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Self-Compliant Handwashing Answers the Skeptics of Electronic Monitoring

Jim Mann's picture

The Magic is Employee Engagement

Originally published May 5, 2019 on Food Safety News.

The top 100 restaurant chains have good trainers but they almost all fail to change handwashing behavior in a sustainable way. That has been, is and thought by many to be its likely future. If good trainers can’t do it, there is a silent conviction by the C-Suite that efficiency requirements and the available workforce result in this risk which can only be managed by insurance. Each passing year further secures this status quo.

Savvy operators are stepping up. Their tolerance for risk is lower and perhaps their customer commitment is higher. These groundbreakers are few but their findings are profound as they discover new mission-critical technology and the protocols of implementation.

Enduring behavior change demands employee engagement and commitment. Compliance becomes a personal source of professional pride once data is available to move handwashing performance from an aspiration to a verified reality. The goal of policy compliance is converted to self-compliance.

Electronically monitored handwashing has been commonly  criticized, usually by those operators who have good trainers but poorly engaged workers. Operators see these tracking systems as number generators rather than the key to employee engagement, self-motivation, and self-compliant performance. The reminders to wash their hands is no longer a matter of signs on the restroom mirrors or the manager’s constant niggling but rather the simple feedback of personalized performance.

The most sustainable fix to ailing handwashing situations requires three components: 1. Reliable equipment 2.Data-gathering software. 3. Real-time staff feedback, This is the 1-2-3 fix that sticks.

Resolving foodservice’s age-old handwashing perplexity has now become a matter of choice, resting on the shoulders of ownership and their C-Suite representatives. Affordable technology advancements are available to both protect and even build brand values .

Note: Jim Mann, founder, and chief scientific officer for the Handwashing For Life Institute will be available at the Food Safety Summit, May 6-9, Rosemont Illinois Convention Center, booth 136.

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