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“A company culture changes if you change the way of working – not the other way around”


As a manager, you are always focused on the future. You set certain short and long-term goals, such as becoming a market leader or expanding abroad. But when implementing them you always have to deal with things that go differently than expected or should be improved. How do you deal with this as a manager?

A HSEQ Manager at a large company, engaged in the supply of fuels, explains which 7 key points are important when it comes to quality management in a business where quality and safety are incredibly important. To realise these 7 key points, the company works with Icologiq Elements, an all-in-one software platform that bundles all technical, functional and operational business processes in a software package consisting of 9 modules.

  1. Cultural change

What is the relationship between quality management and a safe working environment? “A few years ago, our safety culture was measured on behalf of the county,” says the manager. “Every employee was interviewed about safety in the workplace. We were complimented on the improvement we have made in recent years. They were asked, “What have you done to improve the culture?” Our answer was: nothing really. The measured cultural improvement was the result of other things, namely investing in people and in a well-functioning digital quality system. The culture changes when you change the way of working, and not the other way around. ” 

  1. Transparancy

This new way of working starts with transparency. “Before we were introduced to Icologiq Elements, I as an HSEQ manager had to keep track of all data with lists,” he explains. “We set up actions that were not followed up, because they were not made transparent to the organisation. In fact, you were always lagging behind. With Icologiq Elements, you make all your employees owner of the process, which makes them feel more responsible. The first step is to make everything transparent. For example, if you want to improve the air quality, you first have to look at the current air quality – otherwise it would makes no sense. We use dashboards to provide insight into our performance in the system, so that we can improve our CPI’s.”

  1. Ownership

“Within Icologiq Elements, all users have the option to capture or report non conformities at any time,” explains the manager. “If an employee sees an undesirable situation, for example in the field of the environment, quality or a process execution, he can record this directly in the database and this registration is automatically included in the next assessment round. The simpler the system and the workflows, the faster this process is – that’s the advantage of Elements. In that sense, the system has a democratizing effect. ”

4. Structured files

The HSEQ Manager explains how the company uses the Plan-Do-Care-Act Clycle to apply structure. “During every step of the PDCA, it is important to know what your colleagues are working on and who is responsible for which task. It is a requirement that everyone has access to reports, registrations and the resulting actions. To make the entire process transparent, it is important to store the information in a structured way in a digital system. The advantage of Icologiq Elements is that the system is flexible and very easy to set up.” 

  1. Removing barriers

“For a functional safety culture, you also have to look at which barriers you can break down,” the manager continues. “You are constantly analysing: which obstacles can I remove for an employee to perform his task properly? For example, sometimes someone has not had the right tools or the right training, but a 35-page procedure can also be a barrier. ”

  1. Learning from mistakes

In some complex situations, it can be difficult to determine the cause of a problem. “One technique that I have learned to apply is ‘root-cause-analysis’: a technique that is powerful because of its simplicity. In the event of incidents and near incidents, we record why it did not work, but also why it did work at a later time. If something goes wrong, it is usually a combination of one or more conditions and one action. By recording all this in Elements, we can determine whether the cause is an unsafe situation or an unsafe action.” 

  1. Making use of inside knowledge

“Thanks to Elements, we can put all actions and recommendations that follow from resolving incidents directly into the system, to prevent things from going wrong again in the future,” the manager concludes. “Often companies are inclined to hire an expensive consultant or, for example, hire an interim who then explains how he did it, but I would say that the knowledge is often already present in the company. There is a lot to be gained by using the available knowledge first.” 

Always prepared for the future with Icologiq Elements

All-in-one software platform Icologiq Elements facilitates process innovation from a central point in the organisation. Its goal is to provide the organisation centrally with the right tools to solve problems, handle complaints, implement improvements, implement change in a structured and safe manner and identify risks, ensuring that people can work safely from any position in the organisation.

The software enables companies to get the best out of their people and teams. By automating routine tasks, they can fully focus on their main tasks. Moreover, the fragmentation of local solutions and spreadsheets is converted into a reliable, transparent platform with which companies cover all their processes related to safety, quality, welfare and the environment. Thanks to the process-oriented approach, which connects the various departments in an organisation, you can easily meet all 7 key points, so that your company is safe, compliant and well prepared for the future. 

About Icologiq Elements

We advise and support organisations in their transition from a traditional quality management system to a digital one (eQMS). This often allows our customers worldwide to work more effectively and efficiently, reduce their costs and simultaneously show at any time that they comply with laws and regulations.

Icologiq was voted #26 in the Top 100 of most innovative companies in the Netherlands by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in 2019. Projects we carry out, lead to structural and sustainable organisational improvements and digital excellence. Our modern working and communication methods allow us to work effectively with our clients who have to meet high requirements and strict regulations. Severe sanctions are lurking, meaning our clients apply a strict regime of improvement management and operational excellence.

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