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Deming Principle #12: Abolish the Annual Performance Review states that number twelve is, “12. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective.”

Deming was exceedingly against the annual performance review, and so am I. Workers should be evaluated on their work in the midst of day-to-day operations. Most often, the annual performance review is degrading and negative for workers. It causes them anxiety waiting to have their review, and it is discouraging to hear so many negative statements about your work all at once. The annual performance review should be abolished, and workers should be informed as time goes on how they are doing and what they can do to improve. Management should not wait until one day out of the year to have these important conversations. Why not assist a worker to work towards improvements, encouraging him/her along the way? Help them to see what is hampering their ability to reach the company’s objectives and kindly guide them toward efficiency and accuracy in completing tasks.

Deming Principle #13: Educate & Give Employees Opportunities for Growth in the Areas They Want to Grow states that principle number thirteen is, “13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.”

Some employees have great promise and capability. By constantly educating them and finding ways for the employee to gain skills, that employee has a high likelihood of succeeding. Ask that employee, “What do you want to do? What are your goals while you are here?” Show them you have interest in them, not just their work skills. Essentially, you are trying to maximize that person’s potential. Even if you lose them as an employee one day, you will gain the trust and respect of your employees that much faster and that much more when you encourage them to be who they are. Workers who feel respected and cared for by their superiors will be that much more loyal to the company, and your likelihood of turnover will decrease.

Deming Principle #14: Everybody Has a Piece to the Puzzle

Finally, states principle number fourteen is, “14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job.”

People in leadership positions can never say, “Here is our plan,” and then disengage. This will not optimize the plan to work the best it can for the company. Leaders needs to treat creating the plan as one piece to the puzzle. Then, when leaders talk about the plan with employees, they will be engaged, too. This will teach the workers to take more responsibility for their pieces of the puzzle. Each person in the company has a piece of the puzzle, and each person needs to take responsibility for finding where it fits into the greater picture.

The Deming Principles not only help me to do management consulting, but they also helps me to mentor others and lead a life of responsibility and ownership. It helps me to counsel others how to lead a better, more fulfilling life. I encourage you to take these principles to heart and learn all that they have to offer. You can always use their advice, whether in business, relationships, or personal endeavors.