Once an organisation pursues ISO certification, its management team must plan and anticipate changes in a sequence of stages. Employees are unable to process changes all at once, and they need time to adjust their attitudes. The management team must consider the impact of changing major work structures and associated processes on many employees and the effects of smaller changes on limited groups of employees. Most importantly, all required changes must take place over time. Managers must implement any change process with sensitivity to employees’ needs in order to prevent unnecessary backlashes to customers. Otherwise, negative employee attitudes could defeat the purpose of obtaining certification.
Why Do It
One way to contemplate obtaining ISO certification is that the process is time efficient. There will be benefits for the organisation, including a better public image and streamlined operations, which usually translate to cost savings and greater efficiency. Employees may also experience increased morale in their workplace and customers’ perceptions of higher value. Quite frankly, people enjoy their work in the certified organisation more, but the process of change could be painful at some points. Management has responsibility to make the case for certification and must provide support during the transition period.
Quality is the Focus
The process of securing ISO certification includes assessing all areas of the organisation and encouraging every group of workers to enhance their focus on quality. An organisation must develop and maintain adequate documentation to show how a standard will be met. An organisation must remove barriers to efficiency. An organisation must implement more quality controls to ensure that instances of poor quality are addressed (i.e. that fewer faulty products reach customers). Root causes of poor quality require remediation.
Managing the Process of Change
Research has shown some negative implications of ISO certification, one of which is the perception that employees must work harder throughout the process. They will have to perform “two jobs” and then “write” about it. At first, if managers haven’t presented the case effectively for ISO certification, employees may have negative responses to the whole process. Whereas employees might have to make some changes to how they do their jobs and develop the right documentation, their efforts will pay off when the certification process is complete. They will work in more streamlined units while enjoying a better understanding of how their work contributes to quality standards and company goals.
Many organisations pursue ISO certification because they want to respond to customer demands for higher quality. They have a dilemma of which certification body to choose for their company. Some of their considerations may include steps that are involved and how they will impact employees. Other considerations will revolve around what certification from a particular body means for the company. Before choosing an ISO certification body, we recommend that organisations consider the current level of quality that’s in place and how employees could use the certification process to raise that higher. This in effect provides long term benefits to customers.
A company can aspire to higher quality standards and produce documentation to show how those are met, but its employees must reinforce those standards over time through their individual and collective behaviors. Otherwise, there will be a temporary improvement in the organisation based on initial efforts, but operating conditions and quality levels will diminish over time. Once employee efforts diminish, the organisation’s reputation will decline, which is bad for worker morale and customer perceptions.Read More
The Top 10 Ways Your Organisation Can Profit Through ISO Certification
Or the benefits on implementing ISO
Implementing ISO is a surefire way to optimise your company’s bottom line performance. From enhanced search engine rankings to the creation of robust marketing opportunities, ISO certification can open countless doors of opportunity for your organisation. Below are the top 10 ways your organisation can profit through ISO certification.
1) ISO certification will enhance your company’s industry image. ISO certification is highly coveted by organisations across a variety of industries. The majority of companies are not ISO-certified, elevating the status of those companies that are certified. For instance, approximately three-fourths of manufacturing companies lack ISO certification, consequently enhancing the stock of the 25% of manufacturing companies that have earned the certification.
2) Costs are controlled as a result of superior use of resources. The ISO implementation process requires organisations to make efficient use of their human resources and company assets. The result is a leaner workforce and a more robust bottom line.
3) Processes are streamlined and consistent, resulting in fewer costly errors. Process improvement methodology is a key requirement for companies seeking ISO certification. Meeting this requirement and earning ISO certification means that your company has strong company policies and procedures in place to help prevent errors and enhance customer satisfaction.
4) You can attract new customers who are required to choose ISO-certified vendors. Some organisations require their key vendors to possess ISO certification. Examples include government healthcare facilities and universities. ISO implementation enables your company to provide products and services to these customers, thereby creating yet another means of increasing your bottom line performance.
5) Organisational deficiencies are identified during the certification process. One of the best ways to optimise your company’s financial results is to identify barriers to success and create a strategic plan to address them. Resolving these deficiencies paves the way for increased efficiency and a healthier bottom line.
6) ISO certification communicates an organisation’s commitment to excellence. Prospective customers are often aware that ISO certification is only bestowed upon companies that adhere to the most stringent requirements. Additionally, companies seeking ISO certification must be prepared to dedicate hours of their time and hard-earned money to obtain certification.
7) Your organisation can participate in government tenders. ISO certification is a prerequisite for most public bidding opportunities and government tenders across the globe. Some tenders and public projects can generate millions of dollars in revenue for the company with the winning bid. This means that ISO certification could potentially double or triple a company’s revenue.
8) Search engine rankings for your company will improve. As the demand for ISO-certified vendors increases, more prospective customers are including “ISO certified” in their collections of keywords as they conduct online vendor searches. Once you post the news about your ISO certification on your organisation’s website, your site’s search engine optimisation (SEO) will improve. This will drive more traffic to your site, increasing your likelihood of conversions.
9) Company roles and responsibilities are more clearly defined. While the ISO certification process is considered to be rigorous by most people, the process also forces organisations to clearly delineate departments and their key areas of focus. With a well-organised workforce, your company will be primed for greater production.
10) Superb marketing opportunities are created. The marketing opportunities that accompany ISO certification are virtually endless. Here are a few ways that you can use your newly awarded ISO-certification to promote your brand:
- Reference ISO certification on your company’s website
- Include news about your ISO certification on your company’s social media sites
- Feature a blog post on the ways that your customer will benefit from your ISO certification
- Employees can include a banner about your ISO certification in their e-mail signatures
Clearly, there is a link between ISO certification and bottom line performance for companies. ISO certification is a powerful attribute that will elevate your organisation to new levels of success. At Sustainable Certification our goal is to improve your business performance through audits and certification.Read More
Maintaining strict worker safety standards remains one of the most important stated goals of companies across the world. Nonetheless, the International Labor Organization has forecasted that as many as 2.34 million people die annually as the result of work-related accidents and diseases. To reduce this unacceptably large number, the International Organization for Standards has drafted a new standard–ISO 45001 –for occupational health and safety.
ISO 45001 is predicated on the widely lauded OSHA standard 18001, which acts in the benefit of worker safety by offering a structured approach to risk mitigation. In 2016, the drafted form of ISO 45001 was sent to ballot. Amongst the 54 countries involved in the voting process, 71% of respondents were in favor of ratifying ISO 45001. Unfortunately, this did not satisfy the necessary threshold for approval, which requires that no more than a quarter of votes go against. To ensure the future success of ISO, whose second round of balloting is already underway, it is imperative that people understand the historic importance of this standard. This article will attempt to consolidate such understanding, by introducing three key benefits of ISO standard 45001. Very importantly this new standard follows the same High Level Structure and is aligned with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001. All new versions of existing standards as well as all new standards will follow the same high level structure
High Level Structure
Annex SL.9 High level structure, identical core text and common terms and core definitions for use in Management Systems Standards from now on:
- Normative references
- Terms and definitions
- Context of the organization
- Performance evaluation
OSHAS 18001 is the most widely utilized worker safety standard, with at least 40 international versions currently in place. Yet whereas OSHAS 18001 primarily focuses on occupational health and safety at the ground level, ISO 45001 attempts to integrate similar standards of protection and risk mitigation at a higher level, one that will affect the larger business processes. In other words, ISO 45001 will act as a natural corollary to upper-level approaches to business risks of all natures. As a result, it will be easier to incorporate a top-down safety philosophy.
In this regard, the timing of ISO 45001 couldn’t be more ideal. That’s because the International Organization for Standards has recently revised both its quality management (ISO 9001) and environmental management (ISO 14001) standards. These standards utilize a common framework as that found in ISO 45001. These commonalities will help to improve the ease with which organizations can integrate ISO 45001 into their pre-existing business processes.
Ease Of Implementation
ISO 45001 also makes significant strides in terms of improving the ease of application of workplace safety standards. This is achieved by adhering to a simple PDCA model. This model, whose acronym is short for Plan-Do-Check-Act, makes it easy for an organization to determine the necessary plan for minimizing risk of worker harm. This model does not simply focus on worker accidents–a common shortcoming of past workplace safety standards. Instead it also addresses concerns covering everything from long-term illness and health issues, to workplace absences, to psychosocial risk.
The “Plan” phase of this model focuses on organization-wide implementation to ensure two things: first, that workers have access to the appropriate training and skills; and second, that the necessary controls are put into place prior to the “Do” phase. During the “Check” phase, these key elements are identified and addressed in a systematic order to ensure that the system works according to plan. The “Act” phase involves the establishment of best-practice workplace routines. It also recognizes the importance of worker input in recognizing OH&S needs and determining how to best meet them.
Recognition Of Workplace Diversity
ISO 45001 has been carefully designed to consider the incredible diversity of workplace models present in the world today. It is meant to be just as easily applicable to small businesses as to global corporations. It also recognizes that non-standard employment patterns are becoming more and more common, and attempts to regulate worker safety in a way that can be accommodated within any employment framework. In this regard, ISO 45001 is a forward-looking standard, one that successfully marries theory and reality to create a safer work environment for all.