the role of Education and Training to the success of TQM implementation.



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Discuss the role of Education and Training to the success of TQM implementation.

Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next.[1] Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts.
The term training refers to a learning process that involves the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies.
Training is widely recognized by organizational development experts as an important component in successful planned change efforts. Training and education are important in preparing an organization for a change, in accomplishing the change itself, and in institutionalizing it as a permanent part of the organization. The importance of training in the successful implementation of TQM programs is also widely acknowledged because it provides an opportunity to reform employees about the goals of TQM, and it provides w In an another recent Industrial Management article concerning TQM program success, and its relative scarcity, Tippett and Waits point out, "TQM emphasizes improving and motivating a company's most valued asset, its workforce." The authors develop a model that links employee empowerment with improved motivation. As a result, this directly impacts project management and the ultimate success of the TQM efforts. Yet they acknowledge, "The presence of important longer-term considerations such as motivation...and empowerment are often not closely monitored."
Worker empowerment is also important for keeping employees satisfied and productive, according to Harry Gaines, another author in the same issue of Industrial Management. He suggests that a key component of achieving an organizational transformation Worker empowerment is also important for keeping employees satisfied and productive, according to Harry Gaines, another author in the same issue of Industrial Management. He suggests that a key component of achieving an organizational transformation is to allow employees to get comfortable with change. He further points out that this comfort level may be the most important result of having employees take charge of their own personal growth and satisfaction. Moreover, this results in "numerous benefits to the organization. Employees feel they have more control over their careers and their being on a more equal footing...with managers, able to share more responsibility, and reap the benefits of improved motivation and morale among employees."
When employees are helped to improve themselves, the organisation benefits. Improvements may encompass job-related skills as well as improvements in skills that are not necessarily job-related but that enhance self-esteem and pride. Employees get the message that management cares about them as people.
If people are to do things better, they must not only want to do things differently, they must have the skills and knowledge to do so. In some organisations training is for managers only; in other organisations managers feel themselves to be somehow above training, which is considered relevant only to the workers. Both these attitudes are wrong – training is for everybody
The training structure must be top-down, starting with the top team and cascading down the organisation. The golden rule to successful implementation is to ensure managers train their own people. This is necessary to show management commitment and to ensure managers actually understand the TQM principles and methods (Spenley, 1992, p. 94). Through training and education, a common language may be achieved throughout the organisation. For TQM training and education to be effective, the responsibility for such training and education must be vested in one manager, preferably with the TQM manager himself or one of the members of the steering committee.
Responsibility for the training and education of employees in quality rests with management at all levels, and, in particular, the person nominated for the co-ordination of the organization’s quality effort. If nobody is actually tasked to coordinate the quality training and education efforts, the possibility that TQM training and education will not be effective is rather good.
The importance of effective education and training is emphasized by all the authors of TQM. Bird (1993, p. 66) sees training as important in order to give employees the necessary knowledge to bring about quality improvement across the company. Batten (1992, p. 48) describes the importance of education and training by the following words: “Train, Train, Train!”.
McDonnell (1994, p. 43), Schonberg (1992, p. 22) and Riley (1993, p. 32) all regard training as fundamental in transforming the workforce so that it can function in the demanding TQM environment. For quality training to be effective, however, it must be planned in a systematic and objective manner. Quality training must be continuous to meet not only changes in technology, but also changes involving the environment in which an organisation operates its structure and the most important of all, the people who work there. Oakland (1993, p. 264) developed the so-called “Quality training cycle”.
 Training must get pertinent attention in the quality policy. Quality training objectives must then be set, taking into account the specific quality training needs. The responsibility for training and education must be allocated to a specific person or department. After implementation of the quality training programme it is necessary to evaluate and review the effectiveness of the programme.
Porter and Parker (1993, p. 19) identify four characteristic features to ensure successful training:
(1) Training must be viewed as a continuous process.
(2) Training must be focused so that people receive appropriate courses at the appropriate level of their needs.
(3) Training must be planned for the future to include the development of total quality skills and techniques.
(4) Training materials must be made customized to suit the particular organisation.
Clinton et al. (1994, p. 13) believe that employees require three basic areas of training and development in the TQM process, namely: instruction in the philosophy and principles of TQM; specific skills training such as the use of different TQM tools; and interpersonal skills training to improve team problem-solving abilities.
In developing TQM training programmes, efforts should be aimed at an integrated approach to the instruction process. The authors are of the opinion that without proper TQM training, the whole process is doomed for failure. TQM educated employees and managers will be more positive and committed to the process as they know what is expected from them. The remainder of this article will pay attention to the training and education for TQM in the commercial banking industry of South Africa.
A well-planned, formal training curriculum is absolutely essential in building an effective TQM process and culture. Training teaches people to do things differently. Doing things differently leads to different results, and different results begin to change attitudes.
The training strategy and plan should be in line with overall TQM objectives of the organisation. A training plan should set out details for, inter alia, who must receive training, when training should take place, who will execute the training and the possible contents of the TQM training programme.

Gaps between current training and education and TQM training and education needs

It is important to note that although TQM training and education must be in line with other (normal) training and education activities in an organization, TQM training and education differs from other training and education. Normal training and education may be in the form of a once-off course which may not be presented every year (e.g. a financial calculator course). TQM training and education is unending and continuous. If not so, it will not obtain the TQM objective of continuous improvement.
Education of top management in TQM
Training and education is for everybody in the enterprise. Although the training contents may differ, it is essential that everybody should be able, with the aid of the necessary training, to make a vast contribution to the improvement of total quality in an organisation.
TQM will only be successful if all employers, including top management and other managers, are thoroughly educated in all aspects of total quality. Attention should, therefore, be given to the following:
v  The development of an overall TQM training strategy and plan.
v  The delegation of responsibility to one manager regarding TQM training.
v  Top management should receive TQM training first.
v  Expert outside consultants should be contracted if internal expertise is not available.
v  TQM training is not a single effort, but should be conducted on a continuous basis. In the beginning training must take place on a regular basis, for example monthly, and later on at least on a semester basis.
v  The TQM training curriculum should be all inclusive and should address all issues which would contribute to the improvement of quality.
Human resources or capital may be regarded as the most valuable asset of any enterprise. They need to be developed and, therefore, continuous training plays a very important role. TQM must become part of company life. Every employee must not only know about TQM, but must actually talk quality. Organisations must therefore put a well-developed TQM training strategy and plan in place.
Contents of the TQM training programme
Clinton et al. (1994, p. 13) believe that employees require three basic areas of training namely in the principles of TQM, the use of TQM tools and problem-solving techniques. Most employees spend most of their time during the TQM training programme on:             
a)      communication skills;
b)     problem-solving techniques;
c)      quality service to customers.
Contents of a TQM training programme will differ from organisation to organisation. The contents of the training programme should however always be in line with the objectives of the overall TQM programme, which is actually aimed at improving business processes. Quality training programmes should therefore centre round the basic principles of understanding the different processes in the organisation, the relationship between different processes and eventually the improvement of these processes.
Top management should foremost establish the criteria (objectives) to be followed in the design of the training programme; for example, that the training courses should be job- and outcome-oriented. The main objective of any TQM training programme should be to achieve continuous improvement in all activities.

Without a specific person being appointed to take responsibility for TQM training, very little, or no, training will indeed take place, which will hamper the TQM implementation process
Another interesting conclusions is that the more formal the TQM system, the less use is being made of outside consultants. It would however be of great value to make frequent use of outside consultants (specialists) to address certain quality issues, which cannot be handled by the TQM manager.
TQM is an ongoing process and therefore training should also be continuous. The majority of the respondents have indicated that continuous TQM training is not taking place. It also appears that most organisations give more training in the early implementation days, and thereafter neglect continuous training.
 It is, therefore, recommended that outside consultants should be used to train the people inside the organization who will eventually be responsible for TQM training and education throughout the organization. Training and education by these consultants should therefore also be directed to basic aspects of TQM, TQM tools, problem solving and the like.

1.      Batten, J.D (1992), "New paradigms for a total quality culture", Training & Development, pp.46.
2.      Clinton, R.J, Williamson, S, Bethke, A.L (1994), "Implementing total quality management: the role of human resources management", SAM Advanced Management Journal, pp.10-16.
3.      McDonnell, J (1994), "The route to total quality management – part one", Managing Service Quality, Vol. 4 No.3, pp.41-5.
4.      Porter, L.J, Parker, A.J (1993), "Total quality management – the critical success factors", Total Quality Management, Vol. 4 No.1, pp.13-22
5.      Riley, J.F (1993), "‘Just exactly what is total quality management?", Personnel Journal, pp.32.


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