Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lean Tips Edition #108 (1621-1635)

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 #1621 - Set the Tone From the Start
Successful employee training starts from day one. Your company should focus on creating a learning-centric environment. A workplace environment with a positive focus on learning will not only give employees the confidence to learn in their new position, but also allow them to seek out ways to grow throughout their time on staff. Foster continued learning through a company-wide interest expressed at all levels, open chains of communication, and access to training resources and materials.

Lean Tip #1622 - Train on the Company Mission, Values, and Goals
Employee training shouldn’t just be based on acquiring specific knowledge for a position. Your workers need to be provided with the proper training for their position and for success within the company. Focus training efforts on building an understanding the company mission, organizational culture, values, and goals. Through this specific training, employees will garner a greater understanding, interest, and respect for company culture, allowing them to better utilize it on a day-to-day basis.

Lean Tip #1623 - Utilize Mentors for Continued Training
Regardless of tenure, all of your employees can benefit from a mentor. Some of the best learning experiences happen through acquiring guidance and knowledge from someone with more experience. Whether they’re partaking in the onboarding process or they’ve been with you for five years, pairing your employees with a more experienced confidant can provide them with an unmatched form of guidance and learning. Consider creating a company-wide initiative for mentoring, which takes place both inside and outside of the office.

Lean Tip #1624 - Training Doesn’t Have to be a Drag
Learning is much easier when you’re having a good time doing it. Provide your employees with a fun and engaging experience during training. If you’re looking to increase the motivation and engagement levels of your staff, seek out new ways to make training enjoyable. There are many onboarding and employee training programs with a focus on fun through gamification and social aspects.

Lean Tip #1625 - Develop a System of Recognition
While training may be mandatory, it’s still important to show your employees you care about their growth. Developing a system of recognition will provide your employees with a unique incentive for learning. Set a company-wide standard for the way you reward employee throughout their training processes. Consider making these rewards as unique as your company — they might even be of monetary value.

Lean Tip #1626 - 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.

You are challenged by your staff to pay attention to them, recognize them, and provide exciting work. To provide constructive criticism, that they will actually implement, you must have a relationship with them first.

Lean Tip #1627 - Pay Attention To and Engage People in Conversation to Demonstrate Your Sincere Interest.
Call people by name. When you arrive at work, say, hello, happy to see you. Good morning, Michael. Ask people how they enjoyed their weekend.

Ask whether Alice had a good lunch. John will appreciate that you want to know how his annual college advisory board weekend turned out. Ask Tabitha how her daughter’s field hockey championship game went.

Participating in courteous conversation is a powerful relationship-building tool. Staff will find the fact that you take the 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 #1628 - One of the Best Forms of Recognition is to Provide Opportunities for a Contributing Employee.
Opportunities can take many forms. But, all of them are outside of the normal day-to-day requirements of their job plan.

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 #1629 - 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. If you have a weekly meeting with each of your reporting staff members, only cancel this meeting in a real emergency.

Any message of disrespect that you send can completely undermine all of the rest of the energy you have invested in effective recognition. Ask yourself regularly, is this how I would treat someone who is important to me? Your answer to this question speaks loudly about how your employees view you.

Lean Tip #1630 – Tie Recognition to the Employee’s Perception of Value
People know when they’re valued, and they should have a good idea of their value to the organization. Monetary rewards can skew this notion of value, linking it to cash when it should be linked to appreciation of extra effort and smarts. Money is appropriate much of the time, but it’s not the only – or even the most effective – motivator. Treat employees as valued team members, not as numbers. Most of the time it’s the best way to really recognize a valued player.

Lean Tip #1631 – Provide Hands-on Training
In a 2013 Skillsoft survey of over 1,000 office workers, 33 percent said they prefer to learn by feeling or experiencing what they’re learning about. Hands-on training affords employees the opportunity to apply what they’re learning before they have to translate the skills to their day-to-day tasks.

Whenever possible, let employees try out and experiment with their new skills in a controlled environment. This will help them build confidence without risking the chance that inexperience will lead to harmful mistakes.

Lean Tip #1632 - Create a Context for the Employee Training and Development.
Provide information for the employee about why the new skills, skill enhancement, or information is necessary. Make certain the employee understands the link between the training and his job.

You can enhance the impact of the training even further if the employee sees the link between the training and his ability to contribute to the accomplishment of the organization's business plan and goals.

Lean Tip #1633 - Train on the Company Mission, Values, and Goals
Employee training shouldn’t just be based on acquiring specific knowledge for a position. Your workers need to be be provided with the proper training for their position and for success within the company. Focus training efforts on building an understanding the company mission, organizational culture, values, and goals. Through this specific training, employees will garner a greater understanding, interest, and respect for company culture, allowing them to better utilize it on a day-to-day basis.

Lean Tip #1634 - Utilize Mentors for Continued Training
Regardless of tenure, all of your employees can benefit from a mentor. Some of the best learning experiences happen through acquiring guidance and knowledge from someone with more experience. Whether they’re partaking in the onboarding process or they’ve been with you for five years, pairing your employees with a more experienced confidant can provide them with an unmatched form of guidance and learning. Consider creating a company-wide initiative for mentoring, which takes place both inside and outside of the office.

Lean Tip #1635 - Cross-Train Employees for Greater Mobility
If you’re looking to transform your employees into even greater assets, cross-training is necessary. This will give your employees a chance to grow their skill sets, participate in a wider array of job functions, and even foster greater personal growth. Cross-trained employees can move seamlessly throughout your company as they assist where they’re needed. Not to mention, your cross-trained staff is more likely to be engaged in their work due to the variety of daily tasks they will have access to.

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