Intellect | Blog | Signs of Weak Culture of Quality

Intellect | Blog | Signs of Weak Culture of Quality

Author Ryhana Fadous


A culture of quality is one in which everybody in the organization, not just the quality controllers, is responsible for quality.” This quote, by Lee Harvey and Diana Green mentioned in their article “Defining Quality”, is the perfect definition of a culture of quality. In this context, an organization is perceived to have a culture of quality, when quality is embedded in its spirit and translated into actual actions that are performed by literally everyone, from the CEO to the middle management and frontline staff. To know more about a culture of quality read our previously published blog: What is a Culture of Quality?

A company with a highly developed quality culture spends less $350M annual expenses on recovering mistakes, than the companies that have weak culture of quality (Harvard Business Review, 2014). Therefore, almost all companies’ upper management, acknowledge the importance of quality culture and claim its implementation at the workplace and among the employees, partners, and stakeholders. Despite this fact, some firms fail to integrate the quality mindset multilaterally across the enterprise, which results in having a poorly developed quality within the organization. The contradiction in this case, is that failing in integrating a “good” culture of quality is often misconstrued. Therefore, organizations’ CEOs and managers miss watching for the warning signs of a weak culture of quality or ignore them.

What’s surprising, is that few literatures are available on this topic even though it is a very critical subject that must be widely covered. So, we came, in this blog post, to highlight 13 signs of a poor culture of quality, to help you identify and assess your companies’ culture.

1) The CEO and upper management do not discuss quality objectives or rarely do—let alone performance against quality objectives.

2) The company’s vision related to quality is either non-existent or has negligible link with the corporate strategy.

3) Managers and employees throughout the organization either fail to constantly highlight quality or show resistance against quality initiatives.

4) The organization has few if any feedback loops for continuous improvement of processes.

5) The company miss having formal mechanisms for collecting and analyzing customer feedback like customer satisfaction email surveys, phone surveys, reviews, or other tools.

6) Performance evaluation does not feature any metrics related to quality goals.

7) Employees are not familiar with the company’s quality vision and values—or perhaps worse, view them as mere slogans.

8) Ignorance of training and development sessions that emphasize quality.

9) New hires are not formally introduced to the organization’s quality vision and values.

10) The organization experiences frequent, though often minor, setbacks owing to unpredictable quality.

11) The lack or absence of processes and procedures that set clear workflow.

12) The poor digital documentation and archiving—quality must follow technological advancement and shift to digital.

13) The high number of customers’ complaints that don’t end up as satisfied or loyal customers.

A culture of quality is a must to every and each organization, and a poor culture of quality can be turned into a good one with some quality culture awareness. Read our blog “How To Improve a Culture of Quality”, keep on following our upcoming blogs and contact us today to learn how Intellect QMS can help you achieve your quality objectives.