3 Meaningful Ways an ISO Management System Boosts Employee Engagement

Engaging with employees through the use of a management system

Don’t automatically associate an ISO management system with employee engagement? It’s a common misconception that ISO management systems are all about processes and procedures. But they also centre around another ‘P’ that’s equally fundamental to business success – People.

And now, amidst a turbulent backdrop of skills shortage, businesses are trying every trick in the book to level up employee engagement. The focus on staff retention is at a critical high. In short, it’s never been more important to nurture your employees, retain them, develop them and ally them for facing the challenges ahead.

But, what about the leaders who are expected to head the charge? Are they fit to lead? It’s not a given that people in leadership positions aren’t automatically great people managers.  And truthfully, leaders who don’t know how to lead contribute to a poor workplace culture and a disengaged workforce.

But it’s far from all doom and gloom. And here’s why…

The newly issued versions of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 acknowledge the importance of employee engagement. Additionally, they directly address key factors such as:

  • Clause 5.1 – Leadership and commitment
  • Clause 5.3 – Organisational roles, responsibilities and authorities
  • Clause 7.2 – Competence
  • Clause 7.3 – Awareness
  • Clause 7.4 – Communication

This means that you can use an ISO management system to simultaneously skyrocket employee engagement and business resilience. Here are three keys ways in which an ISO management system is your secret weapon for achieving these goals.

a modern graphic of a mountain and an arrow pointing upwards towards a flap on top

Having Clearly Defined Goals

“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” – Simon Sinek

You might have heard the saying that a goal without a plan is nothing more than a wish. In truth, you need employee buy-in to your goals in order to progress beyond wishful thinking.

To this end, an ISO management system helps you to get your team engaged, and to keep them engaged. How so? Because the standards require communication of authorities, responsibilities and roles.

By clearly defining these elements with your employees, they’re equipped with –

  • Direction to follow
  • Expectation of what you need from them
  • Authority to make autonomous decisions that positively impact the delivery of your products or services to your clients and customers

When used to maximum advantage, an ISO management system is an effective two-way street. It’s necessary to have employee engagement for the management system to function. In turn, it facilitates employee buy-in to your business goals, by clarifying where they fit in to the bigger picture, rather than treating them like cogs in a corporate wheel.

Listening to Your People

“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” – Stephen Covey

You listen to your customers and act upon relevant feedback, right? So, why wouldn’t you treat your people on the inside in exactly the same way? After all, they’re your eyes, your ears, and potentially your first line of defence.

If you value their feedback and don’t just pay lip service, they’ll be more engaged and willing to share with you. As a result, you might successfully mitigate an issue or streamline a process as a direct result of not just hearing, but actually listening.

a modern graphic of a mountain and an arrow pointing upwards towards a flap on top

Recognising and Rewarding Achievements

“The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers.” – Sybil F Stershic

Reward and recognition are sure-fire ways to keep staff sticky. Whether you choose to highlight the successes of individuals, teams or both, creating a sense of achievement and value goes a long way and generates boatloads of goodwill.

An ISO management system doesn’t demand reward and recognition. But reward and recognition props up a well-functioning standard, incorporating employee engagement, and also extending beyond it. Let’s not overlook the key fact that happy employees are productive employees. So, when your employees are happy and productive, there’s a giant likelihood that your clients, customers and other stakeholder categories are happy, too.

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