Quality assurance is an important part of any workflow. It enables your business to maintain a desired standard for the quality of either your service or product. This means putting a set level of attention into each stage of delivery or production. It can be vital for preventing mistakes or defects that affect customer confidence or the quality of your output. Sometimes, however, maintaining quality assurance can be a challenge, so here are some steps that can be taken to improve it within the workplace.
Make a commitment
Firstly, it is important to make a commitment as a business to work on your quality assurance. It is vital that this decision to create consistency in your purpose is set out from management at the top, and is then reinforced over and over again as it trickles through the corporate hierarchy.
Staff will care much more if they can see that this is a concern for all involved, and is something everyone is working towards achieving as a common goal. It needs to be non-negotiable, otherwise staff will let quality slip. When working in an organisation, no matter how big or small, you need your staff to be as committed as you.
Set out your standards
Part of this commitment involves defining what ‘quality’ means for your business and drafting up a list of standards for your company that you intend to adhere to. This must be communicated widely with staff to ensure everyone understands clearly what they need to do. It shouldn’t be complicated or long-winded, otherwise people will overlook it when busy.
Establish quality control measures
You then need to ensure you have statistical quality control measures in place. This means sampling a small number of products from each production batch to ensure they match up with the standards you have set. Likewise, if it is a service you are offering, it’s about randomly testing this at various points to ensure it can withstand the test.
If deviation occurs, you need to find ways to bring this all back in line with the standards. It may be that you identify where problems are happening and establish what changes should be implemented. Putting key members of staff in charge of monitoring the quality output of everything you do can also be helpful, and giving them some level of authority can ensure the issues that arise don’t get overlooked.
When mistakes happen, it is then critical that you track these. This will help you to learn from your failures. It is okay for businesses to make errors – naturally, they will happen. No business is perfect. However, they should never be made more than once. It is important that when a problem occurs, it is dealt with effectively and used as a teaching point for the future.
It can help you find meaningful benchmarks in your business for quality. If you can, find ways of gauging your customer satisfaction levels too. This can be useful in identifying how well you are actually meeting your standards to an external eye – they will have different standards that they are holding you to, so will provide useful third-party insight.
Invest in training
In order to keep quality assurance consistent, you also need to invest in training for your staff. No one is perfect, no matter how long they have worked with a company. There’s always more to be done. Everyone will have different perspectives. Therefore, your training should begin on day one so every member of staff is given consistent, cohesive training that focuses on quality issues.
This sets quality assurance out as being a vital part of the company. It is best when training comes from existing staff members as they will know exactly how your company operates from a first-hand perspective, and what is expected. Sometimes, if possible, it can be most effective when the CEO leads the training as they have the highest chance of instilling values, passion and purpose in staff than any other member of the team.
Attitude is key
It is important to instil in your staff the right attitude, as this can be what carries your quality management through to being successful. It isn’t always easy to adopt, but it typically comes through effective management practices and staff feeling valued and supported.
If you want to offer quality services or products, you must also invest in quality training to produce quality employees who have a great deal of respect for what you are trying to achieve. That is when quality assurance will naturally start to gain its own momentum. It all filters through from everything that you do in all areas of your business.