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Learn The Truth About Quality In 5 Minutes…..
In this article we will address what Quality is. How it is applied to everyday life. And what does it mean for an organisation and its people?.
“Quality is the responsibility of the Quality Department!”. We hear these words spoken a lot.
It is often treated as an optional “add-on”, something that you may choose to have… or not.
What is Quality?
Everything we do is governed, to a certain degree, by a set of “standards”, that we set; (subconsciously). From the way you communicate and treat others, to your attention to effort at work.
Our “standards” are based on beliefs and opinions about the subject. They are also formed from experience, culture, background, and even from our frame of mind, on the day. They affect everything we do, and everyone around us.
Let’s imagine the following scenario.
- We always arrive to work late, our work is inaccurate and incomplete.
- We forget to call a customer, and avoid making the sales call.
These situations could mean lost revenue to our Employer. Our inefficiency could cause delays in work processes, and product and service delays.
Our Customers may start complaining because they didn’t receive a call back. Our Employer also addresses our performance failures.
These consequences are a direct result of our actions and setting of “low” standards. We may feel, our standards are high and are acceptable. Afterall what do we compare our own standards to. Other people? Worldwide etiquette?. Best practice?
The standards we are referring to are “Quality” standards.
Everything is affected by “Quality” because the result of our actions affects the final outcome.
Quality is in every single action or activity.
How do we apply “Quality” standards to an organisation?
Businesses define and need to communicate their Company standards and agree on how they will run their operations, to ensure they meet the requirements of all of their customers (internal or external). And to deliver work in a consistent way. They will also set out their business objectives, targets and goals, for delivering products and services.
If managing a small business, agreement of the procedures may be verbal. This works for a small group of employees. However, problems start when the organisation grows with new employees, and customers, as every employee will need to be aware and understand this information.
The key is to communicate, as soon as their employment or the project starts. How many times do you hear “ my employee is not performing”. Is this true? or is the real reason because employees were not given instruction and training or a basic job description.
If the Employer is not able to define the role, then how do you expect the employees to perform it.
One of the primary methods to use is through a Company Quality Manual. This acts as an instruction manual to detail the procedures to be followed and the interaction of those procedures across the departments. It also sets out the company standards and values, in the form of a Quality Policy.
This information needs to be cascaded from Top Management, to develop a corporate identity and a company quality culture, along with training and workshops. This will ensure the whole business operates on the same values and attributes, so quality standards are not left to imagination and chance!.