Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
As a leader in your organization it is critical that you know your customers. This means the end-user of your company’s products / services as well as all the internal customers. While this is not a new concept it may be time to stop and reflect on what people need from you and your team. When we are busy keeping up with all our tasks we can easily lose sight of why we are doing the things we are doing. To make sure we are on track and doing the right things we must understand our customers.
To ensure your efforts are in line with what your customers need start with your closest customers. Who inside your organization does your team support? What do they need from you? Have you asked their manager how things are going; is there something more that would help them do their jobs easier? Having a frank conversation with them might reveal that some of the things you are providing are nice to haves but really add no value to your customer. Here’s something that you may be able to stop doing. You may find out that if your team provides a bit more, or on a slightly different schedule it would make it possible for your customer to get their job done more efficiently. This improves the company as a whole. Focus on what the internal customers need and you will find ways to improve the business as a whole.
Next, focus on the end-user of your organization’s products or services. You may see these people every day if you are in a customer facing position. Often however, we are several steps removed from the ultimate customer. Do you know who the target customer is? Do you know what they value in your products? What makes them pick your company over another? If you can get clear on these issues you may be able to find opportunities within your team’s scope of work to make changes that improve the customer’s value and save you time and money. Without a clear understanding of the end customer making changes can cause you to miss the mark on your improvements.
In the daily hustle and bustle it is easy to just do what you’ve always done. However, the world is always evolving and needs shift over time. Make sure you are staying on course by checking in with your customers to see that you and your team are providing the things that will add value to them. Strive to improve the experience your customer has with each contact. Looking ahead to what is valuable to your customers will give insight into what you need to do. To do this, start by getting to know your customer.
In a world where we have so much to work can all be a grind with little or no relief for the team. This will wreck your team’s productivity, engagement and quality of work. The harder the push is to get things done, the more important it is to step back once in a while and relax. As a team leader part of your role is to be a cheerleader who encourages the team. Short, fun team times can really help re-energize everyone and make it easier to get through all the stuff ahead. It also will help each person feel appreciated and that their sacrifices are recognized.
So with all the deadlines looming, how do you find the time to stop and smell the roses? It can be very easy and cost effective to make a little fun time for the team. Keep in mind it should be voluntary to attend and if everyone is working long hours stay away from making time after work hours. Another disclaimer, make sure what you choose is in line with your companies culture. So here are a few suggestions to help de-stress and have a little fun:
Most people are willing to work harder than they expected to if they feel appreciated. When we slave away and all we hear is that there is more to be done there is little motivation to keep at it. Have a little fun once in a while, recognize the hard work and provide pep talks to keep spirits up. You will find that your mindset improves as does your teams.
What things have you done to keep your team energized during the tough times?
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“Quality is not an act. It is a habit.” – Aristotle.
I often hear “I don’t have time to do it right”. How does that work? If you do something just to get done and you are not paying attention to getting it right then there is a high chance of creating the need to do it again. This is counter to productivity. Yet this mindset persists.
How can you fight the need to get things done quickly and the need to get it right, so it’s only done once? Here are a few tips based on Deming’s quality cycle (Deming Cycle):
While these principles of quality are normally applied to manufacturing or other business processes they are applicable to your daily tasks. Taking a few extra minutes to ensure the quality of your work will save you time associated with rework.