In many organizations a quality assurance manager has always been that pain in the neck who keeps nagging about things that have not yet happened, insisting that people do more paperwork, or lobbying for expenses that aren’t directly recoverable. While this person may seem like a bother and a waste of the company’s resources, the work that this person does is not directly quantifiable. Quality assurance is an area work that is quite new to certain industries and organizations. But the value addition that these quality assurance people provide has proven to be significant. However, an organization’s quality of work does not depend on a single person or a single quality assurance department. While the quality assurance department may drive the whole quality initiative, it is the responsibility of all to ensure that the company maintains good quality. Here are some tips that you too can implement in your organization so that it becomes more quality conscious.
Training and awareness
Training and awareness is a big part of maintaining quality. If your organization is going for ISO 13485 certification but your employees have no idea why your company requires such a certification or the system requirements, your certification is not going to hold any value. Or you may not pass the certification audit. Therefore start off by making your employees aware about the system requirements and the benefits that they and the company would get by implementing this reliable assurance system. In addition to this, training needs to be continuous on the key business processes of the organization.
A side note on certifications – it’s important to choose certifications that an organization closely relates to. While general certifications elevate the overall standard of a company, you need to look for certifications specific to your organization. If being eco-friendly is a cause of your company for example, it would make sense to opt for an conversion to ISO 9001:2015 (training & consultancy).
Measure and incentivize
A quality management system calls for additional work. There is no denying in this fact. But this additional work may save you from a lot of trouble in future. However, many people fail to see this and tend to consider the extra work to be only that. Therefore there should be a reward system to measure the progress and incentivize the employees will go a long way in getting these employees behind the quality initiative. It is best if these incentives are win-win incentives where, instead of choosing a best employee, all those employees who achieve a certain quality goal will be incentivized.
Last, but not the least, employees should be empowered to make quality conscious decision. In most organizations, when employees see non conformities, they either ignore or do not report them out of peer influence. But by empowering your employees in the right manner, you would be able to get more out of your quality system than ever!