Last Updated 05 Jul 2021

Principles of Management: Total Quality Management

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Total Quality Management (TQM) has been around for several years. The concept is being applied to business and industry processes for the purpose of quality improvement. Many businesses feel that TQM is only for large manufacturing type businesses or major industries. (Lee p1) TQM can be used for everyone with managers and employees. Certainly everyone involved with customer service. It is important to recognize the TQM and assessment are made up of identifiable, measurable components. Proper orientation to and understanding of the TQM philosophy, team development, problem solving techniques, and statistical process control must be the mission of everyone in any organization. (Lee p1)

The wall street journal has twice reported on the struggling efforts of companies trying to improve overall quality and customer satisfaction. (Chaudron p2) Management must realize that to fully implement TQM, satisfy customers, and promote teamwork in the entire organization, often wrenching systemic changes must be made: profit sharing may be introduced; individual performance appraisals may be radically changed or eliminated; organizational structure may be realigned away from functions to a customer process or geographic – based structure, information may be given to employees formerly reserved for senior management; and significantly more authority may be given to line employees. (Chaudron p2)

If management does not align these systems, the effect will result in much struggle and confusion. Organizations need to spend time on the design of their efforts. If they do not, they risk pouring time and dollars into and effort that will eventually collapse. Among the decisions that should be made up – front, before implementing a quality effort are: measures of success, the degree of employee involvement, the depth and breadth of immpleementation, and the techniques to be used. (Chaudron p2) As someone once said, "If you don"t like where are are going, you may not like getting there."

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A manager of people needs to understand that all people are different. This is not ranking people. They need to understand that the performance of anyone is governed largely by the system that he works in, the responsibility of management. (Deming p1) A leader of transformation, and managers involved, need to learn the psychology of individuals, the psychology of a group, they psychology of society, and the psychology of change. (Deming p1)

Changing behaviors is probably the most critical area in the process of change. People do not necessarily resist change. They resist being changed. It is important to give people time to understand the true needs and the process of change. Leaders promote open communication and clear visionss of the organizations future. The stronger culture values towards the market place, the less need for policy, instructions, organizational charts etc. Leaders empower and involve people to achieve the organization"s objectives. (Deming)

TQM has been proven to work in many types of businesses such as Health Care facilities, Universities, multi million dollar corporations and small businesses. Can the concepts of TQM be applied to Hotel management operations? The Hotel industry is a very competitive business, based almost solely on customer satisfaction. Hotels have been feeling much more pressure in the past decade; they have been feeling a sense of crisis. Crisis that is caused due to th increasing number of new hotels being built up and down the interstates. An old hotel must use the concepts of TQM to keep themselves in the forefront of customer minds.

To make the TQM philosophy work in the hotel industry, you must have continuos commitment from all levels of employees. Corporate owner, general managers, department managers, shift supervisors and hourly employees. The commitment must be to embrace and implement the philosophy of Deming and the principles of TQM on a daily basis. The focus must be on the processes of the organization and on providing leadership. Above all this commitment must be consistent.

Owners and management must decide together and implement methods that can bring about change in the processes that produce product (room style and cleanliness) and service (customer satisfaction ) for the hotel.

Management must review its mission and challenge suppervisors and employees to identify their respective departments philosophies, goals, objectives, and expected outcomes. If they don"t know the results they desire, assessment is meaningless. Once this is accomplished, techniques can be identified to measure quality improvement and to reduce the variation of outcomes. Commitment to quality is essential if companies are to succeed in a commercial environment.

If you look at a 30 year old hotel and compare it to several new hotels, the older one better offer something of good quality and with excellent customer service. Competing with brand new is tough in this day and age. Customers want the best, they expect the best. TQM style will help bring out the best in any company.

Comparing management styles of two hotels, brings about some interesting discoveries. One that used the TQM philosophy and the other that did not. The most obvious difference was the attitudes of the employees. The TQM hotel has employees that feel like they are the hotel. The same projection was received from the housekeeping staff as for the guest service agents.

The general manager does not call them employees he calls them team members. They have team meetings, they all realize the importance of each job and each of them cross train for the other positions. The general manger has empowered the employees to make decisions on behalf of the business. They all have support from corporate managers and district managers. With this franchised hotel they all support each other. They try to keep their workplace fun with contest and monetary winnings. These employees enjoy coming to work and try to make each day better than the last. When the hotel succeeds so do the employees.

The hotel without TQM present does not run the same at all. Employees come to work to fill their shifts. They make the same amount of money whether the hotel is full or empty. Empowerment is not a work that is recognized. All departments are separate and do not necessarily work together. The manager does much more managing and works harder because everything that happens is brought to them. When shown the difference between the hotels we are also forced to look at which one fares better in the community. With out a doubt the TQM hotel surpassed the other hotel.

Suggestions to make TQM work for everyone.

  • Make a personal self-examination regarding your willingness and discipline to alter day-to-day management behaviors in such a way that the organization is ever mindful of the strategic importance of TQM.
  • Establish agreed upon quality measurements, followed by widespread search for the best performers to measure against.
  • See out customer feedback and objectively measure their concerns.
  • Work with employees to help them understand the strategic importance of new TQM activities and to buy into the process.
  • Don"t go overboard. Focus on a few processes and their characteristics.
  • Create an organization that is capable of learning from itself in the quest for continuos quality improvement in the strategic process

Quality management principles are a comprehensive and fundamental rule of belief, for leading the operation and organization, aimed at continually improving performance over the long term by focusing on customers while addressing the needs of all stake holders. (Quality Management) These principles used in hotel management could take you to the competitive edge.

  1. Principle 1 – Customer Focused Organization: organizations depend on their customers and therefore should understand current and future customer needs, meet customer requirements, and strive to exceed customer expections.
  2. Principle 2 – Leadership: Leaders establish unity of purpose, direction, and the internal environment of organization. They create that environment in which people can become fully involved in achieving the organization"s objectives.
  3. Principle 3 – Involvement of People: People at all levels are the essence of an organization and their full involvement enables their abilities to be used for the organization"s benefit.
  4. Principle 4 – Process Approach: A desired result is achieved more efficiently when related resources and activities are managed as a process.
  5. Principle 5 – System Approach to Management: Identifying, understanding, and managing a system of interrelated processes for a given objective contributes to the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization.
  6. Principle 6 – Continual improvement: Continual improvement is a permanent objective of the organization.
  7. Principle 7 – Factual Approach to Decision Making: Effective decisions and actions are based on the logical and intuitive analysis of data and information.
  8. Principle 8 – Mutually Beneficial supplier Relationships: Mutually beneficial relationship between organizations and its supplier enhance the ability of both organizations to create value. (Quality Management)

If all principles are applied with effective management, they will most certainly do a whole lot of good to create a better atmosphere for more effective people. Changing behaviors is probably the most critical area in the process of change. Leaders should empower and involve employees to achieve the organization"s objectives. Continuous improvement is a mindset, a way of doing business. We are never good enough; we can always be better. This is an ethic and an aspiration. (CIDR)

On the other side of the coin, not everyone agrees with the whole TQM concept. In an article by Robert A Zawacki, Carol A. Norman, Paul A. Zawacki and Paul D Applegate, they say that total quality programs are a bust because TQM programs try to implement 9,000 new practices simultaneously. Their conclusions were (1) Involve everyone in the process, and (2) be willing to change everything, but concentrate on one thing at a time. They believe that most continuos improvement and partnering programs are failing because individual contributors are overworked, lack alignment and feel devalued by their leaders. In their opinion the error that many leaders made in the 1990"s , in their rush to embrace the total quality movement, was that although they recognized the importance of quality they put more efforts into planning than they did into implementation and follow-up. (Zawacki p1)

TQM can work with efforts of everyone. From the highest paid to the lowest paid. Everyone in the company is important. Jobs will be better, people will be happier and customers more satisfied. That spells better business and more business. Everyone wins. All it takes is commitment.

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