You all already know it, but being a Quality or QHSE manager, or any other name it is called, is hard work but a great job. You are in the middle of a lot of things and you get involved in most aspects of the business. When it comes to improving processes, you are at the forefront of things and maybe even working along with the innovation team to enhance certain parts of the business. However, because you are involved in many things, the job can be challenging. Also, because you are in the middle of everything, it is important to stay up to date.
As we all know, it is key that someone’s skills are aligned with the required skills for the job. Obviously, this applies to us as Q(HSE) managers as well. A very important skill we need as Q(HSE) managers is communication skills. We talk with lots of different kinds of people and we need to guide them when things need to be improved. Lots of Q(HSE) managers feel like they are somewhat the police force within the company, obviously, they are not, but due to certain things happening in the past, it ended up like this. However, this isn’t the case; the Q(HSE) is as much a part of the output the company produces as any other person. Why this situation occurs often has to do with the communication and the way the Q(HSE) manager approaches people or talks to people. Hence, having good communication skills is critical. Therefore you have to make sure you are constantly trained in this aspect, either via formal training or via Youtube or any other platform. Effective communication reduces the friction already by 50% or so.
As QHSE is there to move the business forward from a quality and safety perspective, it is important to be innovative and keep an innovative mind. There are always ways to improve things, some might be conventional but some might be out of the box. It is good to be able to spot these but also to articulate these within the company. If the organization has an innovation team, they can be involved, otherwise, it is good to find champions. This is obviously in line with the communication described above; being able to convince people to support your approach is key. Unfortunately, there isn’t formal training to keep an innovative mind, but you can go to all kinds of conferences or find market-specific content. This will keep you up-to-date in your industry and Q(HSE) as a whole.
The real beauty of the job is obviously in the diversity of it. One day you are working on a product that is broken, the next, you are aligning a key process, and the next, you are supporting sales onboarding a new customer. The diversity in the job is huge, especially if you compare it with other roles in the organization.
In the end, it is crucial that you keep improving your organization and have an impact on it.