In this article, we will delve into the benefits of cross-functional integration and the value of transparency when dealing with external partners such as your suppliers. Organisations that offer good training for their suppliers will typically reap greater financial benefits from their efforts. Training is useful because it helps to build a common language for suppliers and their customers, and helps to communicate the impact that delays or defects might have on the customer. Since the customer and the supplier have a mutual understanding they are more likely to work towards delivering the service that the customer needs, resulting in financial benefits for both of them.
The ideas of transparency, a common language, and an understanding of the impact that each individual role can have on quality is something that should also be built for an organisation’s employees. Here we will look at what does a DPO do and how training and incentives can help to build that understanding.
The Financial Value of Training
Training programs are there to help develop competencies and help employees to understand what their role is. In one survey, employees were asked whether or not they had been given formal training when it came to quality. While the majority of organisations do not have such a formal training program, the most recent survey showed that 43% of organisations are investing in training, compared to just 32% in 2013.
It could be argued that there is always some intrinsic value in offering quality training, but it is worth questioning who should get that training and the type of training that should be provided.
Who Needs Training
The majority of organisations (a total of 56%) offer some form of access to quality management training for staff that are involved in quality related activities directly. Around half of the respondent organisations (44%) say that they offer quality-related training to all employees, as there is a need to develop a quality focused culture in the organisation.
To highlight where organisations would benefit the most from focusing their training resources with regard to ROI, the survey ran an analysis against the employees that were offered training, and the financial benefits of quality. Ideally, a company would train all employees so that the company had a culture of quality and a shared perspective at all levels. The analysis, however, indicated that there are diminishing returns to training employees that are not directly involved in quality activities. The biggest increase in financial benefit occurs when training is provided to those who work in quality-related roles, and those in other roles who specifically request some training.
What Should the Training Focus On?
Most organisations focus on quality fundamentals such as auditing, ISO, quality tools and quality management principles. Some organisations expand that to include customer-value concepts and focus on Net Promoter Scores or the customer experience and lean. The survey considered the type of training provided, and how this offered financial benefits to each organisation.
It was found that training of any form offered improved financial performance. However, organisations that focused on customer-value related issues, and covered lean, NPS or Six Sigma, or the customer experience, saw the greatest benefits. The relationship between the customer and financial benefits is clear, and if an organisation uses quality as a differentiator then it is important that they can communicate that and also deliver on it for the customer.
The best performing organisations use training to educate employees about their role in quality and to explain their impact on the customer and how they can drive value. Organisations need an understanding of the purpose of quality and their efforts. Before making decisions regarding training, incentives, and which employees to target, the organisation should consider their role and what their objectives are with their quality training. Creating a culture of quality that spans the whole organisation and that gets all employees to focus on their impact on the customer can be a challenge, but it is one that offers good rewards.