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Get Employees Involved With Your QMS

Employee involvement contributes greatly to the success of an ISO 9001 implementation, and compared to ISO 9001:2008, ISO 9001:2015 has expanded the requirements to include greater involvement from the organization as a whole, rather than just top management. Although there are some requirements, the more involvement you have, the greater your QMS will be. So how can you get your employees involved? Let us give you some ideas and tips from other organizations that have successfully involved employees in the ISO 9001 effort. 

Project Kick-off events

To mark the start of the project and the importance of the project, organizations will hold kick off events. These include:

  • A general introductory training on ISO 9001,
  • Statements from upper management on the importance of ISO 9001, and their commitment to the project,
  • An outline of what is coming next
  • A small give away with the Company Quality Policy on it. (Ideas include: business cards, t-shirts, coffee mugs, mouse pads or buttons.)
  • A “Pop-Quiz” for prizes: general questions on the training that was presented

Use Teams of Employees to design the new processes:

Get those responsible for a process involved in bringing that process into compliance with the Standard.

Check out some of our training products to get employees involved:

Generating employee awareness:

One organization wanted their employees to know when each new procedure was released. They combined training on the new procedure with a fun celebration. Each group that wrote a procedure also had to come up with a theme for a meeting or get together that conveyed the content of the procedure. Here are some of the approaches used:

To introduce the benefits of following documented procedures, the team wrote a procedure for making an ice-cream sundae. They hosted an ice-cream social, and had procedures available that people had to follow in making the sundaes. The “good” procedures were clearly marked in the same manner as the organization marked their controlled documents. The uncontrolled documented procedure that was available would not result in a very appealing sundae!

Purchasing and corrective action teamed up to organize a pizza lunch. Purchasing documents were filled out by employees to place their order, giving them an introduction to what is required for purchasing data. The supplier was approved (by popular opinion) and the team placed the order. The team ordered, but ordered lasagna and salad. The employees, though generally pleased by the substitution, needed to work together and fill out a corrective action form. They were allowed creative leeway in determining the root cause and action to take.

Tracking project progress

Creative wall charts to show progress on the project have included:

  • Road Maps with teams each having their own race car to move along the road to the final goal.
  • Wall graphics that look like a board game with each milestone marked, and team game pieces to move along the board.
  • Team Cows that were moved across fields and finally over the fence into a grazing pasture when the team completed their task (This was a dairy company)

Keeping Employees Informed:

Employee newsletters released at regular intervals during the project are a very effective way of keeping employees informed. To make sure they are read, the pop quiz with a prize is always effective. Instead of anything written, just walk through the facility and ask a question at random. Give out prizes to those who can answer.

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