Quality is a very important part of doing business. When a company delivers poor quality products or services it won’t last very long. However, maintaining and improving a QHSE management system can feel like an uphill battle due to lack of employee engagement. Every QHSE management system comes with additional procedures and processes which forces employees into a certain direction, often for the better. Employees can experience this as a need to control their activities which makes them less engaged in the QHSE management system.
In order to keep the engagement high among the employees it is of major importance that the added value of the QHSE management system is communicated consistently and on a regular basis. Most of the employees do understand the importance of the QHSE management system for the company. Even when most of the employees understand the added value of the QHSE it is almost critical to the success of the QHSE management system to communicate the importance regularly. The exact number of times this communication has to take place is very dependent on the organisation. Learn what works with trial and error, start for example with every 2 months. When the engagement rises, the frequency can be lowered to once in 3 or 4 months.
Another good tactic to keep the employees engaged is to make them owners of procedures and allow them to optimize those procedures. Most of the time the QHSE manager creates the procedure together with some employees. However, as a QHSE manager it is important to be open for improvements or changes to these procedures. Some procedure may become obsolete while others become more complex due to changes in the business environment. It is very important to listen to the people who apply these procedures on a daily basis and alter them if necessary. When you do alter a procedure, give the credits to the employee who gave the suggestion. This makes them feel valued and increases the engagement.
Next to the openness to create engagement, a company can make the involvement in the QHSE management system part of the yearly employee review. This doesn’t have to be very strict it just gives an employee with good inputs some extra credit during the review.
There are lots of other strategies you can use to increase engagement. We would love to hear which one you applied. Please put them in the comments.