It’s audit time. For some, this may signal ‘time to do some preparation before the auditor shows up on-site!’ While the majority of your preparation will be focused on Documentation and Housekeeping , it’s important to invest time Preparing your Team for an audit.
The reason I use the term invest, is because you will see a positive return when you spend time coaching and educating staff on what to expect in an audit. Why? Because there’s nothing worse than these helpful 5 rouge characters emerging to de-rail the audit…
It’s important to invest time preparing your team for an audit.
Lets meet the 5 rogue characters you need to coach
- Chatty Charlie – He loves to talk. And talk. And talk …. The audit stalls. Confusion reigns. More questions appear. And the audit is extended by an extra day to get through the backlog!
- Phantom Pete – an important character who is suddenly nowhere to be found when needed! Scrambling to cover for him, you cop an NC for not producing the right information for the auditor.
- Boast-y Brad – Brad loves to share his prowess. He is the best at well, pretty much everything. He thinks if he explains in length how good he is that the NC is fully answered. The auditor struggles to get evidence to support his claims and a bunch of non conformances appear on the final report. These could have been addressed on the day.
- Mad Scientist Sarah – Sarah is pretty keen on number 8 wire and improving the way things are done. She doesn’t follow procedures and instead produces something new she’s made up in an effort to impress the auditor. No one likes these types of surprises and you cop an NC for uncontrolled changes and documents uncontrolled.
- Tangent Tony – Tony likes a good yarn and add his spin to any answer. Therefore, it doesn’t quite line up with the rest of the team. The auditor can’t find a procedure to match ‘Tony’s Tale’ so it ends up as an NC: ‘to write an SOP’ no one is ever going to use.
How do you coach these five rogue characters?
All these individuals have strengths that when channeled correctly, can make for improved audit experiences and beneficial outcomes. Here’s how:
- Focus on the positive
- Coach the team on the behaviours that are conducive to a timely, positive and beneficial audit experience
- Practice, practice, practice those behaviors you’ve identified as a team
- Listen to the auditor and answer their specific question only – do not elaborate, unless asked to do so
- Be present for the full scheduled time of the audit
- Keep your ego in check. Remember, it’s not you being judged. It’s the system.
- If someone has a great new idea, discuss this before the audit and how to best present it during the audit
- Stick to the procedure – always reference back to your system when answering the auditors’ question