The global marketplace is more competitive than ever. New products are being launched every day, and software teams are shipping features at a rapid pace. Great products are the result of great ideas, hard work, and an eye for quality. But being able to attain quality takes more than smart engineers, great design, and a QA team. Becoming quality-focused comes from the top down and is an attitude that can be injected into any part of the business.
The best companies have “quality” in their DNA: their employees talk about quality, they see others taking quality actions, and the company, in general, exudes quality. Operational and service excellence is a must to succeed in today’s competitive business world.
What does it mean to be a quality-focused culture?
Companies that build a quality-centered culture seek to do things right the first time. In other words, they inject quality into all they do, and they will not take shortcuts. This type of behavior goes well beyond leadership, but leadership is where it begins.
A culture that’s quality-focused produces excellent products, delivers great customer service, takes care of its employees, and overall has a high bar of excellence across the entire organization. It also provides great working environments for high-caliber employees who are inspired to do their very best while using top tools and proven processes.
To become a quality-focused company, you must move in a direction that is both good for the company and good for the customers. If these two things are the driving force behind how everyone works, your organization will be well on its way to a quality-focused culture.
Three benefits of a quality-focused culture
A quality-focused culture is one where everyone in the organization feels responsible for doing the best work they can in the best way possible. The benefits of a quality-focused culture are vast.
1. Happier employees
Employees are happier when their company is quality-focused. Sloppy work shows that people care less. Quality work shows people are passionate and genuinely care about their work and the impact it has. In addition, employee happiness goes hand-in-hand with a reduction in employee turnover. The happier employees are, the less likely they are to leave the company.
If your company has employee retention issues, it might be related to a lack of quality. Step back and see where you can invest more in quality to show your employees you’re truly invested in the work you’re doing. A quality-focused culture makes employees feel valued and motivated.
2. Happier customers
A quality-focused company is more likely to retain happier customers. Fewer defects, a robust product, and a great customer experience are competitive advantages. Satisfied customers are more likely to return, and for subscription-based businesses, happier customers will stick around longer. Happy customers may also refer their friends to your business as well.
If you’re losing customers, it could be due to product defects or missing the mark in customer service. Ensure quality at every point of the customer journey so you retain the customers you’ve worked hard to get.
3. Reduced expenses
Sloppy work and difficult processes only create more work. A work culture that takes excellence seriously can also save the company time and money. Wasting time on recurring bugs or incidents can negatively impact the financial health of an organization. When the company puts quality first, errors are reduced, and time and money are saved.
Building a quality-focused culture
Conduct surveys across all areas of the organization to get a sense of where your level of excellence is today. This includes employee onboarding, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and more. Surveys will help gauge where and how employees believe processes, environments, and products need to be changed.
After you measure, you need to set goals that the company can start working towards. Setting goals in and of itself help build a strong foundation for a quality-focused culture. Once goals are set, share the goals with the entire organization, as this will help instill a focus on quality.
Some goals might be a reduction in bug reports or support tickets or an increase in employee satisfaction. Setting and tracking goals will align your team around improving quality.
Start with management
Management has to demonstrate a solid commitment to the mission of building a quality-focused culture. If management can set good examples and lead the way, others are more likely to follow.
It may be worth looking at your company’s core values as well. If your values don’t include some aspect of “quality,” you may want to consider modifying them and ensuring your entire organization knows and understands those values.
QA is often seen as an obstacle to efficiency, but being quality-focused brings many different benefits. First, quality-focused companies empower employees to become more engaged in the jobs they perform every day. These companies live and breathe excellence. A commitment to this mentality will increase motivation and loyalty amongst employees and customers.