Organizational Culture Causes Stress, Survey Says

Nearly six out of 10 employers admit they must increase focus on helping their staff build resilience, and 66% say organizational resilience must be driven by the organization’s leadership, a recent survey showed.

But more than one-third of employers (34%) also admit their organization’s culture creates stress at work, and employees questioned for the study say employers are not honest during recruitment about the demands on staff and the impact in stress.

The new report, titled “Mental Health and Stress: Building Employee Resilience in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” and compiled by MetLife UK, also highlights progress in addressing the issue of stress at work: 64% of employees say their firm offers support now compared with just over half when MetLife first researched the issue.

What employees feel is real, and despite views from management that they are taking action, it is clear that more must be done, said Adrian Matthews of MetLife UK.

“This shouldn’t deter employers. While some programs come with a cost, many initiatives can be created and implemented that do not,” Matthews said.

Some strategies outlined in the report include focusing on the role of the line manager and recognizing the pressures they are under by supporting them with training and employee assistance programs.


Survey: Employees Prefer Open Office Space, Coffee Perks

New research suggests that office environments can make workers happier and more productive.

More than 20% of business owners and employees surveyed by MoneySuperMarket, a price comparison website, said that office environments are “vitally important.”

Overall, most employees want open office spaces, free coffee machines and to be located close to home.

The vast majority also favor having permanent desks, as well as flexible working hours.

Other findings from the recent survey include:

  • Style: Business and HR, and media and marketing workers prefer light and airy offices (between 23% and 29%). Almost half of the creative employees surveyed said they favor traditional and functional buildings. 
  • Luxury features: Business and HR, and media and marketing employees want free snacks, coffee, meals and soft drinks. Creative types, meanwhile, want video games (46%) and sleeping pods (44%). 
  • Location: In contrast to the 63% of business owners overall who want parking spaces, 62% of media and marketing employees and 54% of creative employees want transport options.

For more on the research, visit https://tinyurl.com/survey-perfect-office.


Majority of U.S. Hospitals Fail to Meet Surgical Safety Standards

Most U.S. hospitals do not meet minimum hospital or surgeon volume standards for safety, and they do not have adequate policies in place to monitor for appropriateness, according to a new study by the Leapfrog Group, an independent national healthcare watchdog organization.

The report analyzed eight high-risk procedures to determine which hospitals and surgeons perform enough of them to minimize the risk of patient harm or death, and whether hospitals actively monitor to ensure that each surgery is necessary. 

Rural hospitals are particularly challenged in meeting the standards.

“It’s clear from this report that patients should be very careful before they choose a hospital for one of these high-risk procedures,” said Leah Binder, Leapfrog Group’s president and CEO.

For more on the study, titled “Safety in Numbers,” visit https://tinyurl.com/leapfrog-safety-in-numbers.


Tool IDs Specific ASQ Certifications to Target

There’s a new tool to help you narrow down which of the 18 ASQ certifications you might want to pursue.

The online instrument, called the Certification Pathway Tool, allows you to select different variables to pinpoint the certifications that make the most sense for you and your career.

For example, users are asked to select areas of interest, educational background, years of work-related experience and years in a decision-making position. From that information, the tool identifies the certifications that most apply to you and those you’re qualified to obtain.

Check out the new tool at asq.org/cert.


Upcoming Celebrations Planned on Standards

World Standards Day will be held Monday, Oct. 14. Members of the International Electrotechnical Commission, the International Organization for Standardization and the International Telecommunications Union are leading the event and will focus the day on video standards.

“The innovation of recent decades has driven a huge leap forward in video quality. And video also has become more accessible, helping people worldwide to share their stories in vivid, moving pictures. These gains in both the sophistication and accessibility of video are built on international standards,” according to the organizers.

For more information about World Standards Day, visit www.worldstandardscooperation.org/world-standards-day.

Meanwhile, another organization is making plans around this year’s World Standards Week, scheduled for Nov. 4-8 in Washington, D.C.

The American National Standards Institute is organizing meetings and events “designed to inspire open dialogue about standardization, conformity assessment and workforce development priorities.” Events include a conference, a legal forum and an awards banquet.

Visit www.ansi.org/wsweek in the coming weeks for more details and agendas as they become available.


Study: Lexus, Subaru Customers Most Loyal

Customers of automakers Lexus and Subaru are the most loyal when compared to customers of all other vehicle manufacturers, according to a new study by J.D. Power.

The study calculated whether an owner purchased the same brand after trading in an existing vehicle for a new vehicle purchase or lease. Customer loyalty was based on the percentage of vehicle owners who chose the same brand when trading in or purchasing their next vehicle.

Subaru ranked highest among mass market brands—and highest overall—with a loyalty rate of 61.5%. Lexus ranked highest among luxury brands with a 47.6% loyalty rate.

“Customer loyalty is perhaps the most important metric for manufacturers because it incorporates many factors that lead customers to become brand ambassadors,” said Tyson Jominy, vice president of data and analytics at J.D. Power. “When a brand can connect emotionally with owners through the vehicle’s content, capabilities or prestige level, owners are much more likely to come back and purchase that same brand again.”

To see more of the loyalty rankings, visit https://tinyurl.com/jdpower-auto-loyal.


ASQ Quality 4.0 Summit Nears

The third annual ASQ Quality 4.0 Summit will be held Nov. 18-19 in Dallas.

Keynote speakers and programming are being finalized for the conference, which is themed “Thriving in Disruption.” The summit offers presentations, demonstrations and discussions led by technology experts, industry leaders and quality professionals covering a range of topics, including Industry 4.0, digital transformation, change management and the future of quality.

To register or to receive updates about the two-day conference, visit asq.org/conferences/quality-4-0. In the coming weeks, updates on speakers and other activities planned for the event will be posted.


New Accreditation Unveiled For Environmental Labeling

There’s a new ANAB accreditation program for certification programs of type one environmental labeling.

Third-party type one environmental labeling certification programs are proven to accelerate the application of best practices, promote green consumerism and increase public participation in environmentally positive programs.

A certification body that gains ANAB accreditation would be demonstrating competencies and credible assurance of continual improvement and risk assessment met in accordance with internationally recognized standards.

Certification bodies seeking ANAB accreditation to conduct type one environmental labeling certification are required to comply with requirements of ISO 14020, ISO 14024, PRO-PR-178: Sector-Specific Accreditation Program for Type I Environmental Labeling Certification Program, and relevant ANAB accreditation rules.

Visit https://tinyurl.com/anab-environment-label.

Getting to know…

Kathy Lyall

Current position: Quality director, RTI Surgical, Marquette, MI.

Education: Master’s degree in engineering management at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

What was your introduction to quality?  My undergraduate degree is in industrial engineering. I elected to earn a minor in quality, which ignited my passion for the profession. In addition, I joined the student chapter of ASQC in 1996.

Is there a teacher who influenced you more than others? Why? Two of my professors were extremely passionate about quality: Donna Summers at the University of Dayton in Ohio and David M. Lyth at the Western Michigan University. Their enthusiasm led me to choose the profession and continue advancing in it.

Do you have a mentor who has made a difference in your career? Fellow ASQ member Gregory S. Gay inspired me to pursue ASQ fellow status. With his mentorship and guidance, I earned that designation in 2015.

What is the best career advice you ever received? There is a big difference between not being aware of a problem, and being aware of a problem and not doing anything about it. As a quality leader, I am constantly coaching employees that after they are aware of a problem, they are obligated to do something. They must raise the concern so the issue can be properly investigated, contained and corrected.

Previous noteworthy jobs? Director of supplier quality at Whirlpool Corp.

What ASQ activities do you participate in? I served several terms as chair of the Battle Creek/Kalamazoo Section. I’m currently chair of the Hromi Medal Committee and chair of the Inspection Division’s marketing committee.

What activities or achievements outside of ASQ do you think are noteworthy? I’m president of the National Council of Phi Sigma Rho, an engineering sorority.

Any recent awards or honors? I became an ASQ fellow in 2015, and I received a lifetime achievement award from Phi Sigma Rho in 2014.

Personal:  Married with two dogs.

What books are you currently reading? To continuously improve as a leader, I read one book related to leadership or interpersonal skills each month. Recently, I’ve read: QBQ! The Question Behind the Question by John G. Miller, What Every Body Is Saying by Joe Navarro and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

What was the last movie you saw? “Bohemian Rhapsody.”


In “Bring the Energy” (August 2019, pp. 32-39), equation 4 was recreated incorrectly: Addition signs were used instead of the minus signs. The equation has been updated in the online version of the article at qualityprogress.com to reflect the authors’ original intentions.

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