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Quality Management and Improving Employee Engagement

ISO 10018: Quality Management and Employee Engagement

Earlier this year the ISO released a new standard, ISO 10018:2020 – Quality Management: Guidance for People Engagement.

This new standard focuses on improving employee engagement with an organisation’s quality management systems, enhancing their involvement and competence.

ISO 10018 is based on the idea that an organisation’s ability to deliver value is heavily dependent on staff being competent, empowered and engaged.

A 2019 study by Gallup, a global analytics and advice firm, provides some interesting insights into the relationship between employee engagement and performance. The study uses data collected over two decades from 82,000 teams and 1.8 million employees.

Gallup found that the implementation of effective engagement strategies resulted in:

  • 41% less absenteeism;
  • 58% less safety incidents;
  • 24% less turnover;
  • 40% less defects;
  • 10% higher customer satisfaction;
  • 17% increase in productivity;
  • 20% increase in sales; and,
  • 21% increase in profitability.

There are many proven benefits to improving employee engagement however, according to Gallop, 85% of employees around the world are either not engaged or are actively disengaged at work.

What is ISO?

The ISO (International Organisation for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental organisation representing the National Standard Institutes of over 150 countries. They develop and publish international standards in response to the needs of the international market and global expert opinions.

There are several ISO standards available for your organisation to achieve compliance with and/or certification to. Some of the most popular ISO standards are:

People Engagement: How to Engage?

People engagement is the emotional investment that people have to an organisation and its overall purpose and goals. Engaged people will be more passionate, care more about their work, perform better and are highly innovative.

Advancements in the workplace have changed the way in which workers view their jobs. The below image helps visualise the shift that is taking place in the workplace.


12 Tips to Help Engage Your Employees

  1. Expectations:
    Make sure that your employees understand what is expected of them, as well as how their performance is measured.

  2. Materials & Equipment:
    Ensure that your staff have all the materials, equipment, tools and resources needed to carry out their work.

  3. Opportunity:
    Enable your employees the opportunity to do what they do best every day with ease. Identify your employee’s strengths and position them to excel and provide maximum value.

  4. Recognition/Praise:
    Make sure that your employees receive regular recognition and praise where it is due.

  5. Personalness:
    Build a work environment where your staff feel safe experimenting with new ideas, sharing information, exploring development opportunities and supporting each other in their work and personal lives.

  6. Development:
    Implement an effective process to understand your employee’s individual talents and strengths and identify positions and projects that allow their application.

  7. Opinions:
    Asking for and taking on board your staff’s opinions will facilitate more informed decision making, encourage new ideas and ensure that your staff feel involved and valued.

  8. Purpose:
    Ensure that the organisation’s purpose is clearly communicated to your workers and aligned with the employee experience. People generally want to contribute to a higher purpose, beyond simply earning a living.

  9. Collective:
    A high performing employee may become resentful if they feel that another employee is not performing or being held accountable. Ensure that all of your employees are committed to producing quality work by having a collective framework for accountability and performance review.

  10. Team Spirit:
    Give your teams the ability to get to know each other and socialise. This will strengthen your team, improve collaboration and engagement.

  11. Progress:
    Make sure that your staff understand how they are performing, provide regular, constructive and motivating feedback to assist your staff in achieving better results.

  12. Growth:
    Give your employees the chance to learn something new as opposed to doing the same thing day in day out for an extended period of time. Employees that feel as though they are learning and growing tend to work harder and more efficiently.

Management and Employee Engagement

Two interesting facts to come out of the Gallup Report, ‘State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders’ are:

  • 1 in 2 employees have left their job to get away from their manager; and,
  • Only 2 in 10 employees strongly feel that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to perform better.

These facts alone highlight the importance of good management for retaining high performing employees and ensuring the overall success of a business.

The workplace is continuously evolving and traditional management practices have become outdated over time. Today, the workplace is characterised by:

  • More flexible workplaces and times;
  • Remote working; and,
  • More matrixed teams.

The shift in the workplace means that updated management practices should be adopted to be more in line with the modern workplace as it exists today. You can’t manage the modern workplace using traditional management practices.

Historically, a good manager has been considered someone who is always watching, always visible and monitoring everything you do. With the evolution of the workplace, the idea of what makes a good manager has changed drastically. Today, a good manager should be more like a coach, upholding accountability while encouraging employee growth and development.

According to Gallup, there are three essential elements of a workplace that empowers its managers, develops its employees and improves performance.

1) Strengths Based Management

Your staff are more likely to succeed when they are focused on what they do best. Focusing on weaknesses creates a stressful environment for employees and is not productive to performance improvement. Employees who use their strengths more in their day to day responsibilities are more motivated.

2) Engagement Focused Management

Highly engaged teams are more productive. People will tend to perform better when they feel that their needs are being met and that they have the support, tools and resources they need to perform to their full potential.

3) Performance Orientated Management

Your staff will achieve more if they are working towards a goal. Setting and tracking performance goals helps your staff to focus on the most important objectives and most desired outcomes. Performance conversations should be frequent, focused and future-orientated.

Set clear, collaborative and aligned expectations with your staff. Involving your managers and staff in the goal setting process will mean that that all staff are more engaged, more likely to believe in their goals and more motivated to achieve them.

Show your staff how their performance connects to the overall success of the organisations to ensure that they understand and believe in their value and purpose.

Employee Engagement and the Employee Experience

The Employee Experience represents the complete journey that an employee takes through an organisation, including pre-hire interactions and post-exit interactions.

The Employee Life Cycle captures the key interactions between an employee and the organisation which have the most influence on the Employee Experience.

Gallup defines the employee life cycle with 7 stages which capture key interactions connecting an employee to the organisation:

  1. Attract: recruit top talent;
  2. Hire: pick the all-stars;
  3. Onboard: execute decision;
  4. Engage: build strengths and purpose;
  5. Perform: establish and drive expectations;
  6. Develop: career growth; and,
  7. Depart: positive exit experience.

It is important that your employee engagement strategies are aligned with and implemented into the employee experience and the employee lifecycle. All stages of your employee lifecycle should reinforce the engagement culture which you are establishing and your engagement culture should enhance the overall employee experience.

Integrating Your Management Systems

Your employee engagement processes should be easily integrated with your other management systems into one unified integrated management system.

An integrated management system (IMS) is a system that integrates all of a business’ policies, processes and procedures into one unified management framework.

A good IMS will help enable a business to:

  • Optimise management processes and operations;
  • Optimise use of its resources and reduce costs;
  • Streamline its processes and procedures;
  • Increase efficiency and avoid duplication;
  • Minimise the disruption caused by external audits; and,
  • Focus on providing good business outcomes.

A lot of organisations don’t have an IMS, they operate with separate teams using different systems to manage their respective areas. This structure is usually fragmented and detached, leading to issues in communication, a lack of common purpose to achieve a shared goal and duplication of effort.

On the other hand, a business with teams sharing one integrated management system, using the same documents and following unified processes is better positioned to optimise their operations and make the most effective use of their time and resources.

Click here to learn more about integrating your management systems.

QHSE Consulting, Auditing & Training

QSM Group’s consultants are highly experienced and qualified to assist with your QHSE consulting, auditing and training needs. Our team also specialise in ISO Compliance, ISO Certification and Compliance Software Solutions.

Get in touch with QSM Group and to discuss how we can help your business.

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