Do your quality employees cut it?
The supermarket trip that didn’t meet your expectations is probably still etched in your mind – and influences all your future trips to the store. THATO TINTE looks at the importance of quality in a business, and the calibre of personnel involved in the quality process.
“Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising.” These wise words are from Milton Hershey, renowned confectioner, philanthropist and founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company.
You don’t have to be in business to know that good quality goes a long way. It has the ability to make or break a business. Employers need to ensure their quality-management employees are well equipped to deliver on their objectives and avert quality-associated risks to the company.
In sport, just as a tennis player needs great hand-eye coordination, a rugby player needs good tackling skills. Each game requires its own respective skills and not a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Likewise, in the workplace, not all employees are created equal and each role requires its own competencies to ensure successful execution.
Professionals, who are tasked with ensuring quality standards are met, also need to have certain unique skills and qualities to ensure they carry out their roles efficiently and effectively.
The Production Management Institute (PMI) of South Africa advises that manufacturing and production-line quality-control employees should have keen observation skills, be assertive and have great problem-solving skills. It also lists formal ISO 9000 training and quality audit training as part of the essentials.
Employees also need to have the right traits and personality to do the job right the first time. So, what would indicate to an employer that a prospective employee is right for the job?
The answer lies in what you do at the recruitment stage. Leading Australian firm, the Institute of Psychometric Coaching (IPC), says using psychometric tests when recruiting can help employers analyse the “hidden traits” of future workers.
IPC prepares aptitude, personality and skills tests for companies such as BHP Billiton, Ernst & Young and Rio Tinto Group. It says that, when used together with interviews, these tests can give employers great insight into a person’s working style and suitability for the role.
If used correctly, this recruitment element can give employers peace of mind in knowing that the most suitable candidate is selected.
The bottom line is vital for the survival of any business. Poor customer-service levels, sub-standard goods and product recalls are all attached to quality management and can be detrimental to a business.
Product recalls are severely damaging to a brand and cost the company in time, money and reputation. While product recalls may be linked to many other factors, they occur largely as a result of a lapse in the quality process.
Parmalat SA recently recalled roughly 300 bottles of apple juice contaminated with a cleaning material after customers complained of stomach aches.
Many South African vehicles will be recalled in a global Takata campaign following a potentially deadly defect found in airbags manufactured by the Japanese auto parts company.
The Consumer Protection Act of 2008 now makes it possible for manufacturers, retailers and suppliers to be held liable for damages caused to the public as a result of defective or hazardous goods; clearly showing the magnitude and importance of quality.
Milton Hershey may have been onto something; quality speaks volumes, and remains the biggest advertiser of the standards being upheld by a business.