Values or guiding principles tell how to conduct business. They help define an organization’s culture and personality by clarifying what behavior is expected in order for the organization to achieve its vision and mission. Values are established by senior management and respect the integrity of the individual.
Examples of values are: customer-focused, quality management, innovative, employee empowerment, ethical, cooperative relationships, and risk taking. Values should be consistent with Dr. Deming’s 14 quality principles (see Knowledge Domain 1), and they should be integrated into the organization’s work program. If really believed, values help focus the organization on a shared behavioral model.
Executive management’s commitment to quality should be expressed in writing to all employees in the form of a quality policy. Management should work as a team to develop the policy, which must be aimed at the employees and written so they can understand it.
The policy should be concise and cover all aspects of quality. Eventually, every existing regulation, procedure, and policy letter should be reviewed to assure that it aligns with the new quality policy.