Pump up the Fun!

People learn and solve problems when they are having fun, stress is low, and the environment encourages discovery. A core part of psychological safety.

I’ve talked before about bringing playfulness to work, about exuberance and excitement. These personal approaches can be turned to the wider organization.

Quality as a profession – not so known for fun. So we need to look for opportunities for fun, whether in our training programs, through initiatives like Quality Days, or any other place we can find it.

Here are some ideas for organizing fun to drive a quality message.

Activity Name

Description

Cost required

Effort required

Impact/ Learning Opportunity

Learning Outcome

Video Competitions

Contest of team videos with stories about how they transfer quality or outline continuous improvement projects. Teams may also record a best practice to be shared with the organization.

Medium

High

High

-Video and poster viewership helps transfer quality behaviors and values to others.

-Employee-created messages are more credible, giving them a stronger impact on transferring the culture of quality throughout the organization.

Poster Signing

Teams can sign a poster to make a commitment to quality. They can hold a contest for designing the best Quality Day poster.

Low

Low

Medium

Employee Idea Demonstrations

Make peer idea generation (quality ideas) visible to all employees through the use of regularly refreshed public “progress boards” and idea showcases where projects are publicly evaluated.

Low

Medium

High

-Shows employees that quality focus is something that peers around them prioritize and benefit from.

-Provides employees a benchmark for what behaviors are expected from them and encourages the ones whose ideas are recognized.

Quality Awards and Recognition

Publicly recognize individuals and teams with a trophy/certificate for consistently embodying quality in their work. Awarding behaviors, not just outcomes, increases employee engagement.

High

Medium

High

-Helps engage employees in quality improvement efforts by demonstrating that despite other objectives and priorities, quality remains important to leaders.

Client/ Customer Visit

Invite your clients/customers to visit and talk about their experience with the product/service and the importance of quality.

High

High

High

-Helps employees understand how a high-quality mindset avoids customer-facing mistakes and leads to greater customer satisfaction.

Games

Word-Play Games: A group of employees can play games like Scrabble and Bingo with quality terminology.

Low

Low

Medium

-Quick games help employees become aware of quality terms, tests, standards in a fun way.

Trivia Games: Employees can play games such as “Jeopardy” and beer pong with quality standards, tests, tools to educate themselves.

Low

Low

Medium

Articles on Quality

Share blogs and articles on quality.

Low

Medium

Medium

-Increases quality’s visibility across the organization and promotes awareness.

Quality Quiz Competition

Employees can take quizzes on quality-related concepts.

Low

Medium

High

-Tests employees’ awareness and creates a healthy competition to know more.

Quality Merchandise (swag)

Distribute T-shirts, mugs, badges with quality quotes to employees. Reward contest winners with goodies such as chocolates with quality phrases written on them.

High

High

Medium

-Provides more visibility to quality and imparts a sense of pride in employees.

 

Leveraging fun is a good way to help build a culture of quality.

Building moments of planned fun is work, and should be part of the overall Quality Plan, with activities and milestones clearly marked and executed towards.

Combating Silo Thinking is Part of the Job

The tendency of employees and managers to identify themselves with their “group,” (i.e. their department or area of specialization) is a engrained instinct that a lot of us grapple with on a daily basis. A big part of systems thinking, of quality thinking, is seeing the big picture – to
be able to analyze and integrate the parts and the whole.

For some reason this comic has me thinking of strategic vision and shared fate and questions of alignment and congruence.

Liminal – ‘In Between’ Words and Phrases

Words to describe those in-between, stuck in the middle, between the devil and the deep blue sea, liminal kinds of things.
— Read on www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/in-betweens-words-and-phrases/liminal

As a quality professional I can use threshold, interstice and even liminal and occasionally be-twixt. But now I need to be ‘between the devil and the deep blue sea’ more often at quality management reviews and the visual management boards.