Roundtable: Employee Engagement

Every month, ASQ selects a quality-themed topic or question for Influential Voices bloggers to discuss as part of a round table. The June topic is Employee Engagement.

To what extent do organizations—whether your current employer or previous ones–engage employees about the importance of quality? How should companies approach this issue, and how can they avoid “sloganeering” and make a real difference?

If you’re interested in taking part in future roundtables, please contact social@asq.org.

Jennifer Stepniowski is the Regional Director, North America, at Pro QC International and an adjunct instructor at Hillsborough Community College. She blogs at Quality Time.

I play a little game with myself and make a note whenever I see “quality” referenced. I find myself chuckling regarding the saturation of the word in our marketplace vocabulary. We want stakeholders to associate us with quality and figure saying it a lot or putting it in the company name is going to do the trick. We think adding signs around our workplace or inserting the word into our mission statements will do the trick. Not terrible ideas… But, it doesn’t seem to be that simple.

To read more from Jennifer, visit her blog.

ASQ Fellow Manu Vora is chairman and president of Business Excellence, Inc. He is an expert in organizational excellence and the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. He blogs at Thoughts on Quality.

Here are some pointers for effective employee engagement for quality culture:

  • Recruit employees with talent and train them for skills (Reference: Buckingham, M. and Coffman, C. (1999). First Break All the Rules, Gallup Press, Omaha, NE).
  • Involve employees by exposing them to effective teamwork, orientation, mentoring, and effective meeting management practices.
  • Motivate employees by establishing recognition and suggestion systems. Follow the Theory of Strengths (Reference: Clifton, D. O. and Nelson, P. (1992). Soar with Your Strengths, Dell Publishing, New York, NY).
  • Develop employees with appropriate education and training, timely performance feedback, and coaching.
  • Retain key employees with regular dialogue between supervisor and employee at least quarterly (Kaye, B. and Jordan-Evans, S. (2013). Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay , 5th Edition, Barrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, CA)

To read more from Manu, visit his blog.

Argentina native Jimena Calfa is a Quality Manager and ASQ Senior member who is truly involved in raising the value of quality focusing on continuous process improvement. She blogs at OnQuality.

“Two way commitment and communication between members of a team, accompanied by setting goals that encourage massive and persistent action is the key to get team members engaged, motivated and performing at extraordinary level of quality.”

This is the answer I got from Sebastian Pereyro, CEO of Empirical and entrepreneur with more than 14 years of experience working in software development in big corporations like Motorola, Google and Disney when I asked him: what is your strategy to have members of your team being fully engaged in the quality of your business?

He highlighted that “because every person has its own needs, we have to TALK with and LISTEN to them; in other words GIVE and RECEIVE on a regular basis. I often share what the company, customer or the project is expecting from them, making sure that the goal and the expected results are clear. I share constructive feedback about performance in a positive manner. I ask the team for feedback about how we are doing; how they are feeling working the way we do and what we can do to help each other to grow professionally and advance in our roles.

One key to encourage fully engaged team members is to give them full responsibility over their roles -empowerment, promoting trust and confidence; and help them take on activities that exceed their current level of skills and capabilities; so they can grow on every project or activity they take on. That is the most motivational tool to increase productivity and well-being of the entire organization.

I like Simon Sinek phrase that says: Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.

This is the future of the world economy; this entrepreneur mindset, that comes with fresh and innovative ideas, is what will make any workforce to be fully engaged with the quality of any organization.”

To read more from Jimena, visit her blog.

Luciana Paulise is a business consultant and founder of Biztorming Training & Consulting. She holds an MBA from CEMA University in Argentina, is a Quality Engineer Certified by ASQ, and a Senior ASQ member. Luciana has also participated as an examiner for the National Quality Award in Argentina. She blogs about quality and continuous improvement for small and medium size businesses, both in English and in Spanish.

In my experience, I truly believe leadership is key to boost performance. 10% of the employees will always be demotivated, another 10% will always be motivated no matter the context, but the 80% of the personnel will perform depending on the leadership ability to engage them to do it, but there are three tools that can boost this ability no matter the leader.

To read more from Luciana, visit her blog.

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5 Responses to Roundtable: Employee Engagement

  1. ilofo says:

    Employee many points and information endless commitment
    Talent, training and motivation are the most important things

  2. Luigi Sille says:

    Great articles, with useful information !
    Keywords about employee engagement:
    - Communication
    -Empowerment
    -Role model
    -Continuous education
    -Motivate
    -Employee involvement
    Thanks for sharing !

    Luigi

  3. Magdalene Tiamuh says:

    Showing the employees that they have so much to offer and that what they think and do counts in every way, is a brilliant way to boost employee confidence and hence improve performance towards quality.

  4. Ernest Robert says:

    Focusing in raising the value of quality on continuous process improvement:
    1. Encourage Team work: Set objectives jointly and communicate them inter and in-tra departments. Work together toward agree goals. foster co operation among individuals,work group and departments.
    2. Team Participation and discussion: Before decisions are made and continued as activities proceed. Recognize the need for getting ideas,thinking, skills, knowledge from all individuals involved. There is need to encourage open give and take discussion and constructive disagreement in an atmosphere of mutual trust. We must remember that the responsible manager has the final decision.We need to emphasize leadership by example.
    3.There should be Recognition and Reward for good work: Provision should be made to support team members and reinforcement among Managers, Supervisors, individuals and work group. Assure equitable treatment and timely visible recognition based on merit for all individuals and teams.Finally coaching and guidance should be provided when job effort is not on-target. We need to new ideas and initiatives. Develop and use the right Technology.

    • Ernest Robert says:

      In a nut-shield, Employee should be encourage on:_
      > Team work
      > Communications
      > Setting Objectives
      > Targeting goals at timely basis
      > Emphasizes Leadership by sample
      > Motivation by Recognition & Rewards for good work
      > Coaching and or Training to get job done on target
      > Empowerment to achieve targeting goals
      > Sharing of ideas,and encouragement on risk taking