Food Safety And The Challenge of Goals

Time flies when you are having fun and time flies when you are busy solving issues. How did you experience your last few months? Where you very busy with appraisal meetings with your staff? Secondly, did you and your staff make a lot of progress last year? Where you satisfied of the outcome of your team? And did you decide to add new tasks and objectives for the upcoming months?


Food Safety And The Route That Needs To Be Followed

What is your route? You will create an overview with tasks. The next step is that you need to perform these tasks in the upcoming year. Why should you have an overview with tasks? Well, if you don’t know which route you need to take, the next thing that can happen is that you hit an iceberg. Your effects will be devastating.

<p> <img src="food safety iceberg.jpg" alt="hit an iceberg"> Hitting an iceberg is devastating especially when we talk about food safety </p>

That is one of the reasons why many of us received or created targets and objectives for the upcoming year.


The Reasons WHY Many People Struggle

Did you know that many people that receive targets and objectives are struggling to find a way to work on these? For example, often many people don’t know where to start or don’t know where to find the time to work on all the objectives.

Let me give you a few examples from my experience WHY people are struggling.

The targets and objectives are not SMART enough. Yes, I know, we as quality professionals are focused on SMART. Everything that we do needs to be SMART. However, we still have challenges with defining our goals.

What I often notice is that the manager believes that his/her staff knows WHAT to do. However the responsible person doesn’t communicate that he/she doesn’t understand what is expected or doesn’t understand WHY you think he/she needs to be the owner of the task.

Very often I see that QA Departments have targets and goals that shouldn’t be theirs. Although many aspects are mentioned in the GFSI-guidelines, the owner of certain aspects of your Quality and Food Safety Management System can be any department of your organization. You know that the QA-Department isn’t always the rightful owner of the activity. Why? The QA-Department does not have the authority to decide everything. The decision what to do and how to move forward is often taken by other managers.


Questions I Have For You

Are you struggling with assigning targets to your employees or to managers of other departments?

Next to this, many of us have a lot of targets and objectives to fulfil in the upcoming months. Do you have a clear overview of the activities that need to be performed? Does this overview help you with your work and make your work more efficient?

Secondly, targets and objectives are not prioritized. It’s difficult for the executive to work on everything at the same time. Your staff needs to know what the priorities are and with what targets and objectives to start.

There are many challenges with deciding what priority a target needs to have. Is the target important for your organization? Is the target easy to perform?

This brings me to my next questions. Can you easily prioritize all the targets and objectives? How about a clear overview of your targets and objectives and the check that these targets and objects are in progress. Do you have such an overview? In short, does your overview help you with your work and make your work efficient?

<p> <img src="Food Safety Questions.jpg" alt="Food Safety Questions"> Food Safety Questions targets and objectives </p>


What You Can Do

To keep an eye on all targets and objectives and achieving these is quite cumbersome. In short you can think about:

  • Managing your department. They are the ones that need to understand the targets and objectives that are food safety related and make sure that everything is in line with the relevant guidelines. They need to know exactly WHAT to do and WHEN it needs to be done. You will need to follow this up periodically
  • Managing your colleague managers. They are the ones that need to understand that they are the rightful owner of the activities you have no influence on, but the activities need to be performed in line with the relevant guidelines. You will need to be updated by them on a regular basis
  • Managing your priorities. During a year many things change and this might result in adapting the priorities of the targets and objectives
  • Is everybody still working on the right aspects?
  • Managing your Stakeholders


Interesting Articles To Read Of Food Safety Experts

7 Steps to be IMPACTFUL as a Quality Manager

The Right QA-Person

What Skills Does a Quality Manager Need?

Image QA Department