By one account, more than one in five consumers post complaints online about poor quality goods, even while market demands to maintain or improve product quality escalate. In many companies, lax or inefficient quality production metrics are often the consequence of equally lax or even non-existent quality standards throughout corporate culture. In this post, we’ll examine what a culture of quality is and how you can develop one at your company.
Defining a Culture of Quality
Experts define a high-quality corporate environment as one where workers not only adhere to quality guidelines in their activities, but also experience quality behaviors in their interactions with peers and leadership. Yet despite this, more than half of employees claim that their employer does not feature quality as a core enterprise principle. That has a definite impact on a company’s bottom line. Workers in companies where quality is a core component of the culture reported 46 percent fewer mistakes in their work product, which reduced time spent to retracing their steps to make corrections. Fewer errors resulted in higher productivity with no need for additional investment.
Creating a Culture of Quality in Every Company
Because “culture” is as much an attitude as it is a behavior, any company can create a strong culture of quality by establishing a systematic approach that both identifies and celebrates high-quality efforts.
Start at the Top
Numerous studies confirm that corporate culture begins in the C-suite, and those companies whose leaders both expound on and exhibit quality behaviors enjoy happier workers and higher levels of enterprise success. Employees with managers that demand high-quality effort from themselves as well as from junior staff often provide greater contributions to the team than workers in companies that don’t underscore quality as a fundamental corporate value. Further, companies that encourage open communications between management and staff experience better collaboration and cooperation up and down the corporate ladder. The result is less stress and more attention paid to achieving quality efforts at all levels.
Related: Characteristics of a Strong Quality Culture
Engage Your Workforce
Workers, both individually and collectively, contribute significantly to the perception of corporate culture. If they are not focused on quality as a personal attribute or an element of their work habits, that attitude will spread to other workers and work flows. Therefore to improve your employees’ contributions towards creating a culture that exudes quality, you must engage them in the process. Adding modules about a culture of quality and incorporating that expectation into training materials get the idea planted with every new hire. Continuing education materials that feature quality-reinforcing data can reshape how the existing staff goes about their business. And incentives, from a plaque on the wall to a paid vacation, are always valuable; offering a high-quality perk to reward high-quality work doubles the cultural impact.
Manage the Change to Manage the Culture
Whether you’re launching your “culture of quality” project or evolving existing cultural nuances to reflect emerging enterprise realities, managing the changes as they occur will make the shift from the old to the new easier. If you already have a robust, quality-oriented culture in place, then changing your organization’s systems and processes should not adversely affect its goals, practices, or expectations. In fact, when everyone involved is equally focused on maintaining quality for their own sake, they can accept changes with the same dedication to apply high-quality standards to that incoming transformation. Today’s markets are more competitive than ever. Every enterprise needs as much advantage as possible to succeed. By prioritizing quality in your products, services, and corporate culture, your enterprise will be poised to rise above the competition.