The walk from the car park – first in a series about audits and auditors.
What does your company look like from the outside? On the walk from the car park, what will your auditor see? First impressions count, and when the auditors are coming those first impressions set the tone for the rest of the inspection.
So, what’s to be seen between the car park and the front door? Woodwork that could do with a lick of paint? Windows that haven’t been cleaned in a while? Staff having a quick smoke? Bins that need emptying? Are there weeds on the path? Litter? A company that doesn’t bother on the outside might be one that doesn’t bother on the inside.
Once in the Reception area, are your staff up to speed? Is the auditor expected? Do they know what to do? Are they friendly and competent, or are they nervous? Are there unloved coffee cups lying around? Are the pictures on the wall straight? One of our auditors will straighten wonky pictures, just to make a point. Seriously. He’s also picked up used plastic cups from a boardroom table… A company that doesn’t bother about the little things might not bother with the big things.
And before they even get to the car park – are you easy to find? If your postcode is put into a SatNav, does it actually bring people to your door or to some obscure back alley half a mile away? Is it obvious where visitors should park? Once parked, is the Reception area easy to find?
Auditors tend to have an eye for detail, they have an instinctive dislike of things that aren’t quite right: they notice stuff.
First impressions count. Your auditor is expecting to find a professional organisation that has everything under control – don’t make it difficult for them.
Look out for more on audits and auditors, from first impressions to final farewells.
For pre-audit staff training, including mock audits, contact us.