Engaging Workers Will Improve Quality and Your Bottomline
We’ve heard and seen it time and again. Nothing can stifle a company’s quality faster than a disengaged workforce. Even if you have all the appropriate processes in place but leadership hasn’t created a true culture of quality, where workers feel empowered and engaged, all efforts seem to fall short. Here are three key facets focused on how you can increase quality in the workplace by engaging your workforce.
1. Have Dedicated Quality Professionals Most equate quality to delivering great products, free from defects. That sounds simple but, when you peel back the layers of an organization, it becomes clear that true quality is impacted when you add the ever so important human element into the mix.
First and foremost, ask yourself if you have invested enough in having trained quality professionals as part of your team. According to stats, having team members with a background in quality management improves employee engagement and company culture. You can also expect to see lower turnover, better attendance and an above average increase in work productivity.
Quality professionals are also key in earning trust and commitment from employees so that you have an engaged staff that feels empowered to recommend and make changes for the benefit of all. Staff trained in quality also ensure you are following a total quality management approach and taking an overarching strategy that combines data and effective communications to integrate the quality discipline into the culture and activities of the organization. They are key to ensuring your efforts are customer focused, involve all your employees and revolve around core processes and an integrated system. They are a driving force in seeing continuous improvement across the organization, requiring teams to think more constructively and creatively so they can meet expectations and make decisions in real-time based on data and insight collected.
2. Create a Team Environment You will never be able to achieve the quality you want if you don’t have what Corvex likes to refer to as worker-powered quality. Simply put, your employees need to operate in an environment free from fear, where they aren’t afraid to make recommendations and can work cohesively with their counterparts and upper management to make meaningful enhancements to the manufacturing process. This team-based approach should involve multiple disciplines so that you can secure a variety of perspectives and ask the critical questions that lead to lasting improvements.
If you’ve ever stepped foot in a manufacturing facility that is unsafe, where leadership is absent and the culture of quality does not exist, you can see a profound difference in the attitude and behavior of the workforce. Workers are demotivated, not as engaged and likely not interested in going above and beyond to make a difference. Having engaged workers who are connected to the appropriate information, tools and equipment that they need to feel confident in their job will lead to an impact on productivity and job satisfaction every time.
3. Tap Into Digital Technology Organizations should utilize digital technology to connect workers to an overall framework that fosters real-time communication, stronger data management and a safer, more productive team. Safety and quality that is worker-powered, in conjunction with traditional methods of training, can help boost performance and give workers the tools they need and want to enact real change, according to Ted Smith, head of Corvex. “Digital transformation of the worker transforms the organization and the work experience of every individual. It not only impacts safety but creates a more positive company culture that in turn translates into leaner, more efficient production.”
Integrating the Internet of Things into your facility means you’ll have access to a more robust quality control system and an opportunity to engage workers in real time. As workers see how their voice can make a difference, you’ll continue to experience more positive feedback, and create an environment that is happier, safer and more productive, all of which will lead to critical quality improvements.