Training Article

Multiple Authors
By: Genevieve Shaker, Robert Christensen

Has your boss ever asked you to donate to the United Way? Has a co-worker approached you about giving to the Red Cross? Does your employer encourage giving to nonprofits, or does it match your charitable donations?

Whether they’re responding to emergency requests for disaster relief or making contributions to the local food bank, millions of Americans make charitable contributions through workplace campaigns every year. Despite being commonplace, little is known about these arrangements, and some information suggests that this philanthropic tradition is on the decline.

As scholars who study workplace giving, we wanted to know whether matching programs, employer endorsements, and other strategies inspire more employees to support particular causes and what might increase giving overall.

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

Our Nov. 17, 2017, episode of QDL looked at factories controlled by large-volume 3D metrology, the value (or not) of four-year degrees, and creepy Christmas.

“Developing the Light-Controlled Factory”

A UK development project directed by the University of Bath and supported by University College London (UCL) and Loughborough University aims to demonstrate a “ubiquitous” seven-dimensional (7D) measurement environment across the factory space and integrated with the production and assembly processes. The goal is to use large-volume metrology equipment to increase production and assembly accuracies while reducing time and cost.

“New View on the Skills Gap”

Corporate America’s insistence on four-year degrees is a costly mistake.

Mike Richman’s picture

By: Mike Richman

During the Nov. 3, 2017, episode of QDL, we (figuratively) traveled the globe to bring you quality information. Let’s take a closer look:

“‘Made in Japan’ Falls from Grace Amid Scandals, Systematic Flaws in Manufacturing Industry”

Kobe Steel is the latest Japanese manufacturer to admit to wrongdoing, in this case falsifying and fabricating data. What has befallen Japanese industry, and can it recover?

“G7 Leaders Recognize International Standards to Drive Innovation, Competitiveness in Information and Communications Technologies”

The Group of Seven is the world’s most exclusive economy club, as it represents nearly $300 trillion of net financial worth. In a recent declaration, the G7 nations pledged to support standardization and interoperability in IT as part of the Next Production Revolution.

Jun Nakamuro’s picture

By: Jun Nakamuro

The world first became aware of the Toyota Production System (TPS) when Taiichi Ohno published a book about his groundbreaking efforts at Toyota. It was published in Japan in 1978. The Japanese version of his book wasn’t translated into English until 1988. Because 10 years had passed, this translation did not fully communicate the nuances of Ohno’s vision. The direct translation into English does not communicate the depth hidden within Ohno’s choice of words.

Ohno was very specific in his use of language. He did this to express to his trainees the intent, sequence, and purpose of each TPS principle and method. Some important concepts, such as the spirit of kaizen, were not even mentioned in his original book. I am writing this to communicate what has been lost in translation based on a number of unpublished lessons from Taiichi Ohno and what I have learned from those who have continued to evolve TPS beyond Toyota after 1979. (More on the TPS beyond Toyota.)

Chuck Cimalore’s picture

By: Chuck Cimalore

A culture of quality drives the policies, practices, and processes needed to accomplish an organization’s work. Building a culture of quality begins with embodying core values, guiding philosophies, behaviors, and attitudes that, combined, contribute to day-to-day operations. This culture builds over the decades as one generation of employees passes to the next. This is why transitioning an organization’s culture to embody quality requires commitment and deliberate management of the change process. It starts with quality process engagement across functions, which must be made a priority with top management.

Matthew Barsalou’s picture

By: Matthew Barsalou

Quality tools can serve many purposes in problem solving. They may be used to assist in decision making, selecting quality improvement projects, and in performing root cause analysis. They provide useful structure to brainstorming sessions, for communicating information, and for sharing ideas with a team. They also help with identifying the optimal option when more than one potential solution is available. Quality tools can also provide assistance in managing a problem-solving or quality improvement project.

Seven classic quality tools

The Classic Seven Quality tools were compiled by Kaoru Ishikawa in his book, Guide to Quality Control (Asian Productivity Organization, 1991). Also known as “The Seven Tools” and “The Seven Quality Tools,” these basic tools should be understood by every quality professional. The Classic Seven Tools were first presented as tools for production employees to use in analyzing their own problems; they are both simple enough for everybody to use, yet powerful enough to tackle complex problems.

MIT Management Executive Education’s picture

By: MIT Management Executive Education

Design thinking is an innovative problem-solving process rooted in a set of skills.

The approach has been around for decades, but it only started gaining traction outside of the design community after the 2008 Harvard Business Review article [subscription required] titled, “Design Thinking” by Tim Brown, CEO and president of design company IDEO.

Since then, the design thinking process has been applied to developing new products and services, and to a whole range of problems, from creating a business model for selling solar panels in Africa to the operation of Airbnb.

At a high level, the steps involved in the design thinking process are simple: first, fully understand the problem; second, explore a wide range of possible solutions; third, iterate extensively through prototyping and testing; and finally, implement through the customary deployment mechanisms.

Roy Swift’s picture

By: Roy Swift

Certificates, certifications, badges, and licenses: What are they worth to the workforce? The last decade has seen huge growth in the number and variety of credentials, and this explosion has fueled a great deal of confusion among students, workers, job seekers, employers, and others.

Job seekers can’t tell which credentials will help them earn and demonstrate their competencies, and obtain employment. Employers can’t identify the credentials that will ensure that employees know what a piece of paper says they know.

As more jobs require applicants to have training, education, or experience beyond a high school diploma, industry-based credentials have become a growing part of a competent workforce, providing new opportunities for job seekers and employers. But with less than 10 percent of the more than 4,000 personnel certification bodies active in the United States accredited by a third party, there is no common definition of quality or market value, varying levels of confidence, and little consistency across industry sectors.

Mary Ann Pacelli’s picture

By: Mary Ann Pacelli

On the surface, the manufacturing industry’s “good news, bad news” scenario appears to lean toward the good. The 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index projects that by 2020, the United States will be the most competitive manufacturing economy in the world, a position currently held by China. And in a recent National Association of Manufacturers survey, 93.3 percent of manufacturing executives said they were optimistic about the future.

Yet, a skills gap persists, and it’s threatening to put a damper on manufacturing’s bright future. In fact, according to a Deloitte/Manufacturing Institute report, more than 3 million manufacturing jobs are expected to open from 2014 to 2024; however, the same study estimates manufacturers will be unable to fill 2 million of them.

Kelly Graves’s picture

By: Kelly Graves

In general, people hate confrontation and will do just about anything to distance themselves from it, but a manager owes it to her employees to overcome this fear and address problems directly and honestly. The key is knowing how to handle problems with employees, and knowing what will happen before it happens. In doing so one can be prepared ahead of time and not surprised.

Sally, the owner of DS Inc., told me she wanted to terminate an employee, Marg. I told her that she had to try something first. She had to sit with Marg and be truthful about what she was doing wrong.

Sally said she was not sure she could tell that to Marge’s face. She was fearful of the confrontation.

I told her she owed it to Marg, to be honest, and to counsel her. Sally had nothing to lose since she was planning on terminating Marg anyway, so she should use this opportunity as “practice.” Using this technique helps take the sting out of being honest, and since a “practice run” is often mired in mistakes, I was encouraging her to forget about mistakes and just go through with the counseling. Also, I told her I would walk her through the process of being empathetic yet firm while practicing mindful counseling skills.

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