Getting employee buy-in for implementing any management system can be difficult; in general, people don’t like change in their workplace. This quickly becomes apparent if you are trying to implement a quality management system using ISO 9001:2015, an environmental management system using ISO 14001:2015, or an information security management system using ISO 27001:2013. So, if you want to successfully make changes in how your employees work, it helps to understand what can cause poor employee buy-in, and to consider tools that can make it easier.

What are the issues that cause poor employee buy-in?

Change can be challenging for your employees, especially if you are implementing new processes that they have never experienced before. This can be stressful for both the employees who will be doing the processes as well as those who are affected by these new processes. Based on experience, this is what causes poor employee buy-in:

  1. Complexity of new processes
  2. Availability of new process-related information
  3. Unfamiliarity with new processes
  4. Confusion between management systems

To help people to better understand your processes, and to get used to performing them easily, an on-line tool can help.

How can an on-line ISO tool help?

Using an on-line ISO tool can help your ability to gain employee buy-in by providing simple tools to address these employee issues. There are three main benefits to an on-line tool:

  1. Simplicity – On-line tools allow you to more easily train your employees:
    • Provide help that an employee needs to work through a new process
    • Step-by-step guide, so that they are more certain about what they are doing (particularly in the beginning)
    • Easier to remember the process through guidance if a software tool helps you through the process steps
  2. Access – An on-line ISO tool will allow your employees access to the information they need to be involved and complete the (new) processes from any computer:
    • Any computer on-site
    • For a home-based office
    • For a salesperson at a customer site
    • By logging-in from anywhere
  3. Consolidation – By having access to all the processes for multiple management systems, employees only need to use a single resource:
    • Common processes are handled in one place (such as corrective actions, incidents/complaints and all used documents i.e and records)
    • Employees only need to remember one access point to report on all management systems

Conformio: A powerful on-line ISO tool

Conformio is a powerful on-line tool that provides the support processes you need for implementing ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 27001 within your company, and will support your management systems for years to come. The standard processes you need in your management system, including documentation control, incident investigation, improvement processes and task management, are all included to help your employees understand what they need to do for each process:

1) Simplicity – Employee buy-in is often linked more to how easy it is to perform a process than it is to understanding why the process is important. By making it easy to perform your processes, Conformio will help employees buy into performing the process they need to perform.

How online software helps gain employee buy-in when implementing ISO 9001/ISO 27001/ISO 14001 - Conformio

Figure 1 – View of a Customer complaint/incident in Conformio

2) Access – With on-line access, Conformio becomes easy to use for all employees, no matter where they are located. If a sales person can log a customer complaint immediately after they visit a customer, rather than waiting until they return to the office, or an employee can review and update a document from their home office easily, you are more likely to capture all of this information than if your process was less accessible.

How online software helps gain employee buy-in when implementing ISO 9001/ISO 27001/ISO 14001 - Conformio

Figure 2 – Employees can easily access modules in Conformio and provide relevant information

3) Consolidation – By having access to all support processes for your QMS, EMS & ISMS, Conformio gives you a single place to go to manage all your management systems. All tasks and projects are accessible from one place, making control of your tasks easy.

How online software helps gain employee buy-in when implementing ISO 9001/ISO 27001/ISO 14001 - Conformio

Figure 3 – View of home page with tasks for all standards in Conformio

On-line ISO tools: Making employee buy-in easier

Getting employee buy-in can be difficult, and on-line software tools can help employees understand how new processes work as well as why those new processes are needed. The key to successfully gaining employee buy-in for new processes is to simply explain what the process is, why it is important, and then to make it easy to access and perform so that employees are more able to do what is needed. Using on-line ISO tools can help to address these employee needs, making your ISO implementation more successful and easier to perform.

Click here to open a free account at Conformio, you’ll have free access for 5 users to the unlimited features of the ISO management tool compliant with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 27001.