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The Deming Management Method

POINT TWELVE: Remove Barriers to Pride of Workmanship

When Dr. Deming takes on a corporate client, he insists that there be a meeting of workers without supervisors present, which is recorded so that management can listen or watch it at a later time. Dr. Deming skillfully leads the workers into dialogue. Before long they are voicing their frustrations at being unable to perform the jobs the way they would like. The workers, it is clear from these meetings, understand very well that as quality improve, so too does productivity. They understand very well that their jobs, more than those of management, depend on the acceptance of their product or service on the marketplace. Yet they are powerless to change things. Often managers are shocked when they hear what is wrong.

Workers complain that they do not know from one day to the next what is expected of them. Standards change frequently. Supervisors are arbitrary. They are seldom given feedback on their work until there are performance ratings or raises, and then it is too late.