By Ryan Velez
When confronted with the processes of many organizations, he saw the need for transformation, and many companies that followed his lead found much success by doing so. A recent article from Black Enterprise covers the “Points of Quality” that you can employ, as explained in “Deming Management at Work” by Mary Walton.
One thing that you’ve probably heard for years in many organizations is an emphasis on quality. Put forth the quality effort, create the quality product. But at the same time, has anyone taken the time to explain why that is? Yes, sure, it’s good for the company, but why? Part of putting Deming’s ideas into action is creating a constant sense of purpose for everyone about why and how this emphasis on quality is important for your operations. This will allow them to feel better about what they do.
Part of making this function properly falls on you as a business owner or decision maker as well. Take the time and energy to put together a strong game plan for training your employees both coming into the job and for when new technology or techniques are implemented. In addition, when you are putting together training and goals for employees, take a moment to see how they intertwine with each other. For example, if one team is focusing on sales while another is focusing on costs, they may be hurting each other when all they are trying to do is work hard at their jobs. Instead, refocusing them both on income will enable them to work separately, while keeping a common goal in mind.
Many people in business try to implement several items in the workplace that sound effective on paper, but according to Deming, are better off removed. One example is slogans or catchphrases. These may be great in advertisements, but in the workplace itself, are fun but hollow. At the end of the day, a neat slogan won’t help your employees be more creative, open, or productive on their own. Put your energy elsewhere.
A similar area that may have good intention but can go off the rails is incentives and quotas. Deming himself once said, “A person, to hold a job, meets a quota at any cost, without regard to damage to his company.” We mentioned before about giving a reason for employees to put together quality work. Quotas can be a misfire, as an employee desperate to meet one may cut corners or ignore other facets in pursuit of a bonus or job security.