Anybody that has done any work in the food service and grocery industry knows about food safety. And the temperature foods are stored or served at are critical. A visit from a local health inspector can end in all sorts of problems if food is not at the correct temperature. As a result, companies in the food service industry have put all sorts of checks and controls in place including forms, digital thermometers on fridges and freezers, alarms, you get the picture.
During a recent visit to a grocery chain I experienced an interesting performance support solution they have in place. As I was walking the chip aisle, an automated announcement came over the PA for the supervisors in several specific areas of the store to check the temperatures of the products in their area. How cool is that?! What a great example of performance support:
- Didn’t interrupt the flow of work one bit
- Supports the desired behavior
- Reduces risk
- Impacts the bottom line by reducing waste AND informing customers of the measures the company takes to ensure food safety
I don’t know the specifics of the system, but I’m guessing it runs on a predetermined schedule. Imagine if they had an application used by each area of store to record their temperatures, and the announcement only played for those parts of the store that had not recorded their temperatures for that hour. And, imagine if that announcement would repeat on a regular interval until they did enter their temperatures. To take this one step further, what other performance support measures could be in place, like a reminder sent to mobile devices, or an onscreen reminder at the cash register in their area.
It is this type of seamless and integrated support that I get excited about. I work in the financial services industry, so PA announcements about a teller’s cash drawer being out of balance probably aren’t appropriate. But a system driven support message for the teller is appropriate, and even more so a system that walks the teller through correcting the error when it happens.
What creative performance support solutions have you built, used, and experienced?