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Monday, January 29, 2018

Educating New Hires to Your Lean Culture

Every organization that has implemented Lean is faced with the issue of how to train new employees so they fully understand the organizational culture and its approach to continuous improvement. Passing along your organizational culture to new employees is as important as any aspect of their training. An effective employee not only understands your organizational culture, but embraces it while performing his duties. There are a number of ways to pass your improvement culture to new employees, beginning at the genesis of their employment.

Share the Vision.
New employees won’t understand what is important unless you tell them. Share the company’s vision and strategy with new hires immediately. Create and align their goals with the vision and strategy of the company. Let your employees know how they will benefit from embracing the vision.

Introduce Them to Lean Principles.
Introduce your new employees to the tools that you use to structure your improvement initiatives right off the bat. This signals how seriously the organization is committed to the Lean methodology. Taking the time to explain all of the acronyms, Japanese words, and process improvement tools will help your new hire acclimate quicker. 

Get Them Involved in Kaizen
There is no better way to learn then by doing and that’s what kaizen is all about. The idea behind Kaizen is that all employees are actively engaged in the regular, incremental improvement of the company. Kaizen involves every employee - from upper management to operators. Everyone is encouraged to come up with improvements on a regular basis. Having them involved on a kaizen in the beginning gets them to use the tools you’ve taught but also the approach to how you solve problems.

By developing this foundation of every employee having knowledge and understanding of the basic principles and philosophies of Lean you’ll indoctrinate them from the beginning. Those early interactions with your company set the tone for the relationship that can last for years to come. The employee’s level of engagement over the long term can be impacted by how you introduce them to your Lean culture. An impactful introduction of your Lean culture can make all the difference.

What way’s do you introduce your Lean culture to new hires?

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