3 reasons why as a manager you should NEVER do quality checks for your own team
Your level of quality is essentially what defines you on the market. Unless you operate in a business niche with no competitors (if such even exists), your customers will choose you judging by your product’s quality. And by ‘product’ I mean every aspect of your business, especially those aspects the general public interacts with or depends on – the product itself, whether physical or digital, the representatives they speak to, and the teams affecting their experience with your company.
In order to keep the quality of work high in any team of your company or even simply to evaluate where you stand, you need to ensure and enforce some form of quality control. A sample of their work needs to be checked, evaluated, and feedback must be provided. Ideally, trainings and workshops should be created following this process. A lot can be said about quality checks – what makes them successful, what makes them ineffective, and what turns them into your nightmare. We will focus on that in another article.
Our focus here is - who are you having perform the quality checks for your team? Here are some tips we would advise you to consider before you decide to do it yourself:
1. Whoever you appoint as a quality analyst (yourself, an employee, a whole separate Quality team, an external party), be prepared to have them be perceived negatively, at least subconsciously.
Humans tend to have mostly negative initial response to negative feedback. To our primitive brain, negative feedback triggers feelings of inadequacy, neglect and in some cases abandonment. This is usually a subconscious process, which means most people don’t even realize they are reacting this way. You need to be prepared that whoever will be doing this job will not be genuinely liked and accepted bythe team, unless they do a poor job. This is to say – it’s a bad idea for you as a team manager to do it. You want your team members to feel safe with you as an authority/mentorship figure. That’s not to say you shouldn’t provide feedback – this is one of the most crucial and important aspects of managing your team. Here we are focusing on the quality check itself and thecase-by-case feedback, usually tied to performance KPIs.
2. If you are the manager and you are the one doing the quality checks, who can your team members possibly turn to in case you have difference of opinion?
This opens the floor wide for authority issues, especially if financial benefits are involved, such as performance bonuses. The manager should be the one setting the frame and rules, the quality analyst is the enforcer of the rules. If you do both roles on your own, you risk your employees feeling they are being treated unfairly. After all, an adequate quality process should include a result dispute option, which should be revised by an impartial third party to the situation. If you created the score, how are you going to be the one revising the dispute objectively?
3. It’s not your job to be in the know of every tiny operational detail at all times – which is crucial for a quality analyst role and it takes up a large portion of their time.
Quality analysis requires in-depth knowledge of the product/team procedures at hand. If you work in a dynamic environment, then reading, speaking to others, testing and keeping informed about every tiny update, issue and detail that needs to be taken into account will be your main focus. This will shift the focus from actually managing your team and improving your department or company to unnecessary micromanagement.
If you need help figuring out the best quality strategy for you, uniquely designed to meet your company’s needs and goals, contact us here!