Employee perceptions of quality at a selected company
Quality improvement is a fundamental and important attribute of a company’s business strategy and competitive positioning. The Durban-based paint factory of Dulux (Pty)Ltd, is the primary manufacturing and distribution site in South Africa. This site has to ensure that the consumers and customers in the target market, are satisfied with the quality of product and service received from the factory. This research focuses on the determination of employee perceptions of quality during 2006 at the paint factory site. In particular, how could these perceptions be effectively used by management as a basis for improving the quality ethic on the site. An improved quality ethic ensures a value- added product and service offer to the target market. The research investigates employee perceptions for various site departments and job grades within the context of several quality themes. Employee perceptions were determined by means of a quantitative survey conducted on the site population using a survey questionnaire. The study shows a primarily positive perception of quality by the employees. The subsequent descriptive and inferential statistical analysis quantifies these perceptions as statistically significant in relation to the research questions that were used in the research. There were some perceptions of quality that highlited potential areas for improvement within the site quality management system and the scope of application. These areas need to be considered by management in order to restore positive perception and support for the quality management system. It is recommended that an annual survey of employee perceptions be conducted by the Quality Assurance department and feedback discussed at the annual quality management review forum. An effective quality improvement and communications strategy can then be determined for implementation. It is also proposed that future research consider conducting a similar study at the service oriented Dulux Alberton site and another survey for the management team at the Durban factory.