Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Daily Lean Tips Edition #51

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #751 – Lean Managers Develop Their Employees
Leaders who are not concerned about helping their direct reports develop and are not seen as coaches or mentors are highly likely to fail. Primarily focused on themselves, they are not concerned about the longer-term success of their employees or their department.

Lean Tip #752 – Lean Managers Learn from Mistakes And Improve
Arrogance and complacency combine in the poorest leaders as they rise, causing them to come to the dangerous conclusion that they’ve reached a stage in their careers where development is no longer required. Closely connected to this failing is an inability to learn from mistakes, leaving these unfortunates to repeat the same ones over and over.

Lean Tip #753 – Lean Managers Walk the Talk And Lead By Example
Saying one thing and doing another is the fastest way to lose the trust of all your colleagues. The worst offenders here also pose a wider threat as dangerous role models — creating the risk that their organizations will degenerate if others behave as they do.

Lean Tip #754 – Lean Managers Rely On Data To Make Decisions
Many managers rely on gut instinct to make important decisions, which often leads to poor results. On the contrary, when managers insist on incorporating facts and evidence, gathered from direct observation at the source they make better choices and their companies benefit. Lean companies however strive to empower their employees to make decisions at all levels through access to data, knowledge of evaluation methods, and defined standard processes.

Lean Tip #755 – Lean Managers Assess Situations and Plan in Advance
Business is sometimes unpredictable. But the fact that things are unpredictable is, well, predictable. As a Lean manager, it's your job to assess the situation and plan in advance. Occasional emergencies are understandable, but constant ones mean that you're not doing what you need to do. Sometimes that involves pushing back against your superiors and protecting your people. It means scheduling according to actual needs, and if you don't have the budget for that it often means changing the definition of need.

Lean Tip #756 – To Create a Positive Work Environment Set the Example
The example you set in the office will have a ripple effect on your employees whether positive or negative. You can make a positive impact daily by remaining in a good mood and keeping a positive, optimistic outlook at all times. Don't blame others or complain about things you don't have any control over, and don't be vocal about your gripes or annoyances. This kind of attitude and example will spread to your employees and soon create a negative atmosphere in the office.

Lean Tip #757 - Don't Dwell on the Negatives to Create a Positive Work Environment
Mistakes are inevitable. Deadlines are missed, typos are made, and plans are botched. If these things are happening on a regular basis, then it is important to call attention to the problem and fix it. However, don't dwell on mistakes. Doing so can bring down the overall motivation of the office. Instead, focus on how they can be fixed and how to prevent them in the future. It's important also, when reprimanding or pointing out something negative, to preface and end on a positive note.

Lean Tip #758 - Fostering Good Communication Skills Can Help Create a Positive Work Environment
You can make a positive impact daily by taking the time to communicate with and recognize your employees. Don't rely solely on email and phone calls to conduct the majority of your business and correspondence with your employees as well as your customers where possible. Instead, drop by offices and cubicles. Face to face interaction can have a more positive, personal effect than just emails or phone calls.

Lean Tip #759 – Setting Clear Goals and Deadlines Will Drive Positive Attitudes
The greatest keys in helping people to become self-motivated are clear goals, a sense of purpose and urgency and challenge. These elements provide a feeling of accomplishment, the "Wow I did it!" feeling. People thrive on challenge and this will drive the positive attitudes in the workplace that you want.

Lean Tip #760 - Promote Respectfulness to Create Positive Attitudes in the Workplace
Job titles may mean that there is a certain order to control and responsibility, but that doesn't mean someone with a lesser job title is any less important. Respect each individual for what they bring to the organization. Success and positive attitudes in the workplace are created when the entire team respects the value of each position and the diversity of thinking, talents, styles and experience each person brings.

Lean Tip #761- Encourage an Attitude of Cooperation Rather Than Competition
One of our basic human needs is to feel we belong to something bigger than ourselves, and for many people that need is met by being part of a supportive work group. Encourage an attitude of cooperation rather than competition. This unity will help your team members feel valued and that they belong. As a result they will want to be at work, your team will function smoothly, and your unit will be better able to carry out the missions and goals of your organization.

Lean Tip #762 - Continue Learning and Trying Out New Ideas
Encourage your organization to promote the importance of learning at work as a value. A culture of learning promotes both formal and informal learning, It acknowledges that employees need opportunities to try out newly learned skills and that mastery or competence takes time. It’s possible that creating a culture of learning will reduce resistance to change, because change is an inevitable part of learning and performance improvement. A positive environment promotes learning.

Lean Tip #763 - Create a Favorable Office Environment with Communication
Employees are happier if they like where they work. Simple things such as reducing the length of meetings, providing food to employees in the office, and recognizing employees after a job well done make employees happier. Communication with employees also helps to alleviate many concerns they may have about their job since it helps workers feel happier and more secure at work. Communication either in person, in an email or with a handwritten note all helped to make workers feel better at work.

Lean Tip #764 - Offering Autonomy to Workers Makes Them Happy and Productive
Allowing workers to perform tasks related to their jobs in their own way will not only make workers happier it will also make them more productive since they will not have to waste time waiting for approval from superiors.

Lean Tip #765 - Offer Good Training Programs and Opportunities For Growth

Employers shouldn't underestimate the impact training has on employees and their future happiness. A company-sponsored mentorship or structured training sessions are likely to lead to engagement among employees. People are happier when they are learning, and they are happier doing their jobs when they feel that they are enjoying continuous opportunities to grow.  A lot of those people are even happier when they know that growth is helping them get to the next rung on their desired career ladder… or lattice. 

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