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What to do when Employees are not following Instructions - Page 2


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Some Related Topic Tags (Not all threads are Tagged)
employee error, employees (general), instructions (general), procedures (general), responsibilities
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  Post Number #9  
Old 21st January 2014, 07:09 PM
Rashmi001

 
 
Total Posts: 20
Re: What to do when Employees are not following instructions

Can the instructions/procedures be formatted into a very easy to read and visual process map- with critical steps highlighted?
Then it may be easier for most staff to follow.

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  Post Number #10  
Old 21st January 2014, 07:09 PM
kgott

 
 
Total Posts: 1,027
Re: What to do when Employees are not following instructions

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by nsymon View Post

First I will give you all some back history. Our organization is ISO/TS registered and has several well established procedures, forms and instructions in place for training.

However, my question is, how do you (as a quality professional) ensure that the employees are following the controlled documents and what do you do if you find that they skipped a step?

We currently issue CARs if they ignore a step, but the general response I get in those CARs is "I don't use the instructions anymore, now that I'm trained." The employees that made a recent oversight in our company are two senior engineers who know the process, but choose to not follow it.

Any thoughts on how you would handle this, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
The only thing I would add to the advice you have been given is to ask the question, 'were the employees concered involved in the planning and design?' of the correct or agreed way to do the work?

If not, perhaps you might like to consider inlcuding their participation in the design stage. People will support something they had a hand in creating.
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  Post Number #11  
Old 21st January 2014, 07:50 PM
Jen Kirley's Avatar
Jen Kirley

 
 
Total Posts: 5,946
Re: What to do when Employees are not following instructions

The ISO 9001:2008 (6.2.2(d) standard asks us to ensure employees are aware of the relevance and importance of their activities and how they contribute to the achievement of the quality objectives. Are they? Do they realize the effect of skipping a step? If so, do they care?
Thank You to Jen Kirley for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #12  
Old 21st January 2014, 09:07 PM
harry

 
 
Total Posts: 6,283
Re: What to do when Employees are not following instructions

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by hogheavenfarm View Post

This usually happens when the procedure is not streamlined.
People , like water, will follow the path of least resistance.
Our goal is to make sure that the path of least resistance is the 'right way'.
Find out why the step was skipped and see if there is another way to incorporate it. Maybe later in the process where it 'fits better', or maybe there are redundant actions going on.
Asking these people to help redesign the process steps makes them invested in outcome, and more likely to produce a better and more efficient process.
It is natural for one's blood to boil in such a situation but common sense has to take over and the above is what I would recommend too. As people become familiar with a process, they can often find better alternatives, shortcuts, etc as an improvement. In fact if you find a procedure that has not been updated for umpteen years, it could be an indication of people following procedures and doing paperwork just for the sake of continued certification.
Thank You to harry for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #13  
Old 22nd January 2014, 12:36 PM
TWA, not the airline

 
 
Total Posts: 160
Re: What to do when Employees are not following instructions

When two senior engineers do not follow procedures there must be some good reason for it (at least in their eyes) and you need to find that out before taking action. If you don't then it is unlikely that the situation improves or your actions may even backfire...
Some things to consider: Maybe the step does not add value or people are not aware of how it does (lot of engineers e.g. do not understand the value of good documentation or how some things can help in an audit situation). Maybe they were under pressure from management to get things done faster and therefore tried to cut corners. And maybe there is a real technical reason for it why it does not make sense in some cases. I was once asked by regulatory to put numbers to a change request to better define the change proposal and when I did they said this is not exact enough. However the way they wanted me to put it did not fit to that particular process and would have pretended an accuracy that just was not there...
Thank You to TWA, not the airline for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #14  
Old 22nd January 2014, 12:49 PM
TSCoord

 
 
Total Posts: 8
Re: What to do when Employees are not following instructions

Thank you to all for the words of advice. In the case I speak of, the senior engineers decided to create a new router (print), by altering an old one and putting a different customer p/n on it. Thus the differences between the two prints were, one was customer ABC with a dimension of 5.22 and the other was customer DCE with a dimension of 5.25, as an example.
The old customer print (ABC) should have been archived when the new one was created and they know this, but they figured they would just let it go into obsolete status from lack of orders.
Thus, our engineers knew the right process steps to take and they even helped in deciding those steps, so for them to ignore the steps, it just doesn't make sense... however this seems to be a common occurrence with them both. Both engineers have been with the company since it started in the 70's, therefore they were trained by the owner of the company as well as "Self Taught."
Again, thanks for the advice and I will look to improve upon our processes with the input provided.
  Post Number #15  
Old 22nd January 2014, 01:20 PM
RoxaneB's Avatar
RoxaneB

 
 
Total Posts: 2,966
Re: What to do when Employees are not following instructions

When it discovered that individuals are not following a process, it typically leads back to one of two system-related issues (because we don't want to blame people, right ). For example:

Standardization
  • Are the correct critical steps documented?
  • Are these steps in the correct sequence and flow?
  • Is the documented process easy to read, communicate, understand and follow?
  • Does the standard state what could possibly occur if the critical steps are not followed and what the appropriate countermeasures are?
  • Is this a one-time occurrence or a repetitive issue systematic of a potential opportunity within the standard process?

Training
  • Is complete retraining required or only on a specific aspect of a process?
  • What is the best way to conduct this training?
  • What message are we trying to send with this training?
  • Does the message include the impacts of following the process?
  • Does the message include the impacts of NOT following the process?
  • Is this a one-time occurrence or a repetitive issue systematic of a potential opportunity within the standard process?

The questions above are not only the ones you can ask, but are simply ideas for you to consider in terms of addressing the situation. Essentially, you can either adapt the standard process or you can retrain.

This is working with the presumption that the process documents the critical, value-added activities of the process. Only your organization can determine if the steps the engineers took instead of following the procedure were detrimental to the desired results.
Thank You to RoxaneB for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #16  
Old 22nd January 2014, 02:06 PM
Wes Bucey's Avatar
Wes Bucey

 
 
Total Posts: 11,043
Re: What to do when Employees are not following instructions

Roxane has capsulized the process. Good job!
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