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Understanding the 8 elements of TQM

businessmeeting33030104.jpgTotal Quality Management (TQM) helps to improve product quality using a long-term approach at improving production and customer satisfaction while decreasing wastes. TQM has been around for 60 years now and it continues to grow strong alongside Six Sigma and other process improvement strategies.

While the primary focus of TQM is on customer satisfaction, it also helps to satisfy other needs within the company. There are 8 elements of TQM, they are as follows:

There are two different types of ethics in the business world, customer ethics and company ethics. The company ethics set the standard for quality and performance and the customer ethics set the standard for approval. Our personal set of ethics plays a large role in TQM because it helps to determine what is fair and what is outright wrong. Some companies will try to gauge their customers with high prices so they can turn a larger profit. Companies that have ethics recognize that higher prices should only be charged if you need to increase the quality of the product.


Employee's personal ethics determine if they are truthful about their job performance. This makes up their integrity as a person. Companies like people also have integrity.Using TQM helps companies convey their integrity to their customers by building high-quality products and charging reasonable prices. With integrity, products are often looked at as "what you see is what you get". However if you have established honesty and trust with your customers, they will hold your products to a higher standard.


Following along with ethics and integrity is trust. Without trust, your company will not be able to successfully implement TQM. Trust is one of the key elements you need to have because it defines your market. These customers will continue buying from your company because of the level of trust you have developed with on another. The tricky thing about trust is that each of your employees are responsible for their own actions. If they cause a problem with a customer, your customer may lose trust in the company until another person can restore it.


TQM looks at improving several processes and training is one of the biggest problems companies have. Improper training can cause product malfunctions, loss of customers, and waste. Spending time on proper training will save you a large headache down the road and it helps to build employee loyalty.


TQM has been able to establish a smooth-flowing office environment because it is based upon teamwork. When individuals work in teams, they are able to solve some of their problems faster and this provides accurate solutions.


The most important part of TQM is your managers. These individuals must be able to lead the rest of the company on this new organizational approach. The managers must be trustworthy individuals that other employees respect and want to follow. They need someone that can take charge and clearly communicate all the company needs. Effective leaders will make your new system work as they need to work with employees to get them to change the way they currently work.


Right up there with leadership is communication. Many companies fail because they lack proper communication skills. Instead of letting this happen to your company, establish rules about proper communication. If you notice problems between departments, take the initiative to fix them.

Another way TQM can help your business is by recognizing employees for their hard work. When employees are recognized, they are less likely to experience burnout and many of them have increased energy, which helps to boost morale. Providing employees with positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to let your employees know you appreciate their hard work.

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