Celebration beer

When it comes to Quality management the most successful businesses, or more specifically Quality Managers have learned how to harness the most important aspect of them all “Engagement”.

I was recently asked on a podcast how my experience at PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay helped me drive quality at an independent craft brewery. Although these two industries seem vastly different, the common thread is engagement. The brewing industry, in particular, is known for its highly engaged and passionate employees, making it an ideal environment for a Quality Manager to thrive.

The brewing industry stands out as a rare example in the food industry where employees are not just engaged, but truly devoted. As a Quality Manager, this presents a unique opportunity to leverage that passion towards improving quality.

How can you turn your employees into quality-minded devotees? Here are some strategies I’ve found effective over the years….

  1. Inclusion “Your problem is my problem”:

    Open communication with the operations team on quality challenges and performance builds trust and emotional investment, while also generating valuable feedback and improvement suggestions. Providing employees with transparent feedback on quality performance helps employees understand their direct impact on the end product and its consumer, leading to reflection and the generation of ideas for issue resolution.

  2. Measure and track your performance:

    These are critical steps in empowering employees to see and feel the impact of their contributions towards quality. By providing clear and tangible results of their efforts, team members become motivated to sustain their efforts and prevent quality decline. Additionally, tracking performance provides valuable data to identify areas for improvement.

  3. Link performance to rewards and recognition (R&R):

    Quality department budgets should encompass more than consumables, testing and equipment. R&R is a critical aspect of quality management. By allocating funds towards performance-based incentives, businesses can demonstrate their appreciation for the team’s efforts and engagement, while reinforcing the importance of quality in the business’ success.

  4. Formal and Informal R&R:

    An effective reward and recognition program includes formal and informal R&R:

  • Formal R&R should always tie back to KPIs and goals and be set ahead of time.
  • Informal R&R on the other hand is ideal for acknowledging those who go above and beyond, often without being asked and lets the team member know that their efforts do not go unnoticed.
  • Informal R&R can take the form of things like vouchers, coffee shouts, BBQs, and event tickets. Encouraging other managers and team leaders to recognise quality-related actions informally can increase the belief that quality is important to the entire business.
  1. The golden rules for reward and recognition

    Careless R&R can demotivate and even offend employees. These are great rules to follow to avoid undesired effects:

  • Personalize R&R– make it meaningful and positive to the recipient.
  • Be fair and consistent.
  • Scale your R&R appropriately.
  • Be timely and sincere.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. We hope you found it informative and valuable. We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the strategies we’ve shared, or any additional tips you have for fostering engagement and driving quality performance. Please feel free to leave a comment or reach out to us directly. Your feedback is important to us and helps us to continue creating content that is relevant and helpful to our audience.

Leave A Comment