Quality Concepts for New Employee Training
Hi, I am working on a special project and was looking for some input.  When on boarding new (entry-level) quality employees, providing the right on boarding training is important.  Obviously  hiring a candidate with a quality certification is helpful, but this isn't always possible. Sometimes, you get a candidate with the right attitude and behaviours and a willingness to learn.   If you have a candidate with the right "fit", the organization should commit to providing relevant training. What specific training/learning opportunities would you want to provide to ensure they have the right/optimal mix of  basic quality concepts training?  i.e.    7 quality tools, effective team function, lean concepts, COQ categories, PDCA, FMEA, QFD, DMAIC, etc.
4 Replies
I think it is important to have the new employees observe and be mentored by experienced resources.  

I seem to recall reading something about Training, Awareness, and Competence; so the onboarding should address all 3 areas.
That is an interesting question. I would think of several topics:
  • I would center some time in explaining the Why of things. Why do we have a quality system? Why do we focus on customer (internal an external) satisfaction? Why do we have standards? Why do we manage complaints? Why do we have a problem solving approach? Why do we measure things with KPIs? Why do we perform audits? Why do he have management reviews? Why do we encourage continuous improvement? At an entry level answering the why is more relevant than showing the how. You need them to buy in the idea of quality management. Then they will learn how to do it. 
  • Soft skills are also fundamental. Things like effective communication, trust development, observation (think of Taiichi Ohno's Circle), taking notes and having a journal is specially useful, public speaking and teamwork. Also Critical Thinking (5 whys, 5w/2h) can help them develop a useful thinking framework to be applied with the quality tools. 
  • Regarding quality basics the BoK of the CQIA could be a guideline and then the CQPA. I would give an emphasis to the concept of a Process, Waste, Variability and Standardization, including something like 5s. And then the 7 quality tools and 4 step Problem Solving. Then everything else as required by the position they are occupying. 
With one of my clients, we have developed some workshops in which the participants "simulate" a production process. But not in the sense of a mathematical simulation, but rather by living a production line. The build things, use standards, measure things. I have developed the position of production, supervisor, warehouse even the customer. Within that "simulation" they experience the problems related to:
  • The lack of training
  • Poor supervision and leadership
  • The lack of measurements
  • The importance of audits
  • The need to balance quality and productivity
  • The variability of the process
  • The role of waste in the production line
  • Etc. 
This workshops provide a hands on approach to some of the concepts and it must be supported by extra learning opportunities within the different improvement and problem solving initiatives and projects. Also On the Job Training in site, including the quality topics is a must. 
Typical Production Line Array

The workshops allow them to experience the effects of their actions in different parts of the organization. Each participant is given a role and the activity is handled via "cards" by the facilitator. The cards introduce "real life events" that they have to handle and that affects their quality and productivity flow. 

Just some ideas. 
Training, Awareness, and Competence. Those are three excellent points Daniel!
Luis, I love the simulation model idea. I also like the CQIA BoK. I was also considering some of the CQT concepts at first. I agree the soft skills are important and I am looking to include those as well. Thanks for your comprehensive response.