In our last article, we started outlining things you should consider before deciding on a quality assurance program. We pointed out that quality assurance programs require commitments of time and personnel – someone will need to oversee and follow through on the program. This week, we’ll discuss two equally important considerations: What is the technical level within my organization? And, will my managers, supervisors and service providers be able to operate and understand the system?
It’s easy to overlook, but it’s essential that you match your tools to your end users. What this means in practice is that you’ll need at least one person on your staff with a reasonable level of experience dealing with technology. If you have a large facility, you may need multiple inspectors who are capable of correctly using modern tools and programs (smart phone, iPad, etc.) You must ask yourself: is the system going to be easy to use for the service provider / cleaning technician?
This is especially important because a good quality assurance program will involve the participation of many parties. If it’s not easy to understand and implement, then some people will inevitably be excluded, and this can add extra steps to the communication process. Think of it this way: the supervisor can set a meeting with a line-worker to explain what’s being done in the quality assurance process, or he can involve the line-worker in the inspection and save that extra step. We call this “calibration.” It helps avoid those time-consuming disagreements and miscommunications in the future. It sets the stage for the cleaning team to not just understand but embrace the quality assurance program, thereby giving it a much greater chance of survival in the organization’s culture.
As you plan your quality assurance program, keep these things in mind. Remember that a quality assurance program is a long-term investment that will reward your efforts, but only if you invest wisely! Next time, we’ll give you some ideas for how your organization can start measuring quality.