Quality is never an accident, but a result of a combination of consistently repeated factors. This combination consists of commitment, tracking, training, cooperation, and attitude.
Commitment is not simply a top-down organization, but a bottom-up one, too. A business has to do more than decide on committing to provide customers with quality products or services. This type of commitment is merely an executive ideal. This love of quality has to be something that workers, too, feel and act on in the course of creating the product or providing the service. The oft-cited “Father of Quality Management”, W. Edward Deming, called this “constancy of purpose” and said it was essential to the continued health of any operation.
Quality has to be defined to be appreciated. Manufacturers usually define it statistically. Once the numbers are in place, then samples can be measured to see if they reflect the correct ratio and metrics. The International Organization for Standards (ISO) has created benchmarks to keep quality consistent within a manufacturing industry. This same idea of measuring quality in a quantitative way can be applied to any other business, including a service business. Keeping detailed records, holding all employees accountable for regularly recording their role in the production and quality assurance processes, and using a universal labeling and reference system, will make tracking much easier and more accurate.
Quality is a result of careful thought and skillful application, both of which do not arise randomly but through training. Thus, a company has to train its employees on the difference between good and poor performance, between high and low quality products. Without this common understanding, quality becomes subjective, even arbitrary.
Cooperation is most effective when quality circles are organized. When employees can get together as equals and identify and address issues related to creating quality in the workplace, cooperation naturally arises because there is a common agreement on what quality means, why it’s important, and how it should be pursued. Creating cooperative, comfortable environments for quality control discussions opens the floor to everyone, providing you with a wealth of diverse opinions and valuable advice you may not have received otherwise.
Finally, a spirit of harmony has to permeate the workplace. Where employees feel demoralized for one reason or another, a poor attitude can undermine all attempts at quality control. Alternatively, where employees are made to feel both empowered and responsible, then attitude–an invisible component in business success–rises to resolve problems and ensure that quality standards can be met or exceeded. If you have no other motivations to improve on and maintain your employee morale, consider the benefits that a good overall attitude can offer to your quality control.
When the people in a company can agree to commit, track, train, cooperate, and share a positive attitude, then quality becomes part of the business. Ultimately, then, quality is more than mere policy and measurements; it also has a great deal to do with creating a business culture where people are eager to be a part of the common organization goal. Quality is both a subjective and objective thing.
Informational Credit to 911 Industrial Response Inc