Members of leadership can do a number of things to infuse the notion of continuous quality improvement into the culture of the program. First and foremost, leaders must believe in and practice continuous quality improvement at all times. This can be demonstrated for employees through verbalizing self-reflections, sharing action plans, and highlighting the impact of improvements made over time.
Beyond acting as a role model for the actions and attitudes that facilitate continuous quality improvement, leaders can also take the following steps:
- Create buy-in and investment. Help employees understand the connection between efforts and benefits for children, families, and the program.
- Create a quality improvement mindset. Quality improvement is not a checklist – it’s a continuous cycle. Employees need to understand this from the beginning. Add continuous quality improvement language to your vision or mission statements. Introduce the concept of CQI during interviews and ask questions geared to uncover potential employees’ attitudes toward change and quality improvement. Provide examples of CQI expectations during new staff orientation, staff meetings, and professional development events.
- Address resistance to change. It may be necessary to assist employees who are resistant to change. People tend to enjoy spending time in their personal and professional comfort zones. Quality improvement efforts challenge those comfort zones. Sometimes the barriers that need to be addressed are internal. Help employees identify how making changes will benefit them and make their jobs easier, also known as WIIFM – or What’s In It For Me.
- Establish quality improvement plans for individuals, teaching teams, and the larger staff body. Start with small realistic goals to ensure success, build confidence, and motivate future efforts. Make efforts to recognize progress – not just the achievement of big goals.
- Evaluate setbacks as new learning opportunities learn from mistakes. Build on what works. Don’t be afraid to let go of something that isn’t working. But make sure you’ve given it a consistent and full effort before changing directions. This means working the plan for at least a month or two before reevaluating.
- Integrate CQI into performance evaluations.Also, be sure to tie annual PD to goals and areas of improvement identified during the CQI process.
- Budget the time and money required to make changes. If you are going to engage employees in committing to change, you should be prepared to give them adequate support.
- Engage families and children for ideas and to take part in action plans when appropriate. Doing so helps create a program culture where everyone is invested and involved in continuous quality improvement. For more information, checkout this month’s blog here.
For the main article Continuous Quality Improvement, CLICK HERE
For the article Benefits of Continuous Quality Improvement, CLICK HERE
For the article Steps to Continuous Quality Improvement, CLICK HERE
For the article Tools to Support Continuous Quality Improvement, CLICK HERE