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Food safety quality culture…

It’s only a little statement but trying to change culture, is one huge task.  But that’s what BRC want us to now think about for Issue 8.

We now need to create a plan, which helps to develop the culture within our business, and promote the ‘right’ food safety quality culture.  But before we can create a culture plan, we need to establish what the ‘right’ culture actually is. And, before we can establish what the ‘right’ culture is – we need to be really clear about what we mean by ‘culture’.

Culture

Let’s tackle what we mean by culture first.  The way I think about it, to keep it simple is think about culture, as a businesses personality. If you think of it that way, it’s easier to get your head around.

What is your business’ personality?

Your company’s personality will be made up of things that are important to it, it’s values and beliefs. Your company may already have a set of values that it works to, or mission statements.  This defines the culture that the business would like to work towards.  This is what the business defines as the ‘right’ culture.

Defining business culture

We need to define what culture that the business would like to work towards, in order to then ask the workforce, how far away they think you we are from this defined culture. The easiest way to do this to establish what the values are for the company and then define these values into a statement.  (Or if you want to be very corporate – a ‘mission’ statement!) To help you see what this might look like, the crew at Techni-K decided to put together our own culture, in a set of values and statements as an example for you.

So, here’s ours!

Values Statements
Lead We want to be known as experts that can lead the food and drink industry to transform and improve the way food safety compliance is achieved.
Integrity Acting with integrity is so important to us, that we want to do the right thing, all the time.
Customer service We want to wow our clients, by being prompt, easy to approach, by going that extra mile and exceeding their expectations.
Simplicity We want to help the food industry to simplify the cost, the time and the implementation of practical technical standards.
Add value We are motivated by really adding value and making a difference to those that we work with, to ultimately raise the technical bar!
Core strengths We are professional, vibrant, pioneering, dynamic, and forward thinking.

So what’s next?

Once you’ve got the culture defined for your company, the next step is to find out where you are at present, compared to this defined culture. The BRC suggest the use of an employee survey to see what the workforce think.  That’s not the only way to do it, but it’s probably a good idea to go down this route for at least the first round of feedback to keep it simple.

You may have a survey already in your business, which you can use.  You just need to make sure that it is linked to your culture and also, to make sure that it complies with BRC – it’ll need to have an element of food safety and quality. If you don’t have a survey, and you want to go down this route for feedback, you’ll need to create one. Use the culture that you’ve defined to write your questions.

So, let’s take the Techni-K culture that we’ve defined and write some questions.  In the most basic form, we want to know if our employees think that we are meeting the values that we’ve defined. So, the questions can be as simple as this:

For the value of ‘integrity’ we could ask “Do you think we do the right thing, all the time?”
For the value of ‘customer service’ we could ask “On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being poor and 5 being excellent, how much do you think we wow our clients?”

Try our survey!

We thought it might be a good idea for us to do our own survey, about our culture.  We’re doing this with the Techni-K team, but because you’re so important to us too, we thought it would be interesting to get your feedback on how we’re doing. You will get to see how we’ve generated questions based on our values too…

If you’d like to take our culture survey – you can do this now, just click our link below:

We hope this has helped to clear up the subject of culture and make it easier to understand.  We hope this article has met our value of ‘simplicity’ too, by making a complicated subject, simple! We’d love to hear your thoughts – please let us know what you think in the reply box below.

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