In most companies, Lean Thinking quickly becomes focused on process improvement. This type of improvement is easier, more obvious, measurable, and seemingly more profitable and transferable than people improvement. That’s why most places make the mistake of reporting only process improvement metrics.
People get taken for granted.
This occurs because (so called) Lean experts don’t know how to effectively include respect for people as they apply Lean tools.
The solution is simple. Measure respect for people improvement as much as you measure continuous process improvement.
Is every employee trained sufficiently to do the job successfully?
How often do workgroups suggest an improvement?
Can every employee access the boss when needed?
How many employees solve problems and implement solutions?
Are employees learning new skills?
Do employees end most days satisfied?
Is every employee part of a team?
Is the turnover rate low?
What’s the percentage of internal promotion?
And anything and everything else that leaders and employees think are important.
As a leader, if you prepare the people, respect the people, and grow the people, you’ll be improving the people side of Lean Thinking.