For example, personnel integrity, confidence, organizational culture, motivation, team spirit and the overall quality of business and employee relationships.
According to this approach, if any one of these four aforementioned aspects are lacking or deficient in any way, even if minor, the quality of the service is placed at risk.
Hiring Contractors and Consultants
Since quality assurance has become such an important factor in operating a successful business venture, and because implementing and maintaining a quality assurance system is time consuming and complex, many companies have turned to using independent contractors and outside consultants to either develop, manage or both their corporate quality assurance processes. It is now standard business practice to use a consultant or contractor when a business introduces a new quality assurance practice or methodology.
There are numerous types of quality assurance contractors and consultants available. The vast majority of them have a firm grasp on the essential skills needed for implementing quality control initiatives, including Quality Management Systems, or QMS, auditing and procedural documentation writing. Specialist will also be highly trained and experienced in improving services and processes by implementing a quality assurance program that employs the latest cutting edge quality assurance activities as Six Sigma, Measurement Systems Analysis, Failure Mode and Effects Analysis or Advance Product Quality Planning.
II. Studying Quality Assurance in the Airline Industry
The problem to be examined in this study is the effect that quality assurance will have on increasing airline safety. It is this paper's prediction that the implementation of a multi-faceted quality assurance program will lead to increased airline safety at multiple levels.
A. Unique Issues of Quality Assurance in the Airline Industry
Much of an airline's quality assurance is dependent on its diverse workforce and its multifaceted areas of service. For example, in order for an airline company to operate a quality operation, it needs to do much more than fly from Point a to Point B. Instead, there are airport issues, in-flight issues and logistical issues, just to name a few.
One of the most influential actors in providing quality assurance within an airline is the human resources manager. Thus, this research project specifically focuses in on the role of the human resource manager and the human resource department in providing an airline with quality assurance measures.
The main challenges in human resources is recruitment, production and retention. In terms of recruitment, the human resources manager must be able to both go after and hire only the most qualified and capable individuals. In terms of production, the human resources manager must have a plan that successfully trains the hired individual in becoming a productive member of the employment team. Finally, retention requires the human resources manager to create a work environment that encourages the hired, productive employee to continue to be productive within the industry. The answer to succeeding at these three roles is both specialized pre-employment screening.
To understand how pre-employment screening needs to work in today's information age, one actually must turn towards the findings and work of several notable economists and the concept of asymmetric information and job market signaling as they apply to the human resources world.
Economist George Akerlof, Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz all received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001 for their joint research in asymmetric information. Asymmetric information is what occurs when the seller knows more about a product than the buyer. Although all three of these economist's work is technically economic in nature, their ideas and philosophies are applicable to the field of Human Resources. Thus, it is important to read their articles through a human resources outlook.
In the Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism, author George Akerlof discusses the situation that occurs when asymmetrical information is in place. The situation that occurs when the seller knows more about the product's quality prior to the sale is that a traditional market of infinite guarantees is terminated. Instead of a traditional free-market system, actual incentives are created to encourage the seller to pass off low-quality goods to the buyer in the guise of being a higher-quality good. The result is the existence of what is commonly referred to as a lemon product. When lemons become the dominate good in the market place, they eventually erode away the market for that used product, such as the market for used cars. In an attempt to prevent this situation, many nations, including the United States, have passed what are popularly known as Lemon Laws, or legislation focused on protecting the buyer.
In the article entitled Job Market Signaling, author Michael Spence discuss the theory of job-market signaling. According to this theory, employees signal their job skills to an employer by gaining a certain degree of education. In order to get this degree, and thus the ability to signal, the employee must pay for the education. To reimburse for this "business expense," the employer pays the educated employee more than an uneducated employee because of the greater skills they have. This works as an unwritten contract: The employer understands the inherent value of having an educated employee (in that it will save them money and create a larger profit in the long run) and thus agree to pay the employee back for their education.
In his Conference Papers, economist Joseph Stiglitz, like Akerlof, discusses the role of information asymmetries. Stiglitz is most noted for his research on screening, or the technique used by one agent to gain otherwise private information from another and thus throwing the balance of equal information off.
Taken together, the works of Akerlof, Spence and Stiglitz have created the field of Information Economics. Information Economics, the area most relevant to human resources, is a significant new direction. Instead of goods and services, information economics places information at the center of understanding business relations.
With the influx of an information economy, human resource managers will have to adjust their practices in to ensure security and compliance. For example, information creates a unique problem in that it is easy to spread yet hard to control. Thus, because anyone can create information, it is hard to trust. In other words, information becomes a lemon, threatening to dissolve the information market (which is, if not at least almost, the entire economic market).
First and foremost is the human resources manager's role in screening employee applicants for education. As Spence argues, the basis for ensuring good information is to ensure informed employees. A college degree acts as a basis for the screening process in that it signals to the human resource manager that the potential employee is informed and capable of learning on an as needed basis.
Unfortunately, as our society has transformed into an information-based society, the demand for higher education, in accordance with the signaling theory of Spence, has grown remarkably. The result is that the degree itself has become a lemon because all degrees are not of equal quality. For example, a degree from Harvard and a degree from an online university are clearly not equal. Further, because more and more individuals are going through higher education and receiving degrees, there is no way to distinguish the quality of the individual simply by a degree screening process. In a sense, the employer is in the same position of the person buying a used car. The student, or the seller, is the one who knows the true information as to their information quality and the employer is at risk of hiring a lemon. Thus, human resources needs to adapt be creating better screening processes.
Thus, using a screening process that takes into account these challenges will allow the human resources manager to better be able to find only the truly qualified employees to hire. Once these employees are hired, the human resources manager will want to implement a training program that quickly brings the newly hired employee into a position of leadership and productivity. Once this is attained, in order to ensure retention of this employee whom the company has invested numerous resources into, the human resources manager will have to empower the employee with leadership roles and responsibilities. In order to accomplish this, once an employee is trained and productive, the human resources manager should define their role as being one that works to:
To maintain open lines of communication with her directors.
To gather feedback from the people working under the director in order to gain proper and insightful evaluations.
To remove roadblocks and assist the director succeed in reaching both their own personal goals and the goals of the company.
To provide coaching to the director by emphasizing what they are doing good and what areas need to be developed.
These steps ensure that the employee is given a position is an essential component of the company,…