Deming’s 14 Points in Small Manufacturing – Part 3: Continual Improvement & Employees

Feb 13, 2017 | Improvement, Manufacturing

Our previous post regarding the second two of W. Edwards Deming’s famous 14 points of Management and Quality was directed at eliminating mass inspection with continual improvement that is in place as long as the company is operating. Deming switches his focus to the employees, pride in workmanship and eliminating fear in the workplace. Each of Deming points builds, as continual improvement can only occur with the support of employees that have the freedom to get involved. 

Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. 

The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from stressing sheer numbers to quality. Remove barriers that rob people in management and engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual merit rating and of management by objective. Deming challenges US companies to avoid supervision by quantity and instead focus on quality. Hourly production works are not a commodity, they are instead an integral part of production systems and often the only hands on product may receive before it reaches the end customer. Creating a system that inspires a pride in workmanship, goals that are quality related and incentives to get the job right the first time is critical to reducing overall costs and eliminating turnover. Considering interviewing employees and including employee turnover review with the management team to gain understanding into their connection with the company and the products they are helping to create. 

Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company. 

Employees that feel secure in their position are not afraid to express their ideas or concerns and will look for better ways to complete their jobs. Business leaders must be approachable and work with teams that include workers throughout the organizations to eliminate variation and problems. Deming encouraged leaders at all levels to focus on driving out by starting at the top of the organization with confidence and authentic attitudes that flow through all levels of leadership. If the supervisor is fearful for his position they may not speak up and will certainly not move employee suggestions up the organization.

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