There are many reasons why implementing management systems and achieving ISO certification are so beneficial to an organisation. In fact, if you wrote a For and Against list for the case, the latter would be empty!
When we look at ISO management systems, we tend to see how they will benefit the environment, the customers, the business owner and so on.
However, when you really consider everything a management system entails, you can see that there is also a huge HR benefit to be had.
Sadly, when businesses struggle financially, things like staff training, marketing, health and safety, and quality suffer. Not only is that regrettable, but it’s also potentially catastrophic!
It was probably largely the lack of focus on those important factors that caused much of the financial uncertainty in the first place.
However, when we justify the cost of staff training, we can actually see a very definite Return on Investment.
Measuring ROI is all part of implementing ISO Standards and systems-and an integral element of the auditing process.
For example, let’s take ISO 9001 as an example. This is the International Standard for Quality Management Systems, and it provides the tools to manage quality right across the organisations, including products and services, facilities, equipment, people and training.
ISO 9001 has very particularly training needs, spread right across the organisation-not just management. It is crucial that staff know what’s going on, how it works and why it’s happening. All of this is pertinent to the quality management system performance.
Remember, change can be very scary for some people and, with the introduction of new systems, proven to increase performance and efficiency, they may fear for the future of their jobs.
Of course, reduced costs and increased efficiency and profit is more likely to protect their jobs-and even create more jobs-but the human mind sometimes plays tricks on us!
Firstly, there must be general training about the new system, but this should then be followed by, or incorporate internal audit training courses.
Skilling your staff is good for your business, as it will improve business performance, profit and staff morale. Advantages include choosing which skills your staff learn, and targeting skills to meet the needs of your operation now and in the future.
Crucially, training your staff will result in better customer service, better work safety practices and productivity improvements-all key elements of successful ISO management systems and certification.
If you are pursuing certification, you will definitely need to look at the auditing requirements, and who will carry them out. Select the staff best suited to the role and invest in ISO 9001 lead auditor training, and you will never regret it.
As well as ensuring your systems are running properly, and consistently improving, you are also showing your workforce that you value them enough to invest in them, improving loyalty and staff retention.
Empower your staff
And that last point in an important one. Unhappy, unmotivated staff will leave. And in doing so, that costs your business money in downtime, training, re-training and so on.
But by empowering your staff, and helping them acquire new skills, you are increasing their contribution to the business and building their self-esteem.
Misguided employers may think that by upskilling their workers-and consequently improving their career prospects-they will lose them. Long-term, they might, but short-term at least, that organisation will greatly benefit.
For example, sending staff on a QMS ISO 9001 lead auditor course will definitely add to their skill set, make them an invaluable member of your team, and improve their long-term career prospects. Recognising that, your staff will be more likely to go that extra mile for your company.
Just like an ISO Standard, training helps your business run better. Trained employees will be better equipped to meet the criteria needed to acquire certification.
Implementing ISO Standards and training staff are also great recruitment tools, enabling an organisation to employ the cream of the crop.
Internal audit training courses provide an understanding of what the Standards require and cover the various elements of ISO 9001. Teaching auditing methodologies, communication skills, assessment skills et cetera, the course prepares participants to conduct internal audits of management systems.
ISO 9001 lead auditor training is a longer course-generally five days and is much more detailed and comprehensive, as this is a very important role.
Legal and ethical training
Through several different modules, role-playing and testing, the course aims to provide auditors with the necessary knowledge and skills to properly conduct third party assessments.
Participants will also study the legal and ethical aspects of auditing, their role and responsibilities, and quality management principles.
There are now more than a million businesses and organisations worldwide with ISO 9001 certification, which says a great deal in itself.
It’s completely voluntary, of course, but achieving says a great deal about the organisation to its staff, its customers, suppliers and buyer.