Monday, May 11, 2015

The Role of Communication In Lean

Communication is the glue that binds an organization together but you can’t assume that several announcements and a note on the notice board is sufficient to get the story out.
However, when employees feel connected to the company mission or feel their work is contributing to a goal that is greater than profits, they feel like their work has purpose. A sense of meaning is priceless and costs nothing for an employer to cultivate.

Good communication is vital. Reasons for change must be explained beforehand. Clear communication is the best investment, since resistance is often due to misinterpretations, half-truths, and rumors that recede the change. Easy to understand written and verbal communication should reach all layers of the company.

Communication is a key ingredient for empowerment. Give every employee equal and direct access to information. Many companies have developed a trickle-down style of communication that alienates those employees who may not be "in the loop."

Let them in on what is going on within the company as well as how their jobs contribute to the big picture. When you keep you employees informed they tend to feel a greater sense of worth. Keep communication hopeful and truthful – do not be afraid to share bad news, instead be more strategic about how you deliver it. The more informed employees are and the more communication is open, honest, direct and complete, the more likely employees are to feel empowered and connected to the daily operations and overall goals of their company.

Open communication is at the center of Lean and Respect for People. Employees need to know what is expected of them and how they’re performing. Visual displays such as scoreboards, scheduling charts, team communication boards, and recognition displays all help to keep information flowing between employees, departments and upper management.

Developing advanced communication skills begins with simple interactions. Communication skills can be practiced every day in settings that range from the social to the professional. New skills take time to refine, but each time you use your communication skills, you open yourself to opportunities and future partnerships.

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