Are we setting expectations of what Quality means to our teams?
Do they know what Quality means to the client?
These are good questions and ones that leadership ponder every day. Especially when you don’t deliver to the level you or your clients imagine. The next question always become…Why?
It all goes back to what does Quality really means to the stakeholders on a project. And those stakeholders consist of many internal and external customers.
qual·i·ty – noun – The standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.
In the technology and AV world the scopes may differ, the products many differ and some of the functionality may differ, but the quality should remain the same.
Quality is as much a standard as it is a culture. It sends a message that “it” (whatever it is) is worth the time and monies for the deliverable. You feel quality. You see quality. We all have a want for quality.
Think about the time you sacrificed quality for money or time. Your expectations of quality adjusted to that sacrifice. Technology today matters so much in people’s lives they are willing to pay $800 for a cell phone. A small piece of hardware that gives you that feeling. And when it does not work, your feeling changes and your impression of its quality changes.
Texadia wants nothing more than the traditional definition of quality which is the “excellence” of our delivery for our clients timely and on budget. We want our clients to experience that “feeling” both in the deliverable and interactions with our teams.
Examples of excellence would be:
- Making sure our installations are at or above industry standards
- Open, honest and timely communication
- Always open to change
- Being proactive
- Sharing ideas, solutions and efficiencies.
- Simply, Did we delivery what the client expected in a manner that exudes excellence.
We will all make mistakes. I read once that “taking risks and even making mistakes can fall under quality seeking category if one’s heart was in the right place.”
Quality and Excellence are not a Choice…
We all want excellence. We want everyone on our team to know we are looking for the best and expecting the best. It’s not a request, it is part of every job description. Everything should be done with the same caring and high standard so we all win together, especially the client. We talk about quality, good or not so good. And we encourage feedback from our clients.
When Quality is Subpar…
When quality is subpar, not well planned, not delivered correctly…Everyone suffers. Compliments do not come from subpar work. Compliments come from caring and caring brings along for the ride quality and excellence. Subpar means simply going through the motions.
When Quality Wins…
When quality and excellence accompany us at work, people care and it shows. That’s when collaboration and ideas seem to flow through the team and project. It creates a trusted partnership with your customers. Quality breeds quality. Employees look out for one another, helping, teaching, seeking to improve. More people want to join the team when quality is up. Word of mouth advertising helps you grow. When Quality Wins – not only does the client win….the entire Team Wins!
We as leaders need to drive excellence. We need to not only talk about quality and excellence but live it. You want your employees to ask questions and know what excellence looks like. The most successful companies measure performance with the team on areas that matter and drive excellence. Each person can see how their performance fits into the metrics.
We need to not only share compliments – But also have those hard conversations on subpar performance. Perfect opportunities to communicate, talk about lesson’s learned, see how other projects succeeded and change process when needed.
No Prize for First Place
There are no prizes for doing what is expected which is supplying excellent customer service. Rewards come when we exceed expectations repeatedly. No team wants to only win once. Super Bowl wins happens from repeat wins over and over again.
How are you going to aspire to excellence? How are you going to aspire your team to excellence? How will your organization define Quality?
Dawna Payne – Executive Vice President, Texadia Systems