Learning while lunching

Back in 2017, Krones Inc. came up with an initiative to be the employer of choice. As part of the Continuous Improvement team, my colleagues and me thought it would be a great way to see people from various departments come together and learn new topics to improve themselves. The way we decided to do this was through ‘Lunch and Learns’. Many times, you don’t realize how good something was until it is gone. Currently we miss our educational and social lunch breaks so much that I would like to use the current necessary break from these Lunch and Learns to introduce the concept.

Lunch and Learns are open for everyone. Employees can sign up for each event in HR. Along with taking the time during your lunch break to come learn about a new topic, Krones also supplied free lunch to go along with it. The Lunch and Learn sessions are about an hour long. We decided they should be a monthly occurrence – and each month we would pick a new topic and seek subject matter experts to teach about the various topics.

One of the first topics we focused on was Safety Jeopardy. In this topic, I framed the session like the TV show Jeopardy. This was a fun and creative way to help educate our employees on various safety rules within Krones and help new employees learn about safety here at Krones. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

Another topic that was very successful was on Fire Prevention. During Fire Prevention month, which is in October, we had a local fire chief come to Krones and give a presentation on what to do in case of a fire and how to prevent a fire both at work and at home. By promoting Fire Prevention, we also promoted the health and safety of our employees both at home and at work.

Besides just safety topics, we also focus on self-improvement topics. Some of these topics include Staying Healthy for the Holidays (how to reduce stress and eat healthy through the holidays), Goal Setting (how to set goals and work to obtain them both personally and professionally) and Managing Stress and Work/Life Balance.

Another category that we focus on is work education. Many times, when you are working in a company you only focus on the things you are around. During these Lunch and Learns we hope to educate our employees on other fields within the company and to educate our employees to learn topics pertaining to their job. Some of these topics are How to Deal with Difficult People (e.g. what kinds of difficult people do you face in the company and how can you work with them?), Quality Culture (What is the Quality Culture here at Krones and how can we live up to it?), Introduction to Krones Product Lines (for those not familiar with all the Krones Product Lines: An introductory course), Introduction to Krones eShop, and Basics and Advanced Excel classes.

As I already mentioned in the beginning – and as you can probably guess: Due to the state of the world with the pandemic, we haven’t been able to host these wonderful events recently as now more than ever we take the health of our employees very seriously. Hopefully we will be able to restart these events soon, implementing social distancing measures that allow us to lunch and learn without threatening anyone’s health. For example, we are currently thinking about recording these sessions so anybody can watch them at any time and any place.

Overall, these events are valuable for the employees for self-improvement. In our regular evaluations we found out that employees especially appreciate learning more about team work and communication as well as improving quality in their daily work. On top of that, the events are also valuable for Krones as a company and leverage Krones to be the employer of choice while also encouraging the employees to improve and meet others that they might not have otherwise known.