By Teresa Stevenson, SNA School Nutrition Employee/Manager Representative 2014-10-28 15:21:44
Pass on the Power of Training Welcome, my school nutrition friends, to a world of challenges and changes! With so much going on in our busy lives, those of us who are managers have to remember that creative, positive training methods for our employees are the key ingredients for a successful school nutrition operation and a successful school year. I find it helpful to think of the word “TRAIN” as an acronym that illustrates all the elements that are crucial aspects of successful training sessions: T: Teach; R: Resources, Reasons; A: Advocating, Action, Adventurous, Accomplishment; I: Instruct, Interest; N: Nurture and Network. As we train our teams, we need to Teach them about the Resources that are available to help them do their jobs, as well as the Rationale behind any of the new challenges or changes in the program. We must instill in our employees the concept of Advocating for school nutrition and how taking Action and being Adventurous can generate a feeling of Accomplishment when we serve our students healthy, delicious school meals! Training also Instructs them to take more Interest in their jobs every day. As managers, we need to Nurture our employees and encourage them to Network, expanding their influence and relationships with others at school and throughout the community. As managers and employees, each of us can adjust our attitude and be open to finding learning opportunities every day. Take advantage of every occasion to learn and be trained in all areas of the program. I try to encourage my employees to go beyond their regular responsibilities by involving them in cafeteria promotions, nutrition education activities in the classroom and bulletin board-decorating contests. Communicating my expectations for ongoing learning creates an atmosphere where each one of my team can feel that power of training and want to be the best-trained staff around. We should never forget that empowering staff with training is crucial for the continuing growth of our individual cafeteria operations—and the district’s entire school nutrition department. What better way to retain the top talent on our teams than to enable them to become even-more talented contributors? I hope you’re enjoying the school year so far and look forward to the holidays ahead. As you give thanks this month, remember that training—for us and others—is an important gift to our personal and professional growth! Career Counseling www.schoolnutrition.org/careers Do you know a college student, recent graduate, an individual moving to a new community or someone simply contemplating a career change? Encourage them to visit www.schoolnutrition.org/careers to learn about opportunities in the school nutrition profession and gain access to SNA’s Job Bank. Also available is information on internships, scholarships and more. Be sure to share your own story about your experience as a school nutrition professional on a special testimonials page. This will help to inspire others who might be interested in joining this unique business. Step Up and Vote! SNA National Elections SNA’s Board of Directors is committed to representing you and the school nutrition profession. Be sure to show your support by participating in SNA’s annual election. If you were a valid member as of May 31, 2014, you are eligible to vote for this year’s candidates. Voting began October 15 and closes November 15. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/snaelection to view the online biographies of all the candidates standing for office this year. They are stepping up to serve—won’t you make sure that you step up and vote? National School Lunch Week Did You Get in the Game? National School Lunch Week (NSLW) 2014 may be over, but how about your special memories? Maybe you introduced your students to new foods or partnered with your school’s P.E. teachers to promote the importance of balancing healthy eating and physical activity for kids. Send us a brief report and photos of your NSLW activities, and they may appear in the magazine’s April 2015 recap. Send them by email to email@example.com or by mail to NSLW Wrap, School Nutrition, 120 Waterfront St., Suite 300, National Harbor, MD 20745. [Note: Submission of photos grants permission to use the images in the magazine or other SNA materials.]
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