Why You Should Care About Your People: An Introduction to ISO-9000

In the field of Operations Management, there’s a strict focus on quality centered around consistency and continuous improvement. Companies that seek to enhance their operations with regulation-meeting total quality standards can apply for the prestigious ISO-9000 certification. This high-level certification of international standards is based on seven principles of quality and granted to companies, regardless of size, that consistently achieve process efficiency goals while maintaining and consistently aiming to improve customer satisfaction both internal and external. This, in turn, helps companies get more business.

All companies should constantly focus on improving product quality, process efficiency, and customer satisfaction. If this is the primary goal, ISO-9000 Certification is the logical next step.

The following outcomes are often found in companies that possess ISO-9000 Certification, which helps them attract high-level talent, whereby making the company even better.

  • Continuous aim to understand and optimally accommodate customer needs both internal and external
  • Ensuring employees have the resources and information they need to feel empowered and become successful
  • Embracing involvement, learning, acknowledgement, and accountability
  • Strong focus on accurate and efficient resource allocation to ensure process optimization
  • Empower employees to make improvements and celebrate successes
  • Decision-Making based on data analysis and practical experience
  • Emphasis on partnership development and collaboration

So what about companies who aren’t ISO-9000 Certified?

For those companies not certified, or possess goals unaligned with the above criteria, process blunders are almost always a certainty. This can result in any number of highly undesirable brand-crippling outcomes. Examples may include:

  • Inability to listen to, and accommodate customer needs and expectations
  • Deliberately managing by force i.e., bullying, intimidation, and assigning impossibly unrealistic objectives, all which can lead to reduced employee satisfaction, trust, and loyalty
  • Unwillingness to understand and optimally utilize employee skills
  • Process mismanagement, which often leads to process bottlenecking and resource waste
  • Micromanagement and lack of stakeholder trust and autonomy
  • Decision-Making based on impulse instead of analysis and logic
  • Inability to acknowledge employee successes, which can lead to alienation and resentment

It’s obvious which method will yield more robust results when it comes to process quality. For companies that care about their brand image, internal customer satisfaction should be understood, embraced, and developed. When internal stakeholders are satisfied, it can drastically improve the way process is carried out whereby improving external stakeholder satisfaction as well. Care about your people and your customers will love you. The reverse is also true.

Author: Patrick Greenough

I write and speak about marketing, leadership, and technology.

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