Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Daily Lean Tips Edition #81 (1216 -1230)

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 #1216 - Establish Quality Circles
Quality circles are an empowering alternative to keeping employees boxed within the narrow confines of their compartmentalized functions. Choose a group of talented employees who are skilled at problem solving, and give them a work-related challenge you're trying to solve. Let them analyze the situation and present solutions. The more they do this, the stronger they become.

Lean Tip #1217 - A Proactive Company Culture Drives Employee Initiative
CEOs and top executives should develop a proactive company culture to ensure employees stay motivated to take initiative. They can establish and drive this type of culture through leading by example. Employees should want to be leaders in their workplace because they truly believe in the visions and goals presented by their company culture and top management.

Lean Tip #1218 - Empower Them to Think Differently
While it’s important to set clear goals and responsibilities, the key to having a successful business and engaged workforce is to empower all your employees to make decisions on their own. Make sure employees are comfortable and confident asking questions, bringing forward new ideas and even taking a different approach that may fail. Out of that failure will come knowledge and longer-term success.

Lean Tip #1219 - Create a More Inclusive Environment
If you really want to empower employees to be leaders in the workplace, create a more inclusive environment for them. Employees who are encouraged to give their opinions — and believe their insights are valued by top management — will feel more comfortable taking charge. An inclusive workplace acts not only as a resource for management to help grow business, but also to promote employee growth as well. Everyone wins!

Lean Tip #1220 - Create Opportunities for Employees to Shine
While every company is pleased to have natural-born leaders, others may need a bit more prodding. Empower those employees by providing them with a bit more freedom to pursue to their passions. Then give them the opportunity to demonstrate their work to other employees.

Lean Tip #1221 - Develop an Environment that will Encourage Continuous Training
Foster an environment that will make your employees see that the future of the company lies within continuous on job training. You should replace the idea of initial training with ability to develop and become a better equipped employee. Coming up with this kind of environment will empower your employees thus giving them the self motivation that will drive them to the need of improving themselves. Your business culture should be built around employee improvement and satisfaction. Integrate continuous on job training in your daily routines so that it can stick. Remember, employees that are encouraged by the fact that there is a good environment within which they can grow have high chances of being loyal to the company hence better productivity in the end.

Lean Tip #1222 - There has to be a Good Communication System for Improvement
The key for finding areas that need to be improved or adapting to all your employees needs is through having an excellent communication system. There has to be clearly defined channels of communication within the company to facilitate better flow of information from employees and the management team. You have to give your employees well defined goals and directions on ways to improve on their expertise. Also remember that for better communication within the organization, the communication has to be two way; getting comprehensive feedback from your employees as well communicating ways that will help them improve as part of the continuous training strategy.

Lean Tip #1223 - Learn Something New Each Day
Approach life with a beginner’s mindset and look constantly for one new tidbit or a new way to expand your expertise or knowledge. Be open to learning and at the end of the day reflect on what you learned or sometimes maybe even relearned. Document, meditate or contemplate the ideas you have learned to help ingrain the lessons learned. Then you can decide how to put it into practice.

Lean Tip #1224 - Teach Others to Learn Yourself
You learn what you teach. If you have an outlet of communicating ideas to others, you are more likely to solidify that learning. Start a blog, mentor someone or even discuss ideas with a friend.

Lean Tip #1225 - Put Learning into Practice
Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. Reading a book on Lean isn’t the same thing as doing Kaizen. If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice. Set out to do something you don’t know how. Forced learning in this way can be fun and challenging.

Lean Tip #1226 - Pay Attention to and Engage People in Conversation to Demonstrate your Sincere Interest.
Participating in courteous conversation is a powerful relationship-building tool. Staff will find the fact that you take time to engage them in conversation rewarding and recognizing. You also set an example when you establish courteous interaction as an expectation in your workplace.

Lean Tip #1227 - Never Underestimate the Value of Sharing your Time and Building a Relationship with Staff.
They appreciate your genuine interest in their ideas and thoughts about their jobs. They like bouncing ideas back and forth with you and look for your sincere input on their projects and goals.
The role of mentor and coach is powerful in training your organization’s culture and expectations. It is also a significant source of experiential knowledge, history, work approaches, and on-the-job training.

Lean Tip #1228 - One of the Best Forms of Recognition is to Provide Opportunities for a Contributing Employee.
Opportunities can take many forms. Employees appreciate chances for training and cross-training. They want to participate on a special committee where their talents are noticed. They’d like to lead a team that is pursuing an important objective. They are happy to attend professional association meetings and proud to represent your organization at civic and philanthropic events. They’d appreciate the green light relative to implementing an idea they have for increasing morale in your workplace. They are eager to stop doing portions of their job that have become rote in favor of new goals and assignments that stretch their skills and build on their abilities.

Lean Tip #1229 - Employees Want to Know That They Have Done a Good Job – And, Especially, That You Noticed.
Employees want to be thanked and appreciated, every day, it can sometimes seem. But, a leader of employees makes other people feel important and appreciated, so frequent recognition sends a powerful message. The foundation of this successful relationship is the leader’s ability to make people feel important. This is critical when a manager’s success is dependent on whether employees want to follow him. In addition to words of appreciation, a manager’s actions speak loudly to employees about their value. Keep your commitments to employees.

Lean Tip #1230 - Link Recognition With Performance Goals.
The key is to promote behavior that will lead to better attitudes and improved performance. Therefore, every manager must know how to tie recognition with individual goals and the company objectives. If safety is a corporate goal, be sure to reward individuals for avoiding accidents or coming up with a new system to prevent them by making safety a priority. Connecting the recognition and a specific behavior helps drive future performance which will play a key part in achieving those corporate goals.

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