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3 steps to establishing a quality culture in your mobile workforce

October 7, 2020

Establishing a quality culture within your mobile workforce is more important than ever.

Employees who ranked their company culture low in terms of quality reported 46% more mistakes than those at companies that were ranked highly, and estimated that it takes an average of two hours to fix an error. 1

At a salary of $35 per hour, that’s $70 per mistake. That adds up fast.

But companies with a poor quality culture lose more than just time and money: They lose customers, too.

And not just the ones who are directly affected by mistakes, but also discerning potential customers who read review sites on the internet.

Making things more challenging, just as the need for quality is increasing, cycle times are decreasing: Companies must get more done, faster, to compete in today’s marketplace.

So how do you exceed your customers expectations with not just the speed, but quality of your work? By establishing a quality culture across your organization.

What is a culture of quality and how do you create one?

A quality culture is an environment in which every team member — across an entire organization — truly cares about the quality of their work, and bases their decisions on achieving high levels of quality, not just meeting regulatory standards.

It’s a lofty goal, to be sure. So how do you get there?

According to Gartner, monetary incentives and training programs actually have little impact.2 In fact, research shows that as much as 90% of what employees learn at any given time is forgotten after just one month.3

The key to establishing a quality culture is to create a balance of rigidity and responsibility. Quality starts at the top, but should extend all the way down the chain.

Step 1: Make it a companywide initiative.

Employees at companies that focus on compliance rather than quality tend to see quality as the job of the quality department, period.

The quality teams at these organizations are viewed as separate from the rest of the company because they have the authority to inspect work and request do-overs, which makes them seem like an impediment to productivity for employees who are trying to meet their quotas.

By enabling employees at every level to validate the quality of their work, you put everyone on a level playing field and give them a sense of trust, empowerment, and pride in the jobs they do.

Step 2: Put structure and systems in place.

When establishing a quality culture, it’s important to provide the right level of guidance and structure. Too much rigidity stifles employees’ ability to act creatively and use their own discretion, but too little can leave them unsure of their responsibility.

Ensure every worker has easy access to standards, procedures, and quality checklists so they can QA/QC their own work before it moves down the line and becomes someone else’s problem.

Your systems should also make it easy for employees to communicate within and across teams to ensure problems are remediated quickly and minimize downtime.

Step 3: Leverage performance data to drive improvements.

Your quality programs should also capture data that can be analyzed and reported regularly to help identify and eliminate sources of error, inform decision making at every level, and ensure continuous process improvement.

After all, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Nurture a quality culture with digitized field inspection processes

With Fulcrum, any employee can simply pick up their mobile device and access an up-to-date quality checklist and be confident they’re following the correct procedures and that their work is up to standard.

And that’s just the beginning.

Fulcrum’s field inspection management platform empower users to:

  • Easily build and modify field inspection processes and deploy to geographically dispersed teams in real time.
  • Capture data from your mobile teams — including photos, videos, and audio recordings — and make it instantly available to anyone with access to your account to see the status of field operations.
  • Show those data points on a map so your quality teams can quickly visualize which teams are lagging behind or areas that have consistent quality issues that need to be addressed.
  • Send formatted inspection reports directly from their work site to prove that a job is complete and up to company standards.
  • Automatically kick off processes to remediate problems quickly.

Want to see how digitized field inspection processes can help you maintain a culture of quality? Start your free 30-day Fulcrum trial today!