Principle 12: Remove Barriers to Pride of Workmanship

Deming’s Principle of Management n. 12 full statement is as follows:

“Remove the barriers that rob hourly workers, and people in management, of their rite to pride of workmanship. This implies, inter alia, abolition of the annual merit rating (appraisal of performance) and of management by objective. Again, the responsibility of managers, supervisors, foremen, must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.”

Improved performance comes from addressing the design of the system. This requires the knowledge, skills and the sheer enthusiasm of people if it is to be achieved most effectively. Deming regarded joy in work as more than just a basic human right. He also regarded it as a prerequisite for long-term survival. He used a phrase that indicated his view of companies that treated their employees badly;  “Survival is not compulsory!”

Pride of Workmanship is the never ending motivator – There was a Disney movie about the Jamaican bobsled team, titled “Cool Runnings”. One of the characters, Junior, lacked self-confidence. He lacked pride in workmanship. One of his teammates gave him guidance. He had Junior look into the mirror and see “pride” and “power” and a “crazy [person] that didn’t take nothing from nobody”. It was a turning point for both Junior and ultimately the team. Creating that kind of pride in workmanship in employees is the most effective thing a manager can do.

Unfortunately, killing pride of workmanship is all too easy. Ignore an employee when they warn you of a problem. Ta-da, pride in workmanship just took a major blow and “I just keep my head down and my mouth shut and collect my pay” becomes the attitude of the day.  Set an arbitrary goal the employee can not possible achieve and you rob them of pride of workmanship. Tell the employee to do a task, reprimand them if they do it wrong but don’t give them the tools to measure and know if they did it right or wrong and frustration will kill pride of workmanship.

Summing-up: To create and maintain pride in workmanship in your staff, make sure they know they matter. When a manager creates pride in workmanship their employees they create the best sales tool in the world – consistent high quality product. When an employee knows they are creating high quality product their pride in workmanship increases and the company reaps the benefit.

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