Total Quality Management (TQM) is an initiative undertaken by organizations to ensure that products or services are produced or managed in the most efficient manner. The end objective is to make sure that there are no process variations and thereby deviations from the defined quality parameters. TQM encompasses all aspects of quality which includes the processes and also the outcome of those processes. Employees are the main people who can make or break the quality systems in an organization. However, TQM is not something that can happen automatically. How can management ensure that employees are more quality-conscious? Here are some of the ways:
- 1.Let the top management initiate TQM: It is the responsibility of the top management to roll out the relevant processes and procedures to ensure quality standards in the organization. They will need to have clear TQM concepts and principles which serve as guidelines.
- 2. Incorporate learning based on principles and procedures: It is not sufficient for organizations to set up quality standards and processes. They should also train every employee giving due emphasis on the theoretical and practical aspects of quality maintenance. After the training is completed, there have to be regular reviews to ensure that the quality parameters in the systems or processes are being followed.
- 3. Be customer-centric: The ultimate aim of any organization is to gain acceptance by the customer and have a long-term relationship with him. Therefore, constant feedback from customers should be solicited and their suggestions acted upon to ensure that there are no lacunae in terms of customers’ expectations and the actual deliverables.
- 4. Involve employees: Employees who come up with improvements in the quality process or systems should be encouraged and given recognition for their pro-active nature. This will encourage more such initiatives from others. Since employees are the ones who work on a day-to-day basis with the product or services, they are bound to come up with creative solutions to better quality.
- 5. Communicate better expectations: Research has shown that to achieve better quality from employees, corresponding expectations must be communicated beforehand.
- 6. Provide regular feedback: If employees do not know the areas of improvement then they will continue with the wrong procedures which will trigger a loss of quality. Providing regular feedback makes them aware of the scope of improvement.
- 7. Appreciate and reward performers: Good performers in an organization should be motivated by given them suitable rewards or benefits. This will not only motivate them to continue performing well but also will encourage others to do the same.
These are only a few tips that could help managers establish quality parameters in their organization. There are many more that could be added to this list. I will be interested to learn your views on the subject. Do share your thoughts on the same.