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When I first came to Bizmanualz, I was unfamiliar with quality management, Lean, Six Sigma, ISO 9000, and the like. After all, I was hired for writing, marketing, and website upkeep, not for my quality background. And I imagine many company employees who are not part of the quality department are in a similar situation.
However, if your entire staff doesn’t understand the utility of a quality management system, how can they be expected to implement it or even buy in to the idea of it? That’s where the internal communication comes in. How do you communicate quality to your employees? In my last post, I showed you our scoreboard, where we keep track of successes, areas of improvement, project status, etc. It’s a great way to communicate where we are and where we’re going.
But there’s another method we use that ensures every single one of us understands (and uses!) our quality management system. First of all, each employee takes an Internal Auditor training class. We’re at a bit of an advantage since we conduct Internal Auditor training courses here in our office, but similar methods can be employed by your company. Find a local training class and send your employees a few at a time as you have the resources available. These classes give employees a good understanding of the process. Ours gives a thorough examination of the ISO 9001:2008 standard.
Once we complete the class, we’re scheduled to conduct Internal Audits, which Bizmanualz conducts every other month. Employees rotate, so each has the opportunity to audit and learn about different areas of quality within the company. It’s so much easier to buy in to a quality system when you can see and examine how it really works in other departments. I didn’t understand the importance of ours when I first got here. After looking at it first-hand, I realized how it streamlines everything, from producing our policy and procedure manuals to following up on customer feedback.
Is your company struggling with employees who grudgingly go along with the QMS but don’t understand it? What ways do you communicate the importance of quality to them? I’d love to hear your ideas, and I’ll follow up with more when I hear them!