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How to explain ISO 9001 to employees?

January 23, 2023 - 16:56

Kudos to you if you, as a business owner, are thinking about explaining ISO 9001 to your employees before you implement it in your organisation. We applaud you on this strategic decision, as involving employees in every stage of the Quality Management System (QMS) implementation will benefit your organisation.

In this article, we will talk about why it is essential to explain ISO 9001 to your employees, lamenting the benefits and ending by listing some practical ways to make this process easier.

Why should business owners talk about ISO 9001 to their employees?

As a business owner, you may have noticed that you are met with some form of scepticism or hesitation whenever you implement any change in your organisation. The technical term for this employee behaviour is organisational resistance. Organisational resistance is when the entire organisation starts behaving like a single entity when presented with a change.

It is human tendency to resist change, and employees resist change out of fear of not remaining relevant. Employees, especially those who have remained in your organisation for a more extended period, become comfortable doing the tasks in a particular manner. Whenever they are presented with change, they fear they may need to gain the relevant skillset or the competence to adapt accordingly. This fear of relevance is what makes them criticise any change.

If this issue is not tackled initially, it can escalate into a big problem. An intelligent way to deal with this issue is to involve employees across the organisations in the planning stages of the upcoming change. By being active members in the entire process, employees will no longer feel like they are subjected to bureaucratic processes and will instead feel like a part of the bigger picture.

How to explain ISO 9001 to employees?

As we have established above, it is necessary to talk about upcoming changes to mitigate organisational resistance. Hence, as you attempt to get your ISO 9001 certificate, your employees should be aware of the organisation's new focus.

How to explain ISO 9001 to employees?

If you talk about quality management processes and the QMS, it may create a feeling of overwhelm. To adequately motivate employees about QMS and ISO 9001, talk about the benefits that the standard will bring to them.

It is also beneficial to highlight how you will support them during this transition. By showcasing your commitment, you are making implementation easier for yourself, as one of the core requirements of ISO 9001 is demonstrating leadership commitment.

Therefore, discuss how you will provide training so employees can work with the newly modified processes. Explain to them how additional resources will be allocated so that their work becomes more accessible, and talk about how you will collect their inputs regularly, to gauge their feedback.

Here, a good tip is to hire an ISO 9001 consultant. An ISO 9001 consultant will conduct a gap analysis in your organisation to identify skill gaps and suggest you training programmes to address these deficiencies. If you want to get more information about gap analysis, you can read iso gap analysis consultants blog.

As a result, when you address your employees, you will be armed with specific information, and your assurance will not be baseless.

The ISO 9001 consultant will also give you customised guidance for achieving compliance. Hence, you will be able to provide your employees with a list of tasks and an estimated timeline. When employees understand the specific tasks that need to be done and are aware of upcoming training programmes, they become less anxious about changes.

Benefits of ISO 9001 for employees

Discussing the standard's benefits will help adequately motivate your employees for the upcoming implementation. This is a necessary strategy, as employees need to remain motivated throughout the implementation and certification process. The QMS implementation can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, and depending upon the status of your QMS, certification can take another month.

If employees fully understand how the standard benefits them and make their daily life easier, they will remain committed to fostering a quality-first environment. The most common benefits include the following:

•   Better productivity: All inefficiencies in your organisation will be ironed out during the implementation of ISO 9001. All roles and responsibilities will be clarified, and specific work instructions will be provided. Productivity increases as there is no ambiguity.

•   Lesser stress: Employee frustration can build over time when work processes are burdened and filled with redundancies. As work processes become leaner, employees feel more motivated because of clear direction.

•   Empowerment: One of the core requirements of ISO 9001 is employee engagement. To achieve compliance, the management must regularly collect input from all their employees and appreciate them for tasks they have performed well. Employees begin to feel valued and empowered as they realise that their management is committed to their personal and professional development.

•   Active participants: During these regular reviews and assessments, the staff is often encouraged to provide their input about improving the processes. As a result, employees begin to feel like active participants in the QMS because they understand that their voice is not falling on deaf ears.

How to explain ISO 9001 to employees?


When you, as a business owner, discuss ISO 9001 implementation with your employees, you mitigate organisational resistance before it can develop into a problem. You can help address any anxiety your staff feels by discussing the benefits of ISO 9001 for employees. Examples of some of the most common benefits include better productivity, lesser stress, and employee empowerment.

If you are looking for ISO 9001 certification in Australia, we suggest you contact ISO 9001 certification consultants Sydney. ISO 9001 consultants are active all over Australia and will help you get the certificate in the shortest possible time.

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