Are you a Normal Leader? Or a New Normal Leader?

Are you a Normal Leader? Or a New Normal Leader?

Are you a Normal Leader? Or a New Normal Leader?

Resilient organizations and leaders are like putty – stretched, pulled and twisted, yet still hold their shape.
Today, the food and beverage industry is acutely feeling the stretch, pull and twist of an unexpected environment affecting leadership, workers and our customers. Adversity has hit, and our industry needs leaders to step forward for a new normal. One where we continue to grow and workers are still there with a positive, “we can do this” outlook.

In the food and beverage manufacturing environment, meeting safety and quality standards while overcoming the unexpected is a rare skill held by only the most experienced workers- the gatekeepers of what I refer to as tribal knowledge. These are the workers who don’t just plug holes in the dam. These workers recall every attempt, result, and reason why the current standard exists. When a problem arises — they know correctly what to do. New hires, apprentices, journeymen, management – all rely on their know-how.

In most companies, these gatekeepers gained their expertise as a consequence of hands-on experience, outside of formal training programs. For too long, job shadowing has been the training borne out of necessity in our industry. When these employees leave, they take all of their knowledge with them. In the face of a massive job skills shortage, leaders in the new normal should work to understand it is time to take a fresh look at the skills gap.


“It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do and then do your best.”
-W. Edwards Deming


This isn’t a future problem. The challenges of the skills gap are impacting businesses right now, along with a global pandemic that is affecting operations, production volumes and worker safety. While recruitment and industry perception is one component, leaders in the new normal need to adapt their current training and retention strategy to both prevent knowledge loss and adjust to the incoming workforce and the COVID 19 workplace environment. Training will become educating. Educating has newly evolved from being task or role

driven, to being learner-driven. The jobs we are training now will most likely not exist five years from now. Leaders in the new normal will empower people to learn and think and react, rather than just ‘DO.’ Social-emotional learning and workplace essential skills take precedence over task-driven learning. And leaders in the new normal will understand this and be prepared.

Leaders can expect the pandemic to alter manufacturing environments, workplace and food safety requirements permanently. The food and beverage industry will see the future need for workers to learn continuously. In the new normal, workflow learning will be a worker-led model allowing the transfer of knowledge and skills outside of employment hours. There will be little or no time or resources for traditional classroom led training, so how do we accomplish that?

A recent Pew Research study finds 87% of workers believe it will be essential for them to get training and develop new job skills throughout their work life in order to keep up with changes in the workplace.

What can leaders in the new normal do right now?



Tomorrow is here, and regardless of your size, food and beverage industry leaders need solutions today.

Food Processing Skills Canada has developed an EMPLOYER STREAM for its Succeeding at Work program. Succeeding at Work Employer Stream is a fully-funded program available to employers that will educate new hires, recent hires, and existing employees to eliminate the skills gap in your workplace with a different kind of education. This kind. Workplace essential skills, social-emotional learning and food safety and technical skills elevating competency levels and providing consistent knowledge throughout your workplace.

To facilitate learning and provide a professional experience, your workers can be proud of, FPSC and the SAW team will create your very own custom branded learning institute or LMS. Your learning institute or LMS will include over 30+ industry-recognized courses. Workers receive nationally recognized certificates after each completed course and a graduation package upon program completion.
AND, we will do so at no cost, no loss in production and no downtime for your business.

Whether you are an SME or a multi-branch operation, this is an opportunity like none other and never before offered in Canada.