Ryelea Ltd was established in 1995 by James Rye and John Lea. The firm manufactures customized and standard minibusses for the passenger service vehicle (PSV) industry. The company has been doing well since its inception but has recently been dodged by several challenges accruing from a change in management. This paper seeks to establish ways by which the company can create appropriate systems to ensure quality of products and services; enhance health and safety standards at the workplace and finally recommend a change management program for the organization.
Systems to ensure quality of products and services
Identify the importance of quality for the organization
“Quality is defined by the customer’s requirements and is based on the customer’s needs and concepts.” (Trent, 2008) Therefore a company that does not provide quality products and services that are in line with the customer’s requirements is doomed to fail. This captures the importance of quality for Ryelea minibusses LTD. The Ryelea minibusses limited have been experiencing a drop in quality of its minibusses since Daniels Andrews left the company. Daniel Andrews was the quality director responsible for developing and implementing internal quality standards. His place was taken up by a person with little experience in the Quality Assurance matters. Since the new director took over the company has been faced with quality challenges leading to returning of buses and canceling of supply deals. It is obvious that this has been caused by poor quality management systems
Quality issues and the different approaches to quality that organizations have and the advantages and disadvantages of each approach
“TQM refers to an integrated approach by management to focus all functions and levels of an organization on quality and continuous improvement.” (Sheryl 2005) TQM has developed to become one of the best methods to improve a company’s processes and functions to keep up with the market demand and hence maintain a competitive advantage. “TQM focuses on encouraging a continuous flow of incremental improvement from the bottom of the organizational hierarchy.” (Itthiopassagul 2009) The advantage of TQM is that it ensures provision of quality and reliable products and services. The disadvantage is that it does provide solutions for the managerial problems in company. Thus Ryelea can take up TQM as an approach to improve on quality but use other mechanisms including policy change to deal with the managerial issues. Frequent inspections can also be performed to identify the quality of work done by the employees. The advantage is that the quality may be maintained to some extend. The disadvantage is that this worker’s performance will be determined by the inspections rather than the company’s values and culture.
Recommendations to improve the quality issues within the organization
To improve on the quality issues, the Ryelea minibusses limited needs to conduct an assessment to verify the issues raised by the customers. This includes the identification of the faults the observed in the minibusses, followed by investigations to identify the origin of the faults within the production processes. Having identified this, the company should formulate suitable policies followed by structural reforms to address the quality issues.
Identify how quality can be communicated and embedded in the culture of the organization.
To communicate and embed the quality consideration in the culture of the organization, “quality standards, based on the customers’ needs should be developed and captured in the company’s policy framework.” (Saks 2007) This should be complemented by designing a training and evaluation program to establish the extent to which the quality practices are being implemented.
Health and Safety in the workplace
Health and Safety legislation and how it can have a positive impact on the organization
“The health safety legislation of the covers a wide range of basic health, safety and applies to most workplaces.” (Goldstein 2002) Under these regulations the employers have general duty to ensure, “so far as it is reasonably practicable the health and safety of their employees at work.” (Goldstein 2002) The regulations are intended to “protect the health and safety of everyone at the workplace.” (Noe 2009) The legislation has duty to ensure that workplaces meet the health and safety standards described in the guidelines. “The health legislation stipulates the measures to be taken to ensure proper conditions for the health of the workers,” these include; Proper ventilation, Proper combination of environmental factors such as temperatures, assessment of the risk posed to workers by the nature of work, proper lighting, high standards of cleanliness and elimination of waste materials, finally, proper room dimensions and space. (Kirwan 1992)
About the safety of the workers, the legislation stipulates that: on maintenance part, the workplace, and certain equipment, devices and systems should be maintained in efficient working order, in the context of Ryelea LTD this applies to the equipment which can cause risk to the health and safety of the workers in faulty occurs, thus devices for hazard reduction should be installed; “there should be sufficient traffic route for easy movement of people; openable windows, skylights and ventilators” should be capable of being opened, closed or adjusted safely. (Lusine 2007)This legislation has many other “subsections addressing many different issues,” the current situation faced by Ryelea can be captured in the above part of the legislation. (Noe 2008) The realigning of the company’s health and safety measures to meet the standards stipulated in the legislation will have a positive impact on the company in several ways. To begin with, Cases of accidents in the production operations department will be greatly reduced. This will go a long way to reduce costs incurred to treat accident victims and payment for extra workers who are hired to step in for the injured colleagues. Secondly, the overall performance of the workers will be improved as the enhancement of the safety measures will guarantee their safety through improved working conditions. This will definitely lead to improved output and quality of products.
The process of Risk Assessment and other activities that can be used to improve the Health and Safety record. (These could include the appointment of a H&S committee, H&S representatives, training, review of H&S procedures and policies, etc)
Risk assessment is done through a five-step process that includes the following:
- Identification of the hazards at the workplace
- Identification of the workers who are likely to be harmed or injured as a result of the identified risks.
- Evaluation of the risk and making of decisions n proper precautionary measures.
- Recording of the measures and development of a program to implement them.
- Reviewing the assessment and updating it if necessary (Werner, 2005).
Following the numerous complaints aired by the workers of the Ryelea, the company should consider forming a task force or a committee to carry out risk analysis and recommend a comprehensive process that should be used to tackle the identified issues. It has been identified that the safety standards have deteriorated throughout the organization, particularly in the production and operations department where there has been an alarming increase in the number of accidents. The workers point towards poor management, old equipment and use of shortcuts by some workers in order to gain bonuses. The task force could make this as a basis of their investigations and the possible recommendations should include: Training of the workers on the safety procedures, and formulation of suitable policies to address managerial challenges in the company.
Make recommendations for improvements to Health & Safety
To improve the health and safety of the workers at the Ryelea, several issue-based approaches can be used. First, introduction of engineering measures to address errors in the systems or equipment that could be contributing to the accident menace at Ryelea. Secondly, the managerial lapse could be creating a supervisory gap, thus giving the workers a chance to do things their own way without due regard to the laid down procedures. “This can be tackled by formulating policies to create a strict code of conduct that every member of the organization should follow.” (Tovey 2004) Lastly, the workers should be trained on proper use and handling of equipment, the training should encompass the health and safety factors.
Make justified recommendations for H&S communications in the workplace to ensure policies and procedures are embedded in the culture of the organization
There are several methods to ensure proper communication of H&S at the workplace. The most common method is to use posters; the posters are pinned at strategic locations to keep reminding the workers of the safety and health considerations at the workplace. Information on the posters could include the limits on tasks that can be performed by the various equipment or the precautionary measures that could be taken to avert a potential accident. However, to ensure that the H&S policies and procedures are embedded in the culture of the organization training should be indicated. Before the training is implemented, a needs assessment should be carried out to determine the training needs of the different workers. This should include both task and person analysis because this will be a training program for adults. Formulation of objectives that are based on the needs analysis results and are in line with the company’s values should follow. Finally a training program should be designed and implemented and evaluated. Having developed a suitable training program the company will be able to embed not only the H&S policies in the staff but also all other policies that are geared towards the provision of quality products and services. The training should henceforth be given to every new staff that joins the organization.
A change management program for the organization
A suggestion of how Quality and Health & Safety issues should be monitored and evaluated in the future
The company can monitor quality, health and safety issues in a number of ways. Generally the monitoring can be done using the following steps:
- Selection of the areas to be monitored, in the case of Ryelea it will be the operations department.
- Description of the quality, health and safety issues in the chosen area.
- Drawing a system review of the processes to be monitored, must include critical inputs and expected outcomes.
- Outlining the required standards for each critical system component whose performance is to be monitored.
- Finally, developing quality, safety and health consideration indicators. The indicators should be able to measure the gap between the observed and expected quality, health and safety standards.
- Proper data collections methods should be designed; this could be done by surveys or observation.
- The data collected should be tabulated, analyzed, disseminated and stored for future reference (Tovey, 2004).
The Ryelea can implement the above process by identifying the quality, safety and health issues in its production processes. This should include the identification of the different quality, health and safety issues raised by the customers and workers respectively. This should be followed by development of a proper monitoring system that entails the above process.
Change management issues for the implementation of new policies and procedures
The difficulties being faced by the organization are due to poor management by inexperienced staff. The difficulties only began with the changes that occurred in the management of various operations. Before Daniel Andrews left the Company, the quality standards at the Ryelea were high and there were no complaints from the customers. The quality of Ryelea’s minibusses began to deteriorate after a new inexperienced staff member took charge of the internal quality management issue. This was also observed at the health and safety management department. The retiring of Thomas Williams and the subsequent elevation of another member of the new management team to take charge of health and safety issues got the company into its current situation. This implies that the previous success was due to individual efforts rather than a result of organizational policies. New policies and procedures should be created to change this and shift it to the office or institution rather than an individual. This way all the processes will be done the same way regardless of the holder of the office. This can be effectively done by stipulating a strict clear role that every holder of a specific position should follow.
Change management models as an aid to the planning and implementation of new Quality and Health and Safety initiatives
“There are many different change management models. The change management models that have been put forward include; McKinsey 7-S model, Lewin’s change management model, Kotter’s eight-step model, Thurley’s among others.” (Tara 2007) The best change management models are those developed “by Lewin (1951), Beckhard (1969) and Thurley (1979).” (Wisner, 2005).
According to Lewin the basic mechanisms for managing change are as follows:
- Freezing: Altering the present stable equilibrium which supports existing behaviors and attitudes. This process must take into account the inherent threats that change presents to the people and the need to motivate those affected to attain the natural state of equilibrium by accepting the change.
- Changing: Developing new responses based on the new information
- Refreezing: Stabilizing the change by introducing the new responses into personalities of those concerned (Armstrong, 2003).
Lewin also suggested a methodology for analyzing the change which he called ‘field force analysis’, this includes: Analysing the restraining or driving force that will affect the transition to the future state; this may include “the reactions of those who think the change is unnecessary.” (Blanchard 2007) Assessment of the restraining forces is critical and should be followed by taking necessary steps to increase the critical driving forces and to decrease the critical restraining forces.
Thurley (1979) described the following five approaches to managing change:
- Directive- The imposition of change in crisis situations or when other methods have failed. This is often done by exercising the managerial powers without consultation,
- Bargained- This approach recognizes that power is shared between the employer and the employed and therefore change requires negotiation, compromise and agreement before being implemented.
- ‘Hearts and minds’- this refers to an all-embracing thrust to change attitudes, values and beliefs of the workforce. This is a normative approach that seeks commitment and shared vision but does not necessarily include involvement or participation.
- Analytical- this refers to a theoretical approach to the change process using models of change. It proceeds sequentially from the analysis and diagnosis of the situation, through the setting of objectives, the design of the change process, the evaluation of the results and finally the determination of the objectives for the next stage in the change process.
- Action-based- This recognizes that the way managers behave in practice bears little resemblance to the theoretical, analytical model. The distinction between managerial thought and managerial action blurs in practice to the point of invisibility. What managers think is what they do. The identification of possible solutions, often on a trial and error basis, leads to the clarification of the nature of the problem and a shared understanding of possible solutions (Armstrong, 2003).
Both change management models can be used to address the management issues experienced by the Ryelea Company. However, Lewin’s model is better placed to solve the current issues as a complete overhaul is required to address the Quality, health and safety issues.
- Armstrong, M. (2003) A handbook of Human resource management practice. New York. Kogan Publshers
- Blanchard, P., and Thacker, J. (2007) Effective Training: Systems, Strategies and Practices. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
- Goldstein, I. L., and Ford, J. (2002) Training in Organizations: Needs assessment, Development & evaluation (4th ed.). Belmont California: Wadsworth.
- Itthiopassagul, P. and Patterson, B. (2009) Training and development assessment, 2009; 17, 3: ABI/INFORM Global, p. 175-181
- Kirwan, B. (1992) A guide to Task Analysis. Britain: Taylor and Francis Ltd.
- Lusine, H. Alfons, G. Oude, L. Jack, GA. & Olaf, VK. (2007) Employee performance mesurement: An international journal, vol, 12, p.304-315
- Noe, R. A. (2008) Employee Training and Development. New York: McGraw-Hill
- Noe, R, A., & Winkler, C. (2009) Employee Training & Development for Australia and New Zealand. NSW: McGraw Hill.
- Saks, A. M., & Account, R. R. (2007) Managing Performance through Training and Development (4th ed.). Toronto, Canada: Thomson Nelson.
- Sheryl, AL., & Hewitt, MS. (2005) Staff recruitment retention, training and strategies. New York, Brookes Publishing Company.
- Tara, C. (2007) Change Management Models: A Look at McKinsey’s 7-S Model, Lewin’s Change Management Model and Kotter’s Eight Step Change Model [online]
- Trent, J R. (2008) End-to-end lean management: A guide to complete improvement. Florida, Jurors Publishing.
- Tovey, M. D., & Lawlor, D. R. (2004) Training in Australia: design, delivery, Evaluation, management (2nd ed.). NSW: Pearson Education Australia.
- Werner, J., & De Simone, R. (2005) Human Resource Development (4th ed.). South-Western College Publishers.
- Wisner, JD. and Keong-Leong, K T. (2005) Principles of Needs assessment: A balanced approach. Ohio, Thomson South-Western