Posted by: healingtheworkplace | June 18, 2008

Be A Company That Cares

What does it mean to be a “company that cares”? Should we care? Why should we care?

Most organizations will tell you that they care about their customers. This is especially true in service organizations. Of course some are better at this than others.

The focus on customer satisfaction is a legacy of W. Edwards Deming the godfather of the Quality Movement. For many people CQI or QI (Continuous Quality Improvement or Quality Improvement) is about measuring quality outcomes.  The emphasis here is on measurement!

In fact, this is only half the equation. The other half of the equation involves creating an organizational culture that recognizes and supports the “internal customers”…also known as the employees.

But what about the people who work in these organizations ensuring that goods and services are provided in such as way as to ensure customer satisfaction?

Some organizations are so focused on the external customer that they don’t give their employees a second thought.

But organizations that are truly committed to customer satisfaction know that it’s really about the workplace culture or environment, it’s about enlightened leadership, and it’s about how people are treated.

I recently came across an organization that is focused on creating companies that care about their “internal customers”. 

This organization is called The Center for Companies that Care . Check out their website!

The Center’s Mission is to encourage and celebrate businesses that prize their employees and are are committed to community service.

On the website they provide the following list of 10 characteristics of a Company That Cares:

  1. Sustain a work environment founded on dignity and respect for all employees
  2. Make employees feel their jobs are important
  3. Cultivate the full potential of all employees
  4. Encourage individual pusuit of work/life balance
  5. Enable the well-being of individuals and their families through compensation, benefits, policies and practices
  6. Develop great bosses who excel at managing people as well as results
  7. Appreciate and recognize the contributions of people who work there
  8. Establish and communicate standards for ethical behavior and integrity
  9. Get involved in community endeavors and/or public policy
  10. Consider the human toll when making business decisions

The site is also full of ideas and resources to help companies incorporate  these 10 characteristics into their culture.

All of these provide a strong foundation…ensuring that customer satisfaction is not a slogan.

Have a great week!

Lesley

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Responses

  1. Your characterization of Deming is completely incorrect. Nine of Deming’s 14 principles of management deal with making things better for people.

    6. Institute training on the job.

    7. Institute leadership (see point 12.) The aim of leadership should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Leadership of management is in need of overhaul, as well as leadership of production workers.

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

    9. Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.

    10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force that ask for zero defects and new levels of productivity.

    11a. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership.

    11b. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute leadership.

    12a. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.

    12b. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride in workmanship. This means inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective, management by the numbers

    13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.

    14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job.

    That said I could not agree more with what you said about employees and making them know that they are highly valued team members. It is the top-down command and control approach to managing people which by its nature demeans and disrespects employees. This approach “leads” employees to treat their work, their customers and their bosses with disrespect.

    Employees need to be helped to become self-directed and self-controlled, not controlled by a myriad of goals, targets, visions, orders and other directives. That type of control ignores the employee’s need to be heard and be respected and by so doing denies the company that employee’s inherent creativity, innovation and productivity.

    I know these things because of having successfully turned around four different management disasters.

    Best regards, Ben
    Author “Leading People to be Highly Motivated and Committed”

  2. 5 days and no moderation of my original post? Sorry now that I took the time to post.


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