The term Quality Management is a misnomer in that implies that it is purely the domain of senior management. While it is very true that a Quality Management system will not survive without management commitment, one must not forget the role played by the employees in an organisation.
Those organisations that thrive and grow through the implementation of Quality Management understand that promoting competent, empowered and engaged people at all levels throughout the organisation is essential to enhancing the organisation's capability to create and deliver value both internally and to its customers.
So how do we manage an organisation effectively and efficiently?
Firstly, we need to respect and involve all employees at all levels through recognition, empowerment and enhancement of competencies. By doing this we facilitate the engagement of employees in achieving the organisation's quality objectives, increasing customer satisfaction and increasing company profits.
So what can we do to involve our employees in growing our business?
We need to regularly communicate with our employees to promote an understanding of the importance that their individual contribution makes to the overall improvement in business efficiencies and increased returns.
We must encourage and promote collaboration throughout the organisation using such tools as intranet sites, social media (including internal tools such as Yammer) and we must facilitate open discussion (with a no blame policy). Ultimately we must share knowledge and experience across the organisation.
Have you noticed that once you empower employees to make decisions and take actions and initiatives without fear, that performance levels rapidly improve and loyalty increases? This means reduced absenteeism, employee turnover and subsequently reduced costs associated with rehiring and training staff. Imagine how this affects your bottom line profits!
Recognition and acknowledgement of employee contributions, learnings and improvements along with the self-evaluation of performance against personal objectives are pivotal to gaining greater employee “buy in” to you growing your business.
So how well are you going in the development of your employees?
You need to regularly conduct surveys to assess employee satisfaction, then you need to communicate the results to those employees and importantly, you need to take appropriate actions to assist those employees to improve and grow.
So now that you have your employees collaborating, empowered and performing, what benefits should you expect to see?
Typical benefits could, and usually will, include:
improved understanding of organisational quality objectives by employees and increased motivation to use them;
enhanced involvement of employees in improvement activities;
enhanced personal development, initiatives and creativity;
enhanced employee satisfaction and reduced absenteeism;
enhanced trust and collaboration throughout the organisation; and
an increased attention to shared values and culture throughout the organisation.