PDCA in HR: what it is and how to apply it in the sector’s activities

PDCA in HR: what it is and how to apply it in the sector's activities

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Service excellence is essential for a company to stand out in the market. But how to guarantee the quality standard? The key is to have efficient processes and do a good job of people management. To do this properly, the best way is to apply the PDCA in HR.

Have you heard of this methodology? Through a well-planned strategy, the PDCA cycle can improve the processes of any activity, whether in HR or in other departments of the company. To learn more, keep following the article!

What is the PDCA?

The PDCA cycle is a quality management method used by companies in all segments. The acronym is based on the four basic steps that make up the strategy:

  • To plan (Plan);
  • To execute (DO);
  • Check (Çheck);
  • Act (THEct).

The methodology is also known as Deming cycle or Shewhart cycle, names that give credit to their creators.

The model was created in 1920 by engineer Walter Shewhart, but it was only successful in the 1950s, thanks to the American professor William Deming. He was inspired by Shewhart's work in developing his theory of management, perfecting and popularizing the studies of his predecessor.

The PDCA cycle is seen as a globally recognized process of continuous improvement in organizational processes. Its main focus is increase the agility of processes involving management, making them more objective, clear and effective.

At the end of the last stage, the cycle is restarted to identify opportunities for evolution and to keep the business always looking for innovation and agility.

How does the PDCA cycle work?

The four phases of the PDCA cycle are interconnected and function as a cycle. Knowing the details of each stage is essential for the manager to improve the team's processes and correct possible failures. Learn to follow how to act in each pillar of the cycle.


O planning it starts when managers recognize one or more problems that can compromise the success of the team or the business. Once the necessary improvements are identified, it is necessary to set goals for improvements to be achieved for the company.

In general, this stage can be summarized in five phases:

  1. Acknowledge the problems: do a scenario analysis and identify situations that can be reviewed to leverage the team's results;
  2. Discuss solutions: bring together team leaders and key people to brainstorm possible solutions to the problem encountered;
  3. Define the best solution: among the ideas discussed, evaluate the pros and cons to define the ideal measure for implementation;
  4. Draw up an action plan: with the chosen measure, make an action plan to put it into practice.
  5. Define metrics: choose which indicators will be used to evaluate results and proceed to the next phases.

All of these steps are fundamental to create an efficient and productive plan. So, try not to skip steps and do everything possible so that the strategy is well designed.

Run (Do)

This is the time to put planning into practice. Throughout the process, the team must maintain a clear and assertive communication to make sure everyone knows what needs to be done. Also count on a schedule to help the team stay focused and achieve the goals on time.

Execution is considered the most important stage of the cycle. It is there that the data is collected for future verification of the results of the process. If the team is motivated and engaged, success is guaranteed.


You collected data in the execution step they are analyzed during the check. This phase is very important to measure the results of what is being done.

Compare planning and execution day by day. If the results are below expectations, correct the route immediately. Also use this phase to document the team's learnings and share the progress of the work with everyone involved.


This step consists of cycle closure and at the beginning of a new process. After checking the results, it is possible to check whether the planning has fulfilled its objective or not.

If the goal was 100% accomplished, just finish the case and study which other activity needs to be improved. However, if the standards are high, it's hard to get it right the first time. In this case, the company must assess where it got it right, where it went wrong and start planning a new plan to evolve further.

Every path has deviations from the initial objective. The main objective of this final phase is to identify these deviations and return to the focusestablished at the beginning of the cycle.


How to apply the PDCA cycle in HR

The use of the PDCA cycle in HR can occur in several ways. The method can be applied to various processes related to people management, such as training, turnover control and employee satisfaction survey, among others.

The key is to identify which department processes need to be improved in order to then apply the steps of the PDCA cycle to HR. For example: if the goal is optimize training plans, it will be necessary to identify the improvement needs of each sector and define how to implement them.

Another common objective of the PDCA cycle in HR is avoid talent loss. It is common for companies that do not invest in the enhancement of human capital to lose talent to competitors.

This bottleneck affects the entire production of the business, as it is necessary to constantly hire and train new employees.

In addition, high turnover has a negative impact on employer brand of the company, which makes it difficult to attract good professionals and, consequently, to achieve good results.

In this case, the PDCA cycle in HR can be used to create a career incentive and appreciation program to change the company's culture and avoid this type of loss.

As we saw throughout the post, this methodology offers the company the chance for continuous improvement, in addition to being of great importance for the business to reach its goals.

And when the organization applies the PDCA cycle in HR, the results are even better, as it is possible to extract even more value from employees, identify skills and develop talents.

In addition to the PDCA in HR …

… Also know how to Human Resources platform can help your company take control of several important people management processes. With the HR Consultant UK your company will have access to benefits such as:

  • reduce the time in your employee dismissal admission processes;
  • have a clearer and safer process;
  • avoid penalties, fines or any risk related to legal issues and information management of the company.

THE HR Consultant UK it is the only one that delivers an incredible experience and still solves the real problem that the customer has. Talk to an expert and find out how to reduce your HR costs by 30%.

Did you like the article on PDCA in HR? Do not forget share it on social networks! Thus, you help other HR professionals to understand the importance of this methodology in companies.



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