TQM is primarily an organizational strategy considered as a change programme to achieve excellence and therefore HR has an important role to play in designing the interventions to prepare the people and the organizations for the desired change.
The role of the HR Department in improving quality can be considerable. Broadly, it can: • Assist in the formulation of the firm's strategic direction and needs. • Identify the human resource philosophies or culture consistent with the business needs. • Develop and implement policies and activities consistent with the culture. • Ensure that the quality improvement process is consistent with the other human resource activities. The HR department can play a significant role in the change process by establishing a specific programme that is responsible for dealing with the change. This programme can involve: • Establishing a senior HR council and executive operating committee • Naming a major initiative that rallies all employees to the change • Developing a leadership programme that ensures that the change clearly includes the top management [ a senior management development programme]. Additionally, within the HR department there can be further division of roles and responsibilities. This often involves clarifying the relationship between the corporate-level HR department and the business unit - level departments. Taking a proactive stance, the corporate-level department can: • Assist senior managers in formulating change
• Become a model of change
• Develop and guide divisional human resource departments • Change organisational structure
• Serve as a clearinghouse
• Serve as trainer for other HR staff
• Do benchmark analysis
• Develop HRIS [Human Resource Information System] capacity • Audit competencies
Development of Total Quality People:
The first pillar of TQM is internal customer satisfaction. People involved in each process have to treat those next in the process as their customer. In addition to the external customer, every activity in the factory has an internal customer. The service to the internal customer is the one which will help gear up the organization to deliver finally the required service to the customer. For example if Marketing dept. deals with external customer, its commitments are to be backed up by other departments for whom the marketing dept. itself becomes a customer. Therefore, all the departments and the people are to be oriented towards achieving total quality and the attitude of " Help us to help you better " must be developed on the philosophy of internal customers. Here lies the importance of HR in developing total quality people i.e. people with positive attitude, values in consonance with organizational mission and change the mindset so that the foundation becomes very strong. The HR effort should be to bring in/foster real spirit of TQM i.e. spirit of reciprocity in interactions and not merely the mechanics of it. The HR initiative in TQM activity should be oriented to demonstrate the efficacy of Win-Win relationships as contrasted to Win-Lose or Lose-Lose relationships and thereby enabling effective spirit of team work.
HR has also to undertake intensive training of personnel in understanding the application of TQM methods & its tools. In Japan, this part of applying TQM methods & tools are very much wide spread & people at all levels starting from top to bottom are very much conversant with this and apply in all spheres of their activity. HR initiatives in this context have to address in training of personnel in becoming "data minded than opinion minded". The mindset of " What is wrong" than " Who is wrong" to be generated & built up. Though it is a formidable task, HR has to trigger this thinking in an organization to realise thought revolution of TQM dimension.
Further, HR has to...