How Can You Improve Quality Management Leadership?
Equipping leaders with the right tools and input makes all the difference when it comes to quality management that is truly effective and long-lasting. While training, education and even mentoring goes a long way in supporting quality managers, some of the additional ways that you can assist them in meeting objectives include the following:
1. Involving quality managers in decision making processes.
These are the people you have chosen to lead the way, running your quality strategies and providing a guiding light to the rest of your organisation. As such, they should be involved in decisions that affect the way that they do their job. Whether at plant level or on a collaborative scale with other quality leaders, involvement provides ample investment in decisions, which in turn help to offer motivation for making things work. They become part of the process, and therefore more likely to give their best efforts.
2. Aligning incentives with quality objectives.
All too often, financial incentives are aligned with financial metrics, with incentive dependent on results over the financial year or quarter. Targets are met and managers are rewarded. While this works from a sales point of view, it may not be ideal for quality. Incentives determined by performance metrics on the other hand can ensure far better results. Eliminating defects, reducing downtime, improving employee training methods, getting a smarter document system into place… any of these could be considered suitable objectives that help overall quality goals considerably. Shouldn’t these be worthy of incentive, too?
3. Succession planning and leadership development.
Sometimes, managers are taken for granted – even when they are doing a good job. When this happens, there is no thought for growth or development, which can ironically hamper quality levels. Leaders who show promise should be nurtured with succession strategies that allow them to transfer their skills to new talent. That does not mean being replaced, but rather, being able to hand down knowledge in the event of promotion, growth or even retirement.
4. Adequate tools and technology to do their job well.
Without tools and technology that is up to date, the quality process becomes a lot harder. A solid framework that includes automated software tools to manage document control, audits, competency testing and various other quality functions enables your leaders to put their time to the best use possible – by constantly innovating and planning rather than manually inputting, editing and battling with outdated tools that are not able to get things done. Real-time metrics and tools that make the job simple ensure far more productivity and motivation too, which is good for everyone – including the company.
5. Investing in resources that enhance strategies.
Much like the right tools are needed in today’s quality climate, the right resources are also imperative to the success of your strategies. From investment in training for various employees and departments to change management consulting, there are many resources that make things easier for managers to get the most from their plans. Are you giving them what they need to do their best work? Ultimately, nurturing leaders to enhance the efforts of your quality management system comes down to not only choosing the right people for the job, but also the right support structures that help them do the job to their best efforts.