Structuring, organizing, managing and other practices of a mechanistic organization will not facilitate quality. Thinking and doing are now part of everyone’s job. Each person in an organization today must be enabled to ensure that the quality of products and services are continually improved.
Why Engaged Employees Produce Quality
- Employees drive business success in the following ways:
- They find opportunities to translate customer needs and expectations into products and services that drive increased revenue.
- They nurture relationships with customers and take personal responsibility for meeting their needs and expectations.
- They work with suppliers as partners and ensure that communication is clear and timely.
- They use quality tools to continuously improve their products and services.
- They maintain and improve their processes with a sense of ownership because the product/service is a reflection of their personal standards.
Engaging employees begins with a willingness on the part of management to:
- Give others responsibility.
- Delegate and accept responsibility for quality.
- Develop teams and teamwork.
- Train managers how to communicate with and provide productive feedback to people.
- Train non-managers how to accept responsibility.
- Train non-managers how to develop teams and teamwork.
- Provide an organizing structure and culture that supports quality and its improvement.
For people to be engaged they need to understand the business operation and how to make quality decisions. They need to understand the impact of their decisions on the organization so training in things like accounting and finance principles, statistical tools, and relevant technical training is essential in order for them to be effective.
Creating a Culture of Quality
Given what culture is and what culture does, it is understandable why a quality culture would be essential to an organization with a commitment to quality. If the culture is not quality-focused, then the organization is unlikely to realize the benefits from quality. Having a quality program and being truly focused on quality is fundamentally different. Many estimate that only one in three companies who have a quality program realize a significant gain in competitive advantage.
Ten Ways Servant Leaders Create a Culture for Quality Improvement
Building this culture of quality starts with leaders who:
- Understand and communicate the meaning and aim of the system and how each person’s work aligns with and supports this aim.
- Help those they serve to understand their relationship with the system.
- Create opportunities for those they serve to get joy from their work.
- Act as a coach and counsel, not a judge to those they serve.
- Apply knowledge of the theory of variation for improved performance.
- Study the causes and effects of their performance toward continually improving quality.
- Create trust.
- Encourage creativity and innovation.
- Surprisingly do not expect perfection.
- Are open to others’ influence.