Quality Equals Pride

by Brad Malone, Partner at Navigate Management Consulting

Is there a direct linkage between the level of quality delivered within an AV systems integration project and the level of personal and organizational pride in that accomplishment?

And if so – which comes first?

Is there a causal relationship?

Before we start – we need to define both quality and pride – words that sometimes have different meanings. Let’s use Merriam Webster’s definition for both.

Quality vs. Pride

Quality is a degree of excellence; a superiority in kind; or a distinguishing attribute.

Pride is a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people; or a feeling of happiness that you get when you or someone you know does something good, difficult, etc.

So when someone at your workplace (whether they be in sales, engineering, programming, integration, service, administration, finance, procurement, etc.) accomplishes something of value or excellence, they should be able to feel a sense of pride in that accomplishment.

So why do there seem to be companies and employees where standards of quality and levels of pride are lacking or sporadic?

We believe there are three primary reasons for this occurrence – all of which can be actively managed and improved.

  1. Set visible standards for every deliverable and train people to achieve those standards – whether it be an engineering drawing, a scope of work, a project kick‐off meeting, a fabricated rack, a change order, a commissioning report – you get the point. Have the people doing the work and receiving the work establish the standard – involvement breeds ownership.
  2. Personally acknowledge people when they either meet or don’t meet the standards. If they don’t meet them, it’s either a competence or a behavior issue. The worst thing is no acknowledgement whatsoever for any accomplishment – whether it meets the standards or not – this breeds complacency and kills personal and company pride and initiative.
  3. Publicly acknowledge the people who meet the standards – and those who are visibly striving towards meeting them. Once the standard is achieved, create the next degree of excellence together – raising the bar in a measurable, achievable, and value‐driven manner encourages individual commitment and identification with the company.

We’ve found that these three simple steps create a causal relationship between quality and personal / company pride. We find excellent companies who practice them; and struggling companies who do not. Which are you? What can you do differently today? Need guidance?? Let us know at [email protected].