Quality Circle Process | Quality Circles Advantages and Disadvantages
What is Quality Circle Process?
The quality circle process is a quality control technique, which originated in Japan. It involves using a committee of workers that analyzes and solves the quality problems of various departments in the organization.
The quality groups are established in every department and trained on problem-solving using statistical quality control and other processes.
They are encouraged to make essential inputs to critical decisions affecting their activities.
Quality circles members are not permanent committees’ members and comprise small groups of about eight to ten company employees, and membership is rotated between members of the department/production plant. They meet together regularly to discuss day-to-day issues such as quality, productivity, and safety, with the object of:
- Making improvements
- Organizing their implementation
Essential Characteristics Of Quality Circles.
- Membership is voluntary but usually consists of a number of company employees and may consist of a mixture of skilled and unskilled employees.
- Each circle selects its own leader, and usually, the organization concerned provides training for such leaders’ inappropriate subjects (discussion leading, quality control, etc.)
- Members are trained in problem-solving, statistical quality control, and working groups. The leader may work with the group, but efficiency experts are usually not excluded from the team. The team members participate actively in solving work-related problems.
- Although the groups were initially trained in the analysis of quality problems, other problems like cost reduction, safety problems, employee morale, workshop facilities improvement, pollution control, and education of employees, are also dealt with.
- The employees are given the tools, required group support, and opportunities to nip problems in the bud.
- Each Quality Circle is responsible not only for recommending solutions but also for actually implementing and evaluating results.
- The Quality Circle members present their results, reports, and deliberations for consideration by management.
- They usually implement proposals accepted by management.
Functions of quality circle and benefit of quality circles to Employees
- Greater awareness of the organization, organization problems by circle members/Increased knowledge in the area of work
- Greater confidence in tackling issues and generating solutions on the part of circle members is trained.
- Improved productivity and quality because the circles provide checks among the members.
- Improved motivation and self-esteem of the company because of employee involvement in solving organizational problems/concerns
- Improved communication skills.
- Skills development, particularly problem-solving skills.
- Employees become agents of change-making the change process more manageable.
Objectives of Quality Circles
The top broad objectives of the Quality Circle are:
(i) To improve quality, productivity, safety, and cost reduction.
(ii) To give a chance to the employees to use their wisdom and creativity.
(iii) To encourage team spirit, cohesive culture among different levels and sections of the employees.
(iv) To promote self and mutual development, including leadership quality,
(v) To fulfill the self-esteem and motivational needs of employees.
(vi) To improve the quality of work-life of employees.
The benefits of QC circles are as follows:
1) Quality Circle Process helps improved human relations.
(2) Quality Circle Process helps Individual development.
(3) Quality Circle Process helps Leadership development
(4) Improved Work satisfaction through creativity.
(5) Improved awareness of problems.
(6) Quality Circle Process helps strengthened teamwork.
(7) Quality Circle Process helps improved participation.
(8) Quality Circle Process helps Improved willingness to work and take responsibility.
(9) Quality Circle Process helps improved organizational climate.
Advantages of Quality Circles
- Quality Circle Promotion of teamwork
- Quality Circle develops positive employee attitudes
- Quality Circle creates a positive working environment
- Quality Circle increases quality and productivity
Disadvantages 0f Quality Circles
- If not addressed, the staff /employees not sure of the purpose
- Not enough relevant training
- Quality circles (QC) are not empowered to make decisions
- Participation not voluntary
- There is little or no management support