13 main Features of Quality Circle formulated by Meera Lai are as follows:
According to Meera Lai, the features of Quality Circle are as follows:
a. A people-building Philosophy:
It inculcates group or team work. Companies with selfish interest and vertical ambitions cannot benefit from quality circles. In quality circles people get to know each other and there is a feeling of ‘togetherness’ to combat growing competition, inflationary and other problems of the company.
b. Voluntary in Nature:
Management usually fined this difficult to grasp and digest, and are unable to deal with it. The voluntary nature in itself is sufficient proof that is mainly for the benefit of members whether to take advantage of it or not.
c. Everyone Participates:
Quality circle is a participative programme. The leader has to bring forward the more dormant member and make him participate locally as well as physically. This promotes job involvement and motivation and develops pride in good wor4kmanship. It becomes the duty of each member to look out for the development and growth of others.
d. Creativity is encouraged:
A -non-threatening environment is created for individual ideas. Normally, a person says from putting forward an idea if he fears chance of being ridiculed or rejected. Quality Circle infuses among its member’s confidence, a problem preventing and problem solving attitude.
e. Projects are Circle Efforts:
The circle, as a whole team, receives recognition for any achievement, it has accomplishes. No individual, whether the management or the shop-floor workers, can individually claim any success of a project.
f. Training is a Must for Members:
It is imperative to impart some sort of training to members. It may be formal or informal. Members need to know the effective techniques in finding solutions or they may become frustrated and disillusioned at their ineptitude.
Management, likewise, have to undertake training for their supportive role rather than one domination. Through eight to ten hours training, members become familiar with problem solving techniques such as pare to diagrams, Cause and Effect analysis, Check sheets, etc.
g. Projects are Work-related:
Individuals or other departmental problems are not dealt with. Problems have to be related to member’s own department of work area, though advice may be sought from other quality circles. It is based on the assumption that members are experts in their own field at what they do, but not at what other people do.
h. To Obtain Management Support:
Quality circles cannot flourish unless there is encouragement from the management in the form of advice and commitment. In fact, experience has shown that the initiative for formation of quality circles primarily came from the management rather than shop-floor workers. This further brings flexibility in otherwise water-tight departments.
i. Development of Quality Consciousness:
Quality circle inculcates cost consciousness and infuses safety awareness. In Japan it is referred to as ‘value analysis’ More than 20% of circle activities there, are involved in correcting quality errors. This becomes a continuous process. Consumer’s satisfaction not quality services are best reflected in the increased demand for Japanese products.
j. Mental Awareness Regarding ‘We’ and ‘they’:
Quality circle encourages leadership quality and personal development within a group. It facilitates effective use of channels of communication thereby assuring improved interpersonal relations and bonds of brotherhood. It urges people to receive ideas with an open mind and to participate positively.
k. Absenteeism and Grievances are reduced:
Members have realised that quality circle programmes have helped them to enjoy work, a feeling of belongingness which has made them attend offices enthusiastically rather than abstaining for minor reasons. Grievances, too automatically get reduced since most of the work area problems are solved by the members themselves.
l. Optimum Utilisation of Human Resources:
Better organisation, specialization, maximum out-put-all can be obtained from one important resource – that of human resource. Each worker contributes his best, towards reducing costs, wastes and anomalies.
m. Work-Ethic, Discipline and Trust:
These lead to success of quality circles. Trust is a corner-stone of organisations in Japan where it is considered fundamental to success. Self-discipline, Ethics and intangible, unquantifiable trust among all result in incalculable benefits for the organisations.