One thing’s for certain in business; there’s no point implementing any sort of new system, and expecting it to work, if you don’t communicate the need for that system to your staff. Expecting them to immediate understand the process, and the need, and buy into it is unrealistic.
As more organisations move towards ISO management systems and certification, the need for better communication and specialised training is apparent. Indeed, read about just about any ISO system and the word ‘communication’ will appear pretty early on.
With the growth of International Standards, and the pressure on businesses to put environmental awareness, quality assurance and safety at the heart of their operation, we have seen more business owners turning to specialist consultants for help.
Choosing The Trainer
And for an organisation seeking quality assurance training in Brisbane, the best choice would probably be SC Training Centre. My recommendation is based on the fact that most businesses don’t have the time or the inclination to go through several training providers. Far better then, to choose a one-stop-shop that can do everything from tailor-making a management system to providing ISO 9001 lead auditor training.
ISO 9001 is the standard that focuses on quality assurance. Different to quality control, quality assurance is about getting it right first time, every time. It is far more effective than simply telling customers they can get a refund!
With quality control, poorly made unsuitable goods still go out to customers, who then have to take the time to return them for either a refund or a replacement. Over time this will lose customers, damage an organisation’s reputation, and cost the business more in wasted production and refunds.
Motivated Staff Work Harder
It can also be a massive downer for your employees. Not only will they be disappointed to see the product of their hard work returned, but they are likely to feel – or even be made to feel – guilty for the drop in quality.
A Quality Management System, or QMS, puts processes and policies in place to ensure products or services are perfect first time. It also incorporates internal auditing for management use, and third party auditing if ISO certification is desired.
As refunds and returns disappear, and customer numbers and profits increase, staff will become more motivated. That, in turn, will further boost quality. So simple really!
Importance Of Internal Auditing
However, it’s not all beer and giggles! There is still a need to ensure employees are delivering and meeting their quotas in order to improve the customer experience. A large part of this is covered during internal auditing.
Implementing a management system and achieving certification isn’t a one-off action; it’s not a case of pay the money, get the certification, done and dusted. It’s really the beginning of a whole new mindset for the organisation. It’s intended to be a continual process, reviewing and reporting, and tweaking the system to keep it relevant and responsive.
While the point of implementing quality assurance is to increase customer satisfaction/numbers, the process actually starts with the employees. They need to be aware of the business’s goals, objectives and values, and understand how they fit into that. Quality assurance training is about defining employees’ roles.
Get Everyone On Board
This affects everyone within the organisation, from the coalface – sales and customer service – to the engine room – technical support, finance and HR. All employees should be responsible for their own work and its quality, and empowering them through communication and training will help achieve this.
Employees who do not feel empowered will be afraid to question decisions, suggest alternatives or provide feedback, and that can often be the organisation’s loss. The person who carries out a particular task, all day, every day, is most likely to be the one with ideas on how to improve that task.
It’s also important to remember that the customer is not just the end user – often customers are suppliers or vendors. Their needs – and their role within the quality assurance system – also need to be defining and documented.
Ask For Feedback
A crucial tool in developing your quality assurance processes is feedback – again, not just from customers, but also from employees and other stakeholders. Ask questions that help identify what your organisation does well, and what it does badly.
Of course, involving employees, customers, contractors, suppliers and others in the management process is relatively new, and certainly bucks tradition. In the past, when fewer businesses enjoyed greater market share and thought themselves invincible, there was no interest in what an employee thought.
Times have changed. Today’s organisations must work hard at securing market share, with increased competition and, largely due to the web, better informed customers. ‘Good enough’ will no longer cut it. It has to be perfect, it has to exceed customer expectations. And the best way of achieving that is by involving employees, making them responsible for their own input.
Some of the most successful organisations in the world are the ones that encourage staff participation, fostering teamwork, constant learning and self-management.