(e.g., U.S. and UK); others prefer team rewards (e.g., China
Impact of generations on food safety culture and effectiveness of
As already mentioned, antecedents like training should be
designed by using a needs analysis to understand the learning
objectives and the specific characteristics of the learner generations. The workforces of most sites now span four generations
[baby boomers, Gen X, millennials (Generation Y), and the
new Generation Z!]. The generations have different values,
aspirations, attitudes, and behaviors. This has implications for
managing a site’s culture. One antecedent might not have the
same effect on all.
Differences between the generations mean that interpersonal relations, teamwork and collaboration, and effective
communication can be affected. Different techniques might be
required to drive engagement and loyalty for each group.
For example, the millennials and Gen Z employees are true
digital natives (addicted to their devices) with the ability to
multi-task and embrace new technologies quickly; but they are
often described as self-centered, impatient, immature (finding
hard to manage others), and less focused; craving regular feedback and recognition, they seem to be more concerned about
values and are more sensitive.
Antecedents: Your Toolbox!
Antecedents need to address all the specific root causes that
you uncovered in your analysis. This will increase the performance of your overall food safety plan and create a better connection between why the company sets expectations around
food safety behaviors. We have listed some of our favorite
antecedents for you to consider (Figure 2). We also strongly
recommend that you have a look at your health and safety
(H&S) activities and pick up useful tips from them. In fact,
industry food safety leaders are partnering with their colleagues
in H&S, operations, human resources (HR), maintenance, etc.
to collectively determine the appropriate employee behaviors
required to achieve the business goals and objectives.
1. Senior Leaders and Managers
These individuals need to show their clear and consistent
commitment to making safe food, which includes dedicating
time and effort to train and educate staff, and ensure that all
people involved in food production (e.g., staff, contractors,
agencies) realize that they play a part in food safety and that
they are accountable.
This covers onboarding of new staff, agency staff, and contractors, and ensuring timely refreshers and relevant training
following the installation of a new piece of equipment.
2. Trust and Openness
The company needs to have a trusting and open environment that empowers employees to speak up if they feel that
food safety is being compromised and corners are being cut
for production’s sake.