Progressive Grocer Independent

OCT 2016

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October 2016 | Defining the Independent Market | 31 T raining resources, especially online, are more prevalent than ever with abundant op- tions for independent retailers from the NGA Online Train- ing & Education Center to the IGA Coca-Cola Institute to IDDBA's training portal. Independent retailers, with smaller staffs, often do not have formalized training programs that can be found in some of the larger chains. Many rely heavily on job shadowing, especially in the service departments like bakery, deli, meat, etc. is type of training can be effective as long as the person being shadowed knows all the processes and performs them properly every time. However, employees are human and many have found their own short- cuts to get the job done faster, but maybe not to documented standards. And when it comes to the service departments handling food, this can become a major problem. Resources, such as IDDBA's on- line training portal with many mod- ules offered in English and Spanish, can help make the training process a bit more structured. e association offers several levels of training that are free to both members and non- members and can be found on the association website Basic Introduction e most basic mobile offerings are the short 5-minute videos with quizzes of about 5 questions at the end and one-page job guides that are ideal for new hires or for longer-term employees to brush up on some basic supermarket food knowledge. e videos and corresponding job guides cover a variety of topics like food safety, such as personal hygiene and proper handwashing or cross-con- tamination; product knowledge such as identifying soft cheeses or product pairings; and even merchandising tips for more attractive showcases. "ey're a real hands-on walk- through of very tactical topics that are really critical to what you do every day as you come to work," says Mary Kay O'Connor, education director for Madison, Wis.-based IDDBA. "You can literally stand in the back room of your department and pretty ef- ficiently take a training topic or two." e videos are designed to be easily watched on a tablet or mobile phone, or even on the newer scales that offer internet connection. e videos are easily incorporated with a job shadowing-type training program. ey can introduce a new employee to the topic and then allow the trainer to demonstrate how that topic is actually incorporated into the store. For example, the various videos on common deli and bakery products can introduce the new hire to what is typical in a department, and then the trainer can go into more detail on specific products offered at the store. e association also provides a backend tracking system so man- agers can keep track of which employees have watched the video and how they've performed on the corresponding quiz. is makes it very easy to track progress against set goals, O'Connor notes. Relevant Reminders Videos can even be incorporated as a brush-up on topics during depart- ment meetings, with discussions about how to apply what is in the video to a particular department, she suggests. e one-page job guides also make it easy for department heads to print them out and post at appropriate spots throughout the department or store. For example, guides for hand washing or when to wash hands should be placed above the sink. e idea of posting relevant train- ing information where an employee needs it also was discussed in the recent Professional Deli/Bakery Managers Leadership Forum hosted Place a small mirror so employees can see themselves as they answer the phone. A smile on the face translates to a smile in the voice.

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