The point under discussion is the twelfth principle proposed by Dr. Deming that suggests “permitting pride of workmanship.” Generally speaking, the key message of this principle resides in making employees empowered to control the work they perform and influence its outcomes. In other words, employees should feel they are responsible for the organization process and can affect it meaningfully. As such, Dr. Deming points out such problem as a low inclusion of employees in the work-related operations. He assumes that it is the fault of managers that do not encourage employees to participate in decision-making. Instead, they limit their managerial activity to the quantitative assessment of the performance indicators.
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As such, employees feel their effort and professional opinion are insignificant. They do not believe they can have any impact on the outcome improvement. As a result, they do not feel proud of their success; neither do they feel in charge of the failures. Dr. Deming suggests that the only way to permitting pride of workmanship is to ensure employee empowerment. In order to do this and to increase the workforce morale, it is essential to allow employees to inspect their work and to encourage their inclusion in all the processes associated with quality improvement. Otherwise stated, employees should feel that their contribution is appreciated and, most importantly, productive. Dr. Deming likewise puts a particular emphasis on the importance of the relevant training. As such, managers should ensure that their subordinates have the knowledge essential to troubleshooting problems and perform prompt decision-making so that they can act independently in most situations.
It is essential to admit that the discussed principle has been partially implemented in Costco. As such, managers try to involve employees in decision-making and ask for their advice on potential service improvement. Most importantly, they allow employees to inspect their work on their own. From this perspective, most employees feel they are empowered to influence the operation process and its outcomes. They naturally feel proud when the company manages to accomplish a goal successfully since they evaluate adequately the contribution they made.
In the meantime, the problem is that some employees do not possess the essential skills to act independently. The lack of training means that the discussed principle is not fully implemented in Costco. As such, the extent of the independence that employees receive is sometimes inadequate to their professional competence. Likewise, some employees are incapable of contributing to the quality improvement since they have a poor understanding of the organization processes. Therefore, managers use only one aspect of the discussed principle that says to enhance employee inclusion; in the meantime, they seem to neglect the second aspect that implies that effective inclusion is impossible without the relevant training.
It is assumed that further implementation of the discussed principle will help Costco to enhance the morale of its workforce significantly. Thus, employees, that are not only allowed to impact the operation processes but are also capable of doing it can make a considerable contribution to the outcome and productivity improvement. As soon as the employees are properly trained, their self-esteem will naturally rise. As a result, they will be more motivated to participate in decision-making and collaborating with their managers. As such, from a long-term perspective, the implementation of this principle will result in consistent service improvement.