ISOs, as you know, have significant value attached to them. They are coveted by trading partners and speak volumes across borders and trading barriers. Aside from bringing in more trade and lucrative tenders, they can also help to streamline your own internal processes too. An independent ISO consultant can really maximise these benefits.
Internal processes – the dialogue
No matter what ISO you are seeking, whether that is ISO 27001 information systems and security or ISO 14001 environmental management systems, the process of certification brings a magnifying glass to your current systems, policies and procedures.
It is rare to work with a client whose processes click immediately into place with the rigorous demands of ISO certification. Changes need to be made and feedback from staff needs to be gained too.
Staff feedback is valuable in so many ways. After all, they are the people working with various policies and who have to meet the demands of various procedures.
But what do they really think?
Honest feedback without fear
Asking staff for feedback can work in one of two ways. As an employer, you could have a genuine desire to understand how policies and processes are being implemented ‘on the ground’. Or, it could be a process that is not grounded in any real desire to learn or to change.
When it’s the latter, it’s a futile and useless exercise which, if the staff know this, can disenfranchise and patronise them.
Giving honest feedback is tough. Employees won’t want to be seen as the one who criticises or mocks a process. It is uncomfortable because they want to (and need to!) maintain a good relationship with an employer. They don’t want to be singled out as the person who tore to shreds a policy or how a procedure is in place but isn’t followed…
Independent ISO consultants
ISOs require an in-depth appreciation and assessment of processes and procedures linked with the finer details of certification.
Objectively assessing this means taking a step back and removing ‘personalities’ from the process. Quite often, employees at all levels will have ownership of some parts or all of a procedure or process. In other words, they created the system, it was adopted unofficially or otherwise, and “it is the way that things have always been done”.
Complaining about a process or highlighting its shortfalls is one thing, but when that is linked directly with another employee or even management, it becomes more difficult to voice opinions.
Independent ISO consultants take all the pain from this process. They listen carefully to what is being said and the all the feedback they receive, processing this information in such a way that it gives the objective oversight, without naming names or finger-pointing, as to what must change in order to gain the coveted ISO certification.
This is an important step and one that can lead to substantial improvements in your business, how things are done and so on. It goes without saying that it can be a significant boost for employee and management staff morale too.
How can we help you?
If you’re in need of assistance with any aspect of ISO certification, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions about the path to certification or are looking for advice and support to maintain an existing standard call 01484 666160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.