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Better Employee Onboarding = Better Culture of Quality and Service


Five big keys to bringing that new employee into your company culture of quality and service

Does your company have a real process for onboarding new staff? Some companies we’ve seen just focus on the W-2 and insurance and a quick walk around to the floor, restrooms and exits, before starting “actual production work.” But do you want to leave the impression that this new person is valuable as an agent of production, but not as a member of the company culture?


Richard Branson is quoted with the wisdom “Take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers.” Besides, ISO 9001:2015 has certain requirements that apply to this process. Those can actually help new employees fit into your culture and contribute -- now and long-term -- to customer satisfaction and continual improvement.


Legal and Government Paperwork

Forms and publications such as Federal and state withholding, confidentiality and/or non-compete, bank direct-deposit, key/code instructions, and vacation/sick leave/drug/absentee and other policies. Include an organization chart, key phone numbers, dress or uniform codes, and work schedules.


This session sets the tone for how a person is viewed as welcomed and valued. Taking enough time to go through all of this calmly leads to better retention, and can help with the impression that their questions and future will be allowed and responded to.


Company Quality Policy, Continual Improvement and Their Part in It

ISO 9001:2015 requires a “Quality Policy” in 5.2.1, describing the company’s expectations, and in 5.2.2 that it be “communicated, understood and applied within the organization.” Anyone whose work would affect quality – yep, that’s everyone – knows what that policy – a sentence or paragraph – means in their own context and how they would apply it every day. This requirement is reiterated in clause 7.3.


In addition, the company is to make sure that “the responsibilities and authorities for relevant roles are assigned, communicated and understood within the organization” (5.3). So an org chart or list of responsibilities ought to be provided. Maybe your company has only 6 employees, but most likely responsibility is delegated and divided among several, so this requirement would still apply.


Safety, Security and Emergencies

PPE, locations of first-aid kits and eyewash stations, fire extinguishers and exits, Safety Data Sheets, and seasonal drills (evacuation, tornado or earthquake, active shooter, etc) are all part of keeping our people safe. Be sure to communicate these before starting work.


Think about parking-lot entrances at night, key codes for the back door, etc. What should the new employee do when noticing any sort of hazard? To whom do they report it? How should they expect it will be handled?


Company Culture of Quality

The ISO 9001:2015 standard looks at company culture in clause 4, “Context of the Organization” including the quality management system and its processes; Customer Focus, 5.1.2; Risks and Opportunities in 6.1, and Quality Objectives in 6.2, all of which help set the tone in a company. All the above adds up to a cultural statement or impression, whether we describe that culture in words or not. The way we take in new people can have a big impact on how they perceive and become part of our expectations (another word for culture).


Competence and Training for Quality

These are also part of ISO 9001 (and most other ISO standards). Some way to record the employee’s current competence, as well as keeping track of on-the-job training, external training or classes, and other ways of increasing competence. Mentoring, certifications, classes and self-study are all legitimate ways to increase competence.


Training and competence goals could be discussed here too, as well as how they’ll be measured and how you’ll respond with responsibility and pay increases.


This Sounds Like a Lot

Yes, it is! Altogether, this could take a couple of hours. Yet, to give a new employee the best possible start – especially today, when finding good people is so hard – goes a long way toward longevity and increased contributions to company goals and objectives. Wouldn’t that be worth it, six months or a year from now? We think so.


Oh, and if you are pursuing or maintaining ISO certification, be sure you’ll hear about these in your audits!


If you’re interested in training or certification to ISO standards, please contact us and we’ll guide you through it with our navigation tools!


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