Monday, 30 September 2013

Using Quality Circles in developing a Quality Culture

Many Quality professionals who have been given the task of implementing NABH standards in their hospitals face this common challenge - "How do I bring about the change? How do I get everyone on board? How can I get everyone's involvement in the standards implementation process? Why is it perceived that quality is only my responsibility and not theirs' too?" These are common experiences that a quality professional goes through. She is confused about what should be the starting point of standards implementation. She cribs about lack of management support and that the staff is non-cooperative.

In an earlier article, I had highlighted that a Quality Culture is a must to ensure the long term success of the quality initiatives. In this post, I will discuss an important tool which will help you create that culture.

We have to start with the basic premise that our staff are not dumb. They are our knowledgeable colleagues who have years of experience and expertise in doing a particular job. We need their help in getting the standards implemented. It is a team effort. Therefore, we have to seek their collaboration. There is a huge potential locked in our manpower and we need to tap into that potential. The way we need to encourage their participation and get them involved is through engaging them in a meaningful discussion, which is open, collaborative, intellectually stimulating and a good value for their time. It is in this context that the concept  of Quality Circles (QCs) comes very handy. We need to understand and implement the essence of QCs.

A QC is a small group formed of the employees of an organization who are supervised by someone senior to them and they identify, analyze and discuss work-related problems and collectively devise solutions to them. The fundamental idea is that our people know the problems and they can also design solutions to those problems. Isn't it simple? The groups in the QC meet during the office hours and are free to discuss any topic they want to discuss related to their work. The supervisor needs to moderate the discussion to ensure that the group invests its time to diagnosing the problem with their collective insights and work together to propose solutions. The management can then decide to pick some of these solutions and suggestions to improve quality standards and organizational processes.

1 comment:

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