Connector- Winter 2023

Page 20

IN THE FIELD by Todd Alwood

Quality is a Team Sport Training tips to make your life easier

Quality Management impacts every area of a business. Emphasize how understanding the role of quality in each specific departments empowers employees to contribute to its effectiveness and integration.

Q

uality control is not just about plans and processes. It’s also about where the rubber meets the road, or in the case of steel fabrication and erection, where the arc meets the metal. If there’s one thing we know about training, it’s that actually doing something is more effective than talking about it. We can talk about how helping your staff develop their skills–investing in their success as an individual–cuts down on attrition. We can talk about how important it is that everyone on a team knows what their quality management system does and how it works. But doing is more effective than talking– and people who do it know more than people who talk about it. The seven people you’ll meet here do steel construction quality training on a regular basis. Every shop or jobsite is different, but these lessons have broad applicability. Read on for their tips, tricks, and lessons learned. Todd Alwood is Vice President of Membership & Certification for the American Institute of Steel Construction.

Develop a sense of ownership Nate Lindell with Project + Quality Solutions

When training employees on the Quality Management System (QMS) in a steel fabrication setting, focus on its tangible benefits and real-world applications. Instead of simply explaining requirements and processes, illustrate how the QMS enhances steel product quality, reduces errors, and boosts customer satisfaction. Demonstrate that the QMS is more than rules; it’s a valuable tool supporting their work and the company’s success. Engage employees by involving them in the training. Ask for their input on QMS improvements and implementations specific to their roles. This fosters ownership and accountability, making training more relevant. When employees sense their stake in the system, they’re more likely to invest in its success and adhere to its requirements. Highlight that the QMS spans all business areas. Emphasize how understanding its role in their specific departments empowers employees to contribute to its effectiveness and integration. This not only enhances individual contributions but also reinforces its overall impact on the company’s success.

20 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

Train for understanding, not just compliance Tom Anderson with Atema

Employees do as they are told to be compliant, but they might not understand the reasons why a requirement is necessary or must be followed. This might lead to disengaged employees who don’t take ownership of their work. When we teach why a process is needed, what issues are prevented, and how it makes the employees work better, they are more likely to be engaged and take ownership of their work. As an example, welders use rod ovens at a jobsite. Welders know they should take what they need from the rod oven and promptly return the unused rods. But do they know why? Do they understand how weld quality is affected by hydrogen? Suppose management takes the time to teach why rods must be stored in a heated oven and how weld quality can be adversely affected by hydrogen in welds. In that case, this training goes beyond bare minimum compliance and will help educate employees who understand why their actions and their work matter.


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