Human Capital Is Critical to ISO 9001:2015 Success

Three new resources help organizations profit from quality people management

Bruce Bolger

February 28, 2018

Many quality professionals remain unaware that a systematic approach to human resources is now a requirement in ISO 9001:2015. These new requirements are based on the principles considered by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to be essential to quality management success.

Because ISO 9001 has only recently included specific human capital management language in the standard, and because ISO itself does not always properly market its full range of standards, many quality professionals may not be aware of new ways that they can bring added value to their organizations by implementing the spirit and intention of these new requirements.

These new or updated requirements, outlined below, are based on ISO’s quality management principles, most recently published in 2015, which include:
1. Customer focus. A demonstrable commitment to continually meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
2. Leadership. An established unity of purpose and direction and conditions in which people are engaged to exceed the organization’s quality objectives.
3. Engagement of people. Competent, capable, empowered, and engaged people at all levels dedicated to creating and delivering value.
4. A process approach. A systematic plan to manage interrelated processes that function as a coherent system.
5. Improvement. Continuous improvement is built into the culture and organizational ecosystem.
6. Evidence-based decision making. Plans are made based on analysis of data and information.
7. Relationship management. Organizations have a systematic approach to managing relationships with all interested parties, including customers, distribution partners, employees, vendors, owners, communities, etc.

New or updated ISO 9001 people management requirements

Following are the new ISO 9001:20015 requirements related to implementing a systematic approach to stakeholder engagement in quality management efforts:

Clause 4.1.2, “Understanding interested parties’ needs.” The standard now specifically calls for a systematic approach to managing relationships with all people critical to quality process management, including customers, distribution partners, employees, owners, management, and employees. For employees this means having a good work environment, including job security, health and safety, training and opportunities for promotion, and recognition and rewards. For others, it is having a means of continually understanding and addressing their needs as they relate to quality management.

Clause 5.1, “Leadership.” The latest standards expand the requirements related to top management commitment to foster a work environment that encourages employees to excel and to take an active interest in producing quality products and services and to achieve an organization’s mission, goals, and objectives; apply a systematic approach to designing, implementing, and measuring the outcomes of the process; and to commit the resources necessary to do so.

Clause 5.2, “Customer focus.” This clause calls for connecting customer expectations and perceptions by having one-on-one relationships with each customer to enhance satisfaction. The standards prescribe that this focus should drive the development and implementation of products, services, and customer support; the vision, mission, goals, objectives, and plans; culture; employee responsibilities; and risk analysis.

Clause 7.1.2, “People.” For the first time, ISO 9001 specifically emphasizes the importance of human resources management. The organization is expected to ensure the necessary amount of human resources, its capabilities, its well-being, and its performance as it relates to an organization’s goals and objectives.

Clause 7.1.4, “Environment.” This standard prescribes a working environment that considers ergonomics, diversity, and an affable and non-confrontational environment to minimize stress and promote health and safety.

New learning and advisory services available

Four new education and advisory resources are now available to help your organization address the critical people issues included in ISO 9001:2015. This is considered so important that ISO created ISO 10018, “People Involvement and Competence” as a standard pointing the way to a systematic approach to quality people management that can equally be applied at manufacturing, services, not-for-profit, and governmental organizations.

In print: Enterprise Engagement: The Roadmap, How to Achieve Organizational Results Through People and Qualify for ISO 10018 Certification. This new book is designed to help any organization translate these standards into a formal strategy to improve results through people that can be applied to support overall organizational culture and brand objectives, or tactical goals in sales, marketing, human resources, operations, and community-building activities. Click here to order.

Online: The Enterprise Engagement Academy. This is the place to gain proficiency and certification in the enterprise engagement practices necessary to earn an ISO 10018 certification for an employer or solution provider. You can find out more by clicking here.

Live: May 7-8, Galveston, TX—ISO 9001 and ISO 10018 Quality People Management: Enterprise Engagement in Action. This one-and-a-half-day conference is designed to educate organizational professionals on the economics and principles of enterprise engagement and to prepare those interested in gaining the Enterprise Engagement Alliance’s Advanced Engagement Practitioner certification necessary for solution providers seeking an ISO 10018 developer certification or for employers seeking to profit from the ISO 10018 framework. Click here to learn more about the conference.

The Engagement Agency. This unique resource provides advisory services for organizations, consultants, and other solution providers. Explore these options by clicking here.

Want to learn more? Attend a one-hour introductory webinar on March 20, 2018, co-hosted by Quality Digest, titled, “ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 10018: Developing People Engagement In a QMS.” 

About The Author

Bruce Bolger’s picture

Bruce Bolger

Bruce Bolger is founder of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance and co-founder of the International Center for Enterprise Engagement ISO 10018 certification program