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MOST COMPANIES PROMOTE QUALITY THROUGH TEAM MANAGEMENT; BENCHMARKING LAGS IN QUALITY TRAINING PROGRAMS

 WESTBURY, N.Y., Dec. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- For a majority of North American businesses, training to foster teamwork and team management is the key to improving the quality of their organizations, according to a new survey conducted by the Olsten Corporation (AMEX: OLS). Fifty-four percent promote quality through training in teamwork and team management. Other disciplines being emphasized in quality training are communications (47 percent), problem-solving (45 percent), and customer services (44 percent). Conversely, benchmarking, a quality-improvement practice being promoted by management consultants, is being taught by only 12 percent of the respondents.
 The survey, which polled more than 360 human resource executives in the United States and Canada, showed quality programs on the rise at North American businesses. More than 74 percent said quality programs had increased in the past year, with more than 42 percent calling the increase "substantial." Employee empowerment (40 percent), stronger employee commitment (38 percent), and increased employee satisfaction (35 percent) are also reported as results.
 Health care organizations have the strongest commitment to improving quality in customer service (78 percent), followed by retail/wholesale (77 percent), and insurance companies (76 percent).
 "Quality management is gaining adherents every day as more and more companies are reaping results," commented Stuart Olsten, president and chief operating officer of the Olsten Corporation. Those results include: improved communication (51 percent), enhanced customer satisfaction (47 percent), and improved accuracy (41 percent). Just over a third report increased productivity.
 Who Manages Quality
 Increasingly, a dedicated manager or committee is being assigned the quality management process (58 percent). Responsibility for different aspects of the process is shared, however: Upper management takes the lead on quality program design (31 percent), while the human resource department plays significant role in employee training (42 percent).
 The quality survey is one of a series of surveys sponsored by the Olsten Forum On Human Resource Issues and Trends, with diverse companies participating: Fortune 1,000 companies, small- to mid-sized businesses, health care organizations, and not-for-profit institutions.
 The Olsten Forum On Human Resource Issues and Trends is sponsored by the Olsten Corporation, one of the leading providers of staffing and health care services in North America. Under its trade names Olsten Temporary Services, Olsten HealthCare, and Olsten Professional Accounting Services, the company maintains more than 700 offices.
 For a free copy of the entire 12 page survey report, "Quality Programs & Practices," readers/viewers can call toll free 1-800-225-8367 or write to the Olsten Corporation, One Merrick Avenue, Mail Stop T62, Westbury, New York, 11590.
 -0- 12/28/92
 /CONTACT: Loretta Schorr of Olsten, 516-237-1665; or Catherine Peters of Creamer Dickson Basford, 212-887-8702, for Olsten/
 (OLS)


CO: The Olsten Corporation ST: New York IN: SU: ECO

PS-LR -- NY002 -- 9953 12/28/92 08:00 EST
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Date:Dec 28, 1992
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