Going Down That Road Again
“Here we go again! They are starting some ‘quality improvement’ initiative and it really means they are cutting jobs!” So said many employees, across numerous organizations that started cost cutting across the organization, all under the disguise of ‘quality improvement’ initiates. Cynical? You better believe it is! Is it reasonable? You better believe it is! That’s because across the spectrum, some organizations implement quality improvement initiatives, with the real goal of slashing financial cost savings.
Quality Improvement The Right Way
Implementing quality improvement initiatives, with the right intentions is crucial. The tenets of Lean Six Sigma demand the practice be based on fact, not assumption, focused effort vs. wavering compliance, and absolute integrity! Implementing quality improvement initiatives must be for the right reasons. Organizations must seek improvement on a long-term basis that produces quantifiable results. These achievements can only be made with the fullest of support and commitment from everyone in the organization, from top to bottom. Therefor, the intentions of senior leaders must be clear and true. State them clearly and from the beginning so everyone can understand your goals and get behind them!
Employees can be very distrustful because they could have been deceived before. Leaders must step out and state clear goals and create excitement to support them. Then every action they take must go towards improving quality as stated, but they also must build trust throughout the organization. These factors must occur over the long term, just like the initiatives being implemented. If you are seeking cost cutting opportunities, state that up front and act upon those strategies. If you are seeking quality improvement, commit to a process that is long term and for the benefit of all.