If your current approach to management reviews sends you into a cold sweat or your team into a swift sleep, then maybe it’s time to switch things up by taking some simple steps to re-invigorate your management reviews.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an ISO-certified management system must be reviewed on a regular basis. And it’s easy to see why – a regular review evaluates the effectiveness of your system, ensures it is aligned with the strategic direction of your organisation and helps you to decide if it’s still suitable and sufficient for your business. It’s also a great opportunity to update everyone on how the system works and its day-to-day goings-on. But as important as these reviews are, they can be on the dry side, not to mention daunting for first timers.
If anyone knows how to make sure staff are invested and engaged in these important check-ins, it’s our consultants. So, we asked one of our top consultants, Kim Van Deere, to come up with some top tips that will help you to revive your review process and make sure your key stakeholders are raring to go.
1. Be clear about what you are doing
A ‘management review’ might sound like a managers’ meeting to address working practices, sales, resources and staffing. But, while the senior management team needs to be involved to ensure the system is being used appropriately, it actually requires input from various individuals within in the organisation in order to be effective. Kim Van Deere noted that “It’s for this reason that your internal documentation should make the review objectives clear, ensuring the process does not exclude or intimidate staff in non-senior-management roles”. She added, “By doing this, you will be increasing team engagement and the likelihood of them being invested in the final outcomes”.
2. Help others to come prepared
Kim also advised that “By giving senior management and other attendees as much data and information as possible before the day, they are more likely to understand and relate to the issues. They’re also likely to be more engaged in discussing or proposing solutions, rather than entering the meeting with an element of surprise that leaves them with nothing to say.”.
3. Create structure and flow
“While it’s an ISO requirement to takes detailed minutes of the review, distributing the minutes from the previous review is not” said Kim. She continued “However, it’s a really good idea to do this because the old minutes (which may be up to a year old at the time of the next meeting) will show any agreed actions or changes from the last meeting that were meant to be addressed and who was responsible for them”. Kim went on to say “When these issues come up in the review, thanks to the minutes, everyone will know who to look to for explanations if steps haven’t been taken. This should avoid review apathy, as the whole team will have to comment on their personal progress.”
4. Don’t lecture, promote interaction
Kim warned “Sessions that feel like lectures can soon see eyelids droop”. She then advised “If a review is turned into an interactive part of the day, where staff are encouraged to get involved, it can liven things up and lead to interesting discussions”. She continued “Ask each attendee to suggest three risks to the business, before the meeting, and then select these at random, evaluating how closely they align with the risk registers and SWOT documentation that you’re reviewing. The disparities will stimulate debate and help you recognise blind spots in the management system”.
5. Try to be inspiring
Kim remarked, “Yes, you’re reviewing the management system, but you can also make the session enlightening for the team too. Why not include a CPD or succession planning part of the day?”. She added “But only it its relevant, to help team members understand the different roles and responsibilities across the system, or to share best practice internally. You could try to invite speakers to offer their personal insights or run a Q&A session or group brainstorming workshop to help address any problems that have arisen."
Find out more about planning your management review
Want to get more out of your management reviews? At QMS, our team of experienced consultants can help you handle all aspects of your management system, from gaining the ISO certification to training you on conducting effective internal audits and management reviews. Get in touch to arrange a session with one of our expert consultants today.