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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Lean Tips Edition #123 (1846 - 1860)

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 #1846 – Get Proactive.
Being proactive means taking charge and working preventatively. This means you figure out what steps you need to take before something happens. Being reactive means you wait until something has happened and then you take action. Being proactive means you look for opportunity. Challenge your employees to take initiative and seek out solutions, new ideas, or cost savings. As a group, come up with creative solutions to the new challenges created by change.

Lean Tip #1847 – Be Part of the Change.
Adopt an attitude of anticipation and excitement. See change as an opportunity. Get involved in new committees and work teams. Be an influencer and driver of change. That way you will feel empowered and less fearful. See the positive the way forward.

Lean Tip #1848 – Help Employees Manage Fear.
Understand that some people do not like change, especially when it is not of their choosing. For people who may be experiencing a mental health issue, this can include severe worry or fear about their future. Discuss these fears and offer realistic reassurance to the employee. Consider approaches that could address these fears such as a temporary reduction in expectations, or additional skills training.

Lean Tip #1849 – Be Transparent About Business Challenges
Be transparent about potential challenges that may be experienced as a result of the changes and jointly look for solutions to address them. Do not pretend the challenges do not exist nor try to minimize them. By stating the challenges and concerns before the employees do, you are helping to show you understand their reality and are working to make it as positive as possible.

Lean Tip #1850 – Keep a Positive Attitude.
Your attitude as a manager or supervisor will be a major factor in determining what type of climate is exhibited by your employees. Your attitude is the one thing that keeps you in control. Change can be stressful and confusing. Try to remain upbeat, positive, and enthusiastic. Foster motivation in others. During times of transition and change, try to compensate your employees for their extra effort. Write a brief note of encouragement; leave an affirming message on their voice mail; take them aside and tell them what a great job they are doing; listen to their comments and suggestions. Last, try to instill organizational change as a personal challenge that everyone can meet…with success!

Lean Tip #1851 - Reward Excellent Teamwork
One of the best ways to build camaraderie in the workplace is to give formal recognition for employee achievements. One of the best things to praise your employees for is excellent teamwork.

If an individual goes above and beyond their role to help the organization as a whole, ensure that they feel appreciated for their efforts. Also remember to appreciate employees who go out of their way to help others in need, even if this doesn’t correlate with business goals.

Showing gratitude for altruistic behavior is an excellent way to create an awesome, friendly culture. When you have a workplace where people are rewarded for helping one another, teamwork will naturally improve.

Recognition can come in the form of kind words from a direct manager, or perhaps a photo in the company’s internal newsletter with a description of the achievement.

Lean Tip #1852 - Don’t Micro-manage
If you treat your employees like children who can’t be expected to work like unsupervised adults, don’t expect them to work together like an effective team! In order for teamwork to flourish, respect is required.

It’s important to specify goals, set deadlines and give employees all the tools they need to perform to the best of their abilities, but when you micro manage, employees will be less inclined to work effectively and more inclined to do what’s required to please their direct manager.

Even if an employee is fully committed to the organization, they will never perform to the best of their abilities if they have someone breathing down their neck.

As an alternative to micromanaging, build a culture of trust, respect and honesty. If you create a wonderful culture, teamwork will naturally flourish.

Lean Tip #1853 - Facilitate Idea Sharing
Set up either physical or virtual work spaces to enable team members to get together to brainstorm, share ideas, or discuss progress on projects. An open-work environment is not always appropriate for team discussions, so you might need outdoor or remote spaces in the workplace to facilitate team meetings.

Lean Tip #1854 - Welcome Questions, Suggestions, and Comments
Encourage everyone on the team to put forward their ideas, suggestions, and feedback regarding the project to identify and correct issues and increase the effectiveness of the team in a timely manner. Remember that all great ideas and improvements come up through questions or by looking at a situation from a different perspective, so encourage all types of input from each team member.

Lean Tip #1855 - Provide Learning Opportunities
By offering training or providing learning opportunities on an ongoing basis, you can strengthen team members’ skills and capabilities for consistent growth and development. Also, you can assign mentors or hire an external professional coach to develop specific skills and competencies within the team as well as individuals.  By investing in their learning opportunities, you’ll also be grooming future leaders. These learning opportunities can come in the form of furthering their education.

Lean Tip #1856 - Think “Bottom Up”, Not “Top Down”
You don’t build a house starting from the roof and working downwards, do you? Well, the same goes for companies. After all, your people are the bedrock on which you are founded, and if you don’t know what it’s thinking, you’ll soon run into trouble. The more your team are asked their opinions, the more they will feel empowered, trusted and respected – and the more engaged they’ll be.

Lean Tip #1857 – Show Employees You Listen to Them
If a clear issue has been identified, then it should be acted upon. More importantly, it should be visibly addressed, particularly if you have discussed it with them. Knowing that one’s opinions are not only listened to but also contribute to change is another way to increase engagement. Use your internal notice boards to demonstrate what you’ve done in response to what your employees have said.

Lean Tip #1858 - Share Good Practices and Ideas Between Teams
There’s nothing better than seeing your ideas and work practices being praised, so ensure that your employees have the opportunity to share and display their very best work. Peer-to-peer learning is a great way to foster engagement and create or strengthen links between your employees.

Lean Tip #1859 – Earn Trust Every Day.
Trust provides the essential foundation for your effectiveness as a manager, whether we’re talking about engagement, innovation, or high performance. To build it, you need to reveal who you are as a person. Your title and accomplishments aren’t enough to build better team engagement.

Lean Tip #1860 - Stress Employee Ownership.

You can’t create an engaged team if your employees don’t have clear visions of personal success. Make sure they know that you’re available to provide guidance, remove barriers, and help them find fulfilling work. However, they are ultimately the ones responsible for their success.

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