rewards. It is a trend that is poised to continue in 2020 and beyond.

5 Strategies to Improve the Effectiveness of Your Learning Management System 2

4. Gamify the Learning Process

Incorporating gamification elements, such as rewards, points, and contests, in learning has helped improve engagement among learners and enhance their retention rate. Gamified learning has many applications. In particular, experts cite the employee onboarding stage as its biggest area of application.

In fact, up to 69% of new employees are likely to stay with their company for more than three years if they are eased into the workplace environment through a well-formed onboarding process according to this SHRM Foundation report. Gamification in the onboarding process results in higher retention rate and application by new hires while creating a branded experience for the employer. Apart from onboarding, gamified learning can also be used on product training and skills testing.

A few years ago, most of the learning industry is not sold on the concept of gamification and its impact on learning. However, for the past two years, the implementation of gamification-based learning has seen a steady increase. And there is no stopping yet.

If you are currently selecting LMS vendor or doing a learning management system comparison, choose one that lets you have fun while learning. The best learning management systems should not just be easy to use, but should also allow you to fully make it your own based on your processes.

5. Leverage Interactive Videos

Most LMS comes with video conferencing and video chat features. Only a few are equipped with interactive video capabilities. But that will soon change as video-based learning is quickly gaining traction, providing organizations and learners a new and highly engaging learning alternative.

The 2019 State of Video in Education report revealed that 98% of over 1,400 respondents view interactive videos as an instrumental tool in creating personalized and self-paced learning. Respondents include international educators and students.

The digital learner of today is no longer bound by the traditional conventions of learning. Unhindered, real-time access to learning materials and other content is now a reality. Smartphones and tablets are interactive. People consume content through these interactive platforms. It makes total sense to implement interactive videos for learning that learners can access and consume via their smartphones.

Leveraging interactive videos greatly improves the effectiveness of your LMS. For one, you can create engaging and immersive videos that are personalized to suit user preferences. Two, capturing relevant information and statistics is a breeze. This helps you go deep into your learner’s data and discover insights that you can use to further improve your learning programs and your learner’s performance among other things.

The Future of VR/AR for Better Learning

So, what’s next for LMS?

Virtual reality and augmented reality is fast becoming relevant in the online learning sector. That said, only a few LMS offer VR/AR-based learning. But with the many benefits it brings to both organizations and learners, there is no doubt that VR/AR-based learning will be a staple LMS capability in the future.

With VR/AR training, learners can effortlessly shift from theory training and immerse themselves in a virtual reality space through their mobile phones and specially designed headsets. Within the VR environment, users are able to experience situations where theory and application meet, and where they can carry out sans the risks.

The 2019 Augmented and Virtual Reality Survey Report revealed that 78% of the 200 VR/AR startup founders believe that their products are highly applicable in training and developing the workforce. Meanwhile, 53% of the respondents said that VR/AR technologies provide learners safe and site-specific virtual training environments that they can repeat. Thirty-six percent thought VR/AR-based training is far more cost-effective compared to standard training.

Experience is the best teacher. With that, VR/AR-based learning is arguably the next best thing to empower your team to improve on their skills and knowledge.

People are your company’s most important assets. It’s essential that they maintain and gain the knowledge that sets your business apart from the competition. Adopting the right open source learning management system (LMS) makes it possible for you to offer dynamic training in a way that reduces costs, improves learning outcomes, and adapts to your organization’s changing needs.

The learning management system market is expanding enormously. Each day, dozens of new LMS platforms appear. So how do you choose? As we firmly believe in open source software, we have created a list of the best open source learning management systems available today that are suited for businesses. Here are five of the top open source LMS platforms on the market.

#1 Totara Learning

Totara Learning is an LMS that was developed in New Zealand for businesses that need to offer training in agile environments. Totara Learning is completely customizable, which allows you to create learning modules that are unique to your brand. Totara serves businesses that operate in education, financial services, manufacturing, and hospitality.

👍 A key benefit of the Totara Learning platform is that it’s built for businesses with unique features as multi-tenancy.
👎 Industry experts note Totara’s complexity and expense as its most prominent downsides.
👎 The platform is also perceived as difficult to use.

#2 edloomio

The edloomio platform is an enterprise LMS that’s designed for internal training. Edloomio supports uploads of existing content for easy course creation. With edloomio, your data is kept safe on secure servers that comply with Europe’s strict General Data Protection Regulation.

👍Industry insiders find edloomio to be very easy to use right out of the box.
👍Unique features for internal training such as onboarding, compliance training, etc.
👎 The platform is fairly new.
👎 Premium support is not 24/7 available.

#3 Moodle

An exclusive on our list as Moodle is not build for business. But Moodle is one of the most well-known LMS platforms on the market. It’s specifically designed to support teachers that operate in the education market. The downloadable software is maintained by the Moodle Project with the financial support of service partners from around the world.

The developer community for the Moodle Project is vast, which enables it to make periodic software improvements that benefit users. While Moodle works well for customers such as Microsoft’s Open University and the London School of Economics, its features aren’t designed for businesses that operate beyond the education and training market. Other users note that the software is complex and a little hard to use.

👍 Biggest community with continues development.
👎 You will need a developer to setup and customize.
👎 Not easy to master. It’s features are overwhelming.
👎 The platform is also difficult to use.
👎 Not build for businesses.

#4 ILIAS

ILIAS is an open source learning management system that enables public sector organizations, schools, and businesses to create tailored learning scenarios. ILIAS has been around since 1998, and its developer and user community is large and active. This means fewer bugs and more innovation.

👍 ILIAS users love the system’s flexibility and numerous features that support optimum customization.
👎 Other people note that the software is complex and hard to use for newbies.
👎 The system’s interface really needs an update.

#5 OpenEdx

OpenEdx is a open source learning management platform for the education and training community. Instructors create learning content within OpenEdx that includes multimedia presentations, adaptive video streaming, and virtual reality simulation environments.

OpenEdx was originally developed to support edX, which is the online learning environment for Harvard and MIT.

👍 Edx videos are integrated. (Not all are free though)
👎 The platform is hard to set up.
👎 Some users note that it lacks the extensive set of features that’s standard on other LMS platforms.

Conclusion

Open source learning management systems offer many important options to businesses. Whether you need to train large groups of team members or deliver instruction to students around the country through your tutoring business, you’ll quickly realize the value that the right open source LMS brings to your organization.

With the SLIM subsidy, the Dutch government wants to encourage Dutch SMEs to set up lifelong learning for their staff. Annually, around € 48 million will be allocated for this subsidy. Every SME based in the Netherlands can submit the grant application. In addition to SMEs, larger companies can also participate. The maximum subsidy amount for SMEs is just under € 25,000. For collaborative ventures from multiple organizations (eg branch organizations), the subsidy can amount to as much as € 500,000.

Which projects are covered by the grant?

The subsidy can be used for an educational work environment. Consider setting up a company academy. This is already possible with the help of an online learning platform such as edloomio in which employees can increase their knowledge and skills. For example, they are actively involved in lifelong learning.

Be quick!

The SLIM subsidy can be applied for from 2 March to 31 March 2020.

Apply for the SLIM subsidy? We are happy to help you!

It’s a constant struggle to deliver amazing learning and development to your colleagues. When you’re buried in work, and you hear the same questions over and over again, it can feel incredibly frustrating.

You may think, “How can I scale our learning and development? How can I help more colleagues in less time?”

Enter self-serve learning, create a knowledge base.

A knowledge base is a library of information about your products, processes or services. It helps colleagues find answers to solve problems on their own and — if you do it right — a good knowledge base can scale out your learning and development program while improving the overall learning experience.

Putting your knowledge base in your company’s drive (SharePoint for example) is almost the same as putting it in a closet in the maintenance room and sending everybody a one time email so they know it is there. It will be lost forever.

Edloomio solves this problem by making an easy to use knowledge base in the one place where all the learning magic happens! Quickly create articles, add attachments (downloads) and organize them in categories.

Want to see the knowledge base in action? Request a live demo and we’ll be happy to demonstrate the knowledge base feature of edloomio.