Quality refers to an organization focused on quality that encourages a culture resulting in behaviors, mindsets, actions, and processes that provide value. This value occurs by fulfilling the requirements and expectations of customers, suppliers, and other relevant parties.
Quality culture involves building a culture of trust, participation, and communication where quality goals are supported by employee participation. The goal is to sustainably produce and improve quality by implementing perspectives from management that integrate various cultural aspects of the workforce.
The idea is to create a positive impact within the supply chain going both ways. A pronounced quality culture can create a further unique selling point (USP) when marketing products to customers. In addition, a well-implemented procure-to-pay process based on quality measurements has a similar positive impact on the supply chain. Customer and supplier relationships can ultimately be strengthened as a result of quality culture, culminating in a longstanding culture of trust!
Teams must take two steps to ensure a strong quality culture:
The organization’s quality culture consists of thoughts, beliefs, traditions, and practices regarding quality. Although it can be difficult to evaluate, an organization’s culture has a significant effect on quality. Without a cultural knowledge of quality, it will be hard to make meaningful and lasting improvements.
Two of the most common means of assessing organizational quality culture are:
The study generally covers attitudes, perceptions, and activities that impact quality within the organization. The current quality culture can be achieved with a carefully-planned attitude questionnaire on quality. Education is at the foundation of the questionnaire, and for this reason, you need to develop your own set of questions before you proceed. Keep in mind that guaranteeing respondent anonymity is crucial, as is ensuring interviewer impartiality, given the sensitive nature of cultural assessments.
You can use the critical incident technique to get at questions that have produced promising results in the past. Simultaneously, you can select a small representative group and ask open-ended questions. The responses to the questionnaire always provide valuable insight. They can also be categorized, and the categories examined to gain additional insight into the organization’s quality culture. Both the responses and categories can be used to create proper survey items and to organize focus-group questions.
The analysis of the responses may involve the use of several tools, such as cause and effect diagrams, the analysis of means on performance versus the importance of factors, regression analysis, interrelation digraph, and quality function deployment.
Creating a positive quality culture takes time and effort. Nonetheless, it is essential for your organization’s survival.
You need to prepare a clear awareness message that contains the current condition of quality and the goals for reaching the next step. You must also distribute this message across all levels of management using language that aligns with each territory.
Inviting the management team and team leader for a presentation of the consolidated quality-related data is essential. These meetings can enable organizations to complete strategic planning for quality specifically, helping them provide resources for quality.
Organize work using self-development approaches, such as self-managing teams, and encouraging personal responsibility for quality.
Employees can participate in quality processes. They can take ownership of the process or simply play a minor role—there are many different ways to get involved. That said, you should encourage those who participate and contribute to improving the quality.
Recognizing and rewarding employees who contribute to improving quality can inspire others as well. Be sure to acknowledge team members’ performance publicly, or to offer rewards including benefits such as salary increases, bonuses, and promotions.
Creating a positive culture is one of the best ways to build loyalty and retain key personnel in operations.