Training is important to ensure that product quality doesn’t slip from shift to shift and that employees and products are kept safe. But training is also important to worker retention. Training employees to take them to the next level in their career helps keep them engaged in the business.

“Talent development is the most important aspect of retaining workforce,” said Felipe Velasquez, director of operations, AbiMar Foods, Abilene, Texas. “Everyone always says it’s about the money, and of course that needs to be there, but training is how you show someone that you’re a good partner to develop their career. If we’re doing talent development, we’re offering them a better life.”

AbiMar shows itself to be a good partner by giving its employees the opportunities to move up in the company and providing them a career path from entry-level positions to lead, supervisor and manager. When a new position opens up, the company tries to fill it internally first, giving employees the opportunity to advance.

“Of course a person in an entry-level position needs to see that they have a future and there is a good training process that will get them there,” said Jaime Correa, chief executive officer, AbiMar Foods. “In this industry we have a lot of opportunities for people to grow their knowledge and skills as well as their salary.”

AbiMar also tries to offer employees opportunities based on their strengths and interest by working with supervisors to identify individuals who may want to develop their skills.

“We show them a path from the beginning based on their interests,” Mr. Velasquez explained. “Do you like data? Then maybe you’d like to work with QA. If you’re more hands-on, we should develop some technical skills.” 

This article is an excerpt from the June 2021 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Training, click here.