Technician training modules: Learning at your fingertips

November 21, 2022

By Dr. Michele Yabes Manuzon

Supply chain and staffing disruptions continue. Like many industries, the food safety sector has felt the impact. Laboratories have always experienced high technician turnover, but now colleagues across the industry report that staffing has become their number one concern.

To fill the gaps, food processors increasingly outsource testing to contract laboratories. The increase in demand has led laboratories to consider new methods that are less labor intensive. This, however, can add new burdens to existing staff:

  • Technicians: in addition to busy day-to-day operations, technicians need to verify these new methods before implementation, work to become proficient at using them, and onboard new personnel.
  • Managers: in addition to ensuring accreditation and compliance requirements, must lead their teams and work to retain these critical, experienced staff.

Improve retention through learning

In 2021, Glint’s Employee Well-Being Report stated that having opportunities to learn and grow is the number one driver of a great work culture. During what LinkedIn Learning calls "the Great Reshuffle," employees are most focused on finding fulfillment through developing new skills and furthering their careers. As contract labs seek to improve employee retention, they can help both their own efforts and their technicians by emphasizing education. Comprehensive training can help new team members feel less overwhelmed and, for more experienced staff, skill-building opportunities can help increase engagement.

As a lab leader myself who trains technicians, I find value in a combination of digital and hands-on training. Technicians today are very adept at digital technologies and tools. A digital approach can both initiate their training and enhance subsequent in-person training.

I am part of a team of microbiologists, food industry scientists and specialists in adult education who have developed a series of focused online educational modules for customers. These digital modules can serve as a foundation on laboratory methods and principles. Technicians can then continue to build on their skillsets by putting their knowledge into practice in the lab. Our team is also always happy to plan in-person training at your facility, to complement the online education.

Where can we help?

We created e-learning tools for three main purposes:

  1. To ease the burden of onboarding;
  2. To help facilitate refresher courses and ongoing education; and
  3. To help ensure that your training materials are up to date for quality indicator and pathogen testing.

Explore these modules and see how we can help your lab reach its goals.

About Dr. Michele Yabes Manuzo

Dr. Michele Yabes Manuzon has worked in quality and food safety for over 15 years, specializing in the development, validation, training, and implementation of microbiological and molecular methods. She leverages her industry and laboratory experience to provide technical training and support for customers using Neogen Food Safety Solutions.

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Category: Food Safety, Laboratory, Laboratory Services