Senior management needs to provide its support and support for total quality management, but how? What are the actions that the senior management should take to provide the required support?
1. Providing and approving financial allocations for investment in total quality management
We should not be surprised if we know that starting the process of total quality management and continuing to apply it requires financial investment, as it has been proven by evidence that investment in total quality gives a substantial return in monetary terms and in terms of customer satisfaction as well, as it gives the establishment a competitive advantage.
Determining the exact amount of investment required may not be easy, but it will be modest compared to the return achieved as a result of good planning and implementation of the total quality management process.
And the senior management should not stop at setting and approving a budget for total quality management, but it is preferable to work on communicating the news of this action and procedure to every member of the company as a strong and positive signal of what total quality means to it.
2. Provide / allow the time required for the implementation and approval of total quality management
Investing time to implement total quality management, in addition to monetary investment, is essential, and senior management allocates part of its valuable time to learn and work in total quality management, as well as allocate and allow the necessary time to train improvement teams and allow them to hold periodic meetings and celebrate the achievements of quality goals All of this is a strong indication from the senior management to all employees of the facility that there is a commitment by them to total quality management, which gives employees a stronger incentive to adhere.
3. Making training and learning on total quality management compulsory for all.
With training, the good intentions of the top management to support TQM are transformed into good results. Without training, employees continue to do their work according to the old methods and methods, which leads them to achieve the same previous results, and the method of dealing with others and serving them remains unchanged. And the number of employees who attend the various quality training courses is one of the indicators of the progress of the application of total quality management. In addition to attending training courses, the administration must urge employees to continue continuing education through reading, attending seminars, joining professional societies, and carrying out the actual practice of the activities and principles of total quality, and so on.
4. Securing/providing external consulting services for the facility
The task of establishing and developing a total quality management process is so large, complex and important that it often requires the use of a quality management consultant. There is a group of advisors known for their activity and contribution in this regard.
And securing a consultant for the company will not only help to understand total quality management and draw plans for the quality improvement process, but also will encourage the company to implement it.
5. Giving speeches and appearing in supportive events for total quality management
The visible support of senior management for TQM is vital. Although the signature of the general manager to approve the financial allocations and his meeting with the consultants are considered necessary for the success of the total quality management process, such activities may not be fully visible in the establishment. Therefore, we must stand face to face and side by side with employees at all levels in all locations when applying total quality management, as this clearly indicates the clear and strong support for total quality.
And the practice of senior management for something like this will give it an incentive to learn total quality management and a two-way dialogue with employees from whom it is required to be dedicated to learning and adopting total quality management.
6. Establishing a department for total quality and directing its work
Senior management should establish or create a department or organizational unit for quality at the company level in order to support total quality through a dedicated body, and it is recommended that it report directly to the general manager. The subordination of such management to the highest authority in the facility/branch to the exclusion of others makes it far from bias towards the special or functional orientations of the lower administrative levels. It also gives it the ability and opportunity to form a comprehensive view, especially in the inter-operations between all departments, and to submit its reports directly to the highest authority and with complete impartiality.
7. Setting a quality vision and policy
Every company must set for itself a quality policy at the company level that guides it in its daily work, and it must set for itself a quality vision that will carry it into the future through its commitment to a set of principles and values.
Developing a quality policy and vision is the responsibility of the senior management, and they are personally responsible for communicating and communicating it to all the company’s employees, regardless of their positions and positions. The effort and time exerted by the senior management to develop a policy and vision for quality and its delivery to all locations in the company gives a strong and positive indication of the belief and firm commitment of the senior management to total quality management.
8. Dealing with resistance to change
The temperature of the application of total quality management begins to rise when the senior management begins to stand face to face with the problem of dealing with resistance to change, especially when the resistance is visible and verbal and its source comes from the owners of leadership positions. Company leadership is required to deal with resistance to change quickly and firmly.
If this resistance to change is ignored by the company’s leadership and is not dealt with effectively, especially those that appear at the level of senior and middle management, this will lead to a loss of reputation and credibility that there is a commitment to the application of total quality management.
9. Linking the rewards and wages system with the total quality management system.
There is an old saying that “work to be rewarded is done.” For managers and employees alike, there is no institutional system that is stronger, brighter, and more attractive to them than the system of rewards and wages. Actions that are rewarded and appreciated will attract individuals to do them
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Senior management should strongly support a full review of the compensation and compensation system to ensure that it directs behavior and performance in the right direction. Any review of the rewards and wages system should focus on all matters related to performance, including performance evaluation, wage applications and practices, bonuses and periodic increases, the amount of incentives and special rewards, discretionary awards, promotion decisions, and any other rewards.
If the system of rewards and wages as a whole does not support the concepts and principles of total quality, then the personnel of the facility will go towards the wrong goal and end.
Second: The role of senior management in the field of its participation in total quality management.
Although the support of senior management to establish and implement the TQM process is extremely important, their actual self-participation is more important as it provides a strong and positive indication of their commitment to TQM and a key factor in building a common language with and among employees. And let’s not forget that the company’s employees learn and practice unified methods and tools that will allow them to use a common language that helps them solve problems of working as a team and most importantly build a culture of total quality.
The following are the practices carried out by senior management to highlight their actual participation in total quality management.
1. Participate in the membership and work of the Quality Steering Committee
We hope that there will be no controversy over the proposal for the participation of senior management members in the membership and work of the Quality Steering Committee. If the management believes that total quality management represents a new form of a strong corporate culture, and that it requires the participation of every person in the facility, a significant investment of time and money, and a clear focus on meeting the customer’s needs, and that it, i.e. total quality, helps in achieving a continuous competitive advantage, then Personal participation of senior management personnel in the membership and work of the Quality Steering Committee becomes an essential requirement. Without this participation, the importance of the total quality project will diminish and its chances of success will diminish.
2. Attending training courses in improving quality
Members of the senior management team should be among the first to learn TQM concepts, tools and techniques. They also have to look for ways and means to participate in other training courses that are held throughout the year. And no training course held in the company should be considered complete unless one or more members of the senior management team pay a short visit to the training classes and talk to the trainees about the course and what has been gained from it.
It has been found that one of the best ways in which management can participate in the issue of training is to assign it to prepare and give part of the training courses for total quality management. In this case, it may be appropriate for senior management to give employees a briefing on total quality management that includes the reason for choosing and adopting the total quality methodology. It is also very appropriate for senior management to discuss the quality planning component.
3. Participate in the membership and work of quality improvement teams
Quality improvement teams are one of the most visible TQM activities, as it will be noted over time that hundreds of employees within the company will participate in improvement teams. Teams are the heart of total quality management, as they work to fix the basic defect that leads to its survival without making the customer happy. These teams are interested in solving the most chronic problems by implementing improvement projects project by project. It is expected that the quality improvement teams that are formed at the management level (the inter-team teams or the development program teams that are now applied in some branches of the Saudi Electricity Company) will be more capable than other teams in solving the main problems in the company and contribute more and effectively to improving quality because Membership in these teams is represented by multiple departments.
It is the responsibility of managers at all levels and areas in the company to determine the ways and means that enable them to personally participate in the quality improvement teams. comprehensive quality.
4. Reviewing the quality improvement teams’ offers
The company achieves two needs or two goals through managers who have good knowledge of the total quality management process. The first is to acquire the manager’s ability to contribute in the field to improvement, and the second is to highlight the commitment to total quality management at the level of senior management, which leads to raising enthusiasm for the methodology of total quality management and thus progressing its application forward. The senior management must attend the teams’ presentations of the improvement projects that have been completed, evaluate these achievements, and approve the recommendations for making the necessary changes to the projects. Any approval of such recommendations requires, in most cases, allocating financial allocations to implement the recommendations.
The ability of senior management to fully understand how improvement teams arrive at their conclusions and recommendations helps them make the best decisions. The committee charged with reviewing a specific improvement project for a specific team must have an amount of knowledge about the process that was subject to study and improvement equal to that of the improvement team itself, to enable the competent committee first to make the right decision, secondly, to assure the nominated team to win the award that the improvement project has been understood and appreciated.
The senior management must play a major role in the process of selecting distinguished improvement teams to give them appreciation awards, which is only possible for them if they are able to know the strengths and weaknesses of the improvement project presented to them by the team.
5. Handing out certificates and awards for quality improvement
The participation of senior management in the activity of handing out certificates and awards to distinguished teams is full of fun and enjoyment. So we find that every member of the Ida
It is almost always a pleasure to participate in the award ceremonies, as looking at the smiling faces of individuals who have achieved valuable achievements for the company is one of the pleasant moments.
Members of the senior management team shall continue to play a leading role in all activities to recognize valuable achievements. Among them is the permanent adoption of informal methods such as a member of the senior management of the company going around and searching for hardworking and good employees in terms of quality to shake their hands and sincere words of thanks to them.
On official occasions, the senior management member shall hand over certificates to employees who have completed training courses in the field of total quality management, as well as handing out awards to teams that have completed quality improvement projects.
6. Call and talk to clients
The members of the senior management to talk to customers is a very important work and works to entertain and participate in the success of the process of total quality management. Unfortunately, very few senior management members in many companies do this work.
Quality basically means meeting the needs of customers, and this requires, first, that we have a clear and immediate understanding of the needs and expectations of the customer, and secondly, that we have a clear and immediate understanding of their opinion on the goods and services that the company currently provides to them. Such activity is more important than being limited to a questionnaire distributed to clients and then left to subordinates to analyze and interpret.
Listening to the results of customer surveys, focus groups, and the like is considered a good thing, but senior management must search for ways and means to interact directly and periodically with customers so that they have a true and realistic sense of what the customer thinks. It is also very important for managers to visit customers or talk to them on the phone to see how satisfied they are with the company’s services. Such an activity must include angry customers and customers who are satisfied with the company’s services, because it is important to know what the company does in terms of good services and bad services to customers. It is also necessary for managers in senior management to review the correspondence addressed to the company from customers, including correspondence addressed to senior management and routine correspondence.
With the passage of time, members of the senior management will be able to build a personal database of customers’ opinions on the quality of the company’s services, which will later prove its importance to them as they continue to participate in the activities of total quality management.
7. Lead quality planning efforts
Senior management is responsible for directing the quality planning process and the general manager should personally lead meetings to define the company’s vision, critical success factors, long-term goals and the competitive, legislative and economic environment in which the company operates. He should also link the company’s assessment of customer needs to the quality planning process. Senior management must take the lead in disseminating and communicating the plan to employees throughout the company, and it must require all organizational units (departments) in the company to identify the ways in which they will be able to support the plan and the critical success factors.
8. Approve ideas and proposals for quality improvement projects that are presented to it
Although the adoption of ideas and proposals for quality improvement projects is part of the mission of the Quality Steering Committee and the efforts of quality planning, its importance deserves to be mentioned separately.
When the TQM project gets underway, the company’s employees will begin to suggest quality improvement projects for the teams to implement. The review and approval of the senior management of the proposed projects clearly reflects their participation in the total quality management, because these projects ultimately need financial allocations and because they need to be subject to evaluation in order to determine how and to what extent these projects will contribute to achieving the important goals and critical success factors.
Any process of reviewing and approving projects by senior management must be efficient so as not to delay the formation of teams and the training of their members.
9. Visit teams and departments during their meetings
The phrase “Managing By Waking Around” has become familiar to many members of a company’s senior management team, and that means walking around the company, interacting with employees in an informal way, and inquiring about obstacles in their work. This method or method is very important to show the interest and commitment of the general manager and the senior management team to total quality management.
As for the quality facilitators or mentors, they must inform the senior management or members of the total quality steering committee of the places and nature of the total quality activities taking place in the company, especially the places and times of meetings of the improvement teams. Accordingly, members of the senior management / TQM committee visit and participate in these meetings, ask questions and offer assistance. These practices and concerns by the senior management are quickly received by the team with glee without forgetting.
10. Speak the language of total quality
At a time when the roots of total quality management begin to take its way in depth, this means that the company has begun to speak the language of quality. There is no doubt that the active participation of officials through training and teamwork will provide them with the know-how and good knowledge of total quality management. Words and phrases such as Vital Few, Cause and Effect Analysis, Data Collection, Customers’ Needs, Root Causes and other phrases become the language of conversation in all Job levels in the company.
It is very important for senior management to speak this language to create an environment that is specialized and characterized by total quality management in the company. Such a lingua franca has a strong impact on institutional/organizational effectiveness as it works on
Removing barriers between the different administrative levels and facilitating the process of communication and understanding among them.
Commentary and conclusion
Total quality management is in fact a good system of work and a culture driven by values and senior management should be active in building this culture. The total quality management system of values centers around continuous improvement by applying project after project in the facility’s business, as well as around meeting customer needs, employee participation, data-based decision-making, teamwork enhancement and long-term vision. If total quality management does not receive the full attention of senior management, the process of building a successful group around a set of values will be slow, painful and ineffective.
In other words, total quality management works to form a culture that is central to values and is based on establishing a solid foundation on which a non-stop competitive advantage can be built. And the presence of values-driven or guided leadership is necessary to develop or establish total quality management, and it must be a top priority for senior management, and it cannot be delegated to others or ignored.
Accordingly, it is necessary to view total quality management as a new and improved management system that is durable and long-term. The senior management remains responsible for conveying this belief to the community of the establishment and is entrusted with guarding the total quality management from considering it a one- or two-year project.
For example, senior management should stress achieving high levels of customer satisfaction as a key indicator of long-term success. And customer satisfaction is what brings profits in the long run. It should also stress the continuity of learning in the field of comprehensive quality and not just attending specific programs here and there. It should also stress on undertaking continuous improvement projects that are based on facts and data, and on discovering the root causes of problems, rather than running after means of applying quick and temporary solutions. It is also necessary to strike a balance between the short-term benefits achieved by the improvement teams by implementing important but short-term solutions, and the long-term benefits achieved by the teams to achieve lasting results by following and learning an effective problem-solving process. From designing new goods and services to deciding on the opening hours after which the facility’s doors remain open, based on a deep understanding of the client’s needs.