Regular inspections are essential for ensuring quality and maintaining a safe working environment. These factors will translate into higher morale within the workplace, greater collaborations, and increased efficiency.
But it is not exactly when but how your business conducts its inspections what matters. Having a different approach every time leads to confusion and inaccuracies. This causes quality and safety check-ups to go from useful tools for improving the workplace, to frustrating wastes of time.
Let’s explore why reinventing the wheel for every report is bad, and how to prevent this phenomenon from happening within your company.
Why Is Reinventing the Wheel Bad?
Compliance and safety vetting and monitoring is a hugely important task. But there are plenty of variables to consider, which means that reports can quickly become confusingly complex.
Now imagine that a manager comes along with their idea of how to conduct the inspections. It might surprise you how often this is the case.
While innovative managers might have the best of intentions, reinventing the wheel in every inspection is generally a bad idea.
Switching things up can lead to confusion and inaccuracies. As such, certain steps might need repeating and paperwork may require refilling or updating. A foreign protocol generally turns the inspection process into a more time-consuming process than necessary.
There are plenty of tried and tested protocols out there to choose from. That way, you conduct every report following the same system. This consistency will allow your team to, in time, start functioning like a well-oiled machine.
Adjustments to the protocol should be minimal and only undertaken when necessary. Any adjustments should be based on what has worked in the past, rather than inventing something entirely new.
While flexibility and innovation are business buzzwords these days, there is not much room for them in inspection protocols. For assured compliance, you need to follow a rigorous checklist.
Designing your own checklist can lead to important steps being overlooked. On the other extreme, you might end up with an overly complicated procedure that confuses and frustrates your team and eats away at productivity.
So, in summary, find a tried and tested protocol that works for your team and then stick to it. There are other areas in which to get creative, but inspections aren’t one of them!
How To Prevent Your Staff from Trying to Reinvent the Wheel
Follow a set procedure
For maximum productivity, consistency is key!
Have a set procedure in place that everyone can familiarise themselves with. Then stick to that same procedure so that your teams can handle every inspection in the same way across the organisation. This creates a unified system.
Depending on your company, your inspection arenas or functions might vary. Try as best you can to unify your quality management system (QMS) across these changing landscapes. That way, the same protocol applies no matter the type or function of the inspection.
The best way to ensure that you follow a set procedure each time is to use checklists. They help to improve management and ensure your staff cover every single detail in their inspection reports.
For some inspections, you can create checklists yourself to include everything your employees should report on. However, for bigger inspections, it’s important to adhere to the necessary standards for compliance, maintenance, and HSEQ. For example, you should follow an ISO 9001 checklist for your QMS to show that you produce products or services that meet regulatory standards.
Provide effective training
The best way to ensure that inspections go off without a hitch is to provide your staff with regular, quality training.
The greatest mistakes when it comes to employee training are that it is too informal and that it is usually a once-off stint.
To ensure that training sessions are more formal, you may want to bring in a training specialist. This will ensure that training is more instructive and informative than a less formal colleague-to-colleague training approach.
All new employees should undergo this training before they start the job. All employees, new and old, should undergo the training if any procedural changes occur.
The regularity of training sessions thereafter will depend on how regularly mistakes are happening. Repeated incidents should send employees back to training to fill in any knowledge gaps.
Formal training is very useful. But with that said, try to also cultivate a collaborative working environment. Encourage more experienced staff to assist those who are struggling. This will augment the more formal training and foster healthy relationships among your workforce!
Hold staff accountable
Document and hold staff accountable for exceptional work and do the same for poor performance.
Have your team set both individual and team goals. You can use these goals as progress yardsticks. This will help you to note when a top-performing employee deserves recognition or reward for their work.
On the other hand, an employee that is regularly making errors needs to be held accountable for those errors. Regular mistakes should be documented and used to indicate that an employee’s training should be revisited.
If, however, repeated training does not improve the situation, you will have the documents to prove that you tried to provide your employee with effective training. That way, you are not responsible for continued incidents and you have grounds for fair dismissal.
Utilise Technology Effectively
Technology is a powerful tool that will help you achieve all the above and more, provided you are utilising it effectively.
With the correct software, you will be able to effortlessly record and track every inspection report. With set checklists, you can also make these reports much easier and more uniform across your organisation.
Inspection report software can also provide access to key performance indicators. These will quantify the success or failure of your protocols and employee training!
Inspections should follow a strict protocol that remains consistent every time. That way, you can avoid confusion and inaccuracies in reports. This is because your employees will know exactly what to do and what things to check instead of doing what they think is best for each report.
Audits.io helps you to involve your staff in conducting and managing inspections. Interested to hear more? Book a demo or start a 30-Days FREE Trial to see how it can help your organisation:
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