Quality Culture - connecting to each individual

What training or communications efforts do you have to help translate quality culture to each individual in your organization?

4 Replies
Grace Duffy
111 Posts

A culture of quality is a mindset. It is the culmination of designing and integrating a quality management system across the organization that enhances the strategic objectives of the company. Culture is “how we do things.” It has a business and a human element to it. Yes, each individual has their own perspective of their role within the organization. The supervisor is responsible for helping each employee understand their responsibilities, scope, and accountability. Senior management sets the tone of a high performing organization. Each function works within a total system to establish effective processes to meet organizational outcomes (internal) and stakeholder expectations (external). The culture of quality develops through the successful teamwork needed to maintain the level of operational maturity of the quality management system and the core processes of which it is comprised. Both qualitative and quantitative measures facilitate the sustainability and continual improvement of the QMS and the quality culture that develops around it.

Amy Cathlina:

What training or communications efforts do you have to help translate quality culture to each individual in your organization?

This is a great question to post. Training efforts to grow a culture of Quality within an organization need engagement and participation from both sides. If an employee feels involved, they will be engaged and actively participate in the Quality Culture:

Ask employees to share their Quality journey within the organization, communicate the journey in a company eblast or newsletter, etc.

Ensure Managers communicate and demonstrate the importance of quality through Walking the Talk and leading by example.

Use Tool Box Talks to build a quality culture.

Energy will flow where the focus is: that is to say, focus on quality, and the energy to drive a quality culture will be fostered.

Good luck!

Thanks both for these ideas. We just had a general company-wide culture survey; the results give me ideas on what themes to focus on, and success stories to tell, as we develop our annual messaging and training campaign for quality culture.

There is a lot to unpack in this simple question. I agree with all of the previous posts. It is a matter of driving the culture at all levels every day. Some bullet points I will share:

  • Having common, agreed upon objectives I the organization. Everyone wants to succeed, but everyone needs to agree what success looks like.
  • Having a system and support structure to help the team and individuals succeed. This means training, support staff, and a way to identify and prioritize the opportunities for improvement.
  • Recognition and reward for success. We use individual recognition (as small as a sticker or a shirt or as large as a President's award recognizing the team in front of their peers.) Don't underestimate the power of personal recognition by the leadership team. It shows the individual what is important. We also share all customer survey response with the the team to recognize the good and make them want to resolve the not-so-good. Some internal competition for recognition and rewards is good.
  • Marketing of Quality internally. I look at promoting quality from a marketing perspective - Newsletters, including Quality in every plant communication meeting, including Quality in every management meeting, etc. in addition to having the posters, promo items, etc. You have to sell your message internally effectively before you sell it externally to your customers.
  • Tie it in to existing systems and culture. There was a strong LEAN culture here when I began to lead the Quality effort, but more focused on increasing production and reducing cost. I linked the Quality system directly to it as a way to sustain the improvements. Now Quality is a part of every Kaizen event. It helped to address the need of sustaining all of the improvements that were being made.