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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Lean Tips Edition #124 (#1861-1875)

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 #1861 - Remember That Feedback is a Gift.
Employees want feedback. They deserve information that can help them achieve their goals and the organization’s. Giving regular feedback will help create the team engagement you need to increase your organization’s performance. Let them know what they do well so they can keep doing those things with confidence. Suggest course corrections to help them use their time and effort most efficiently.

Lean Tip #1862 - Talk and Listen More.
Communication (especially in today’s email-driven workplace) is often one-way. Conversation, on the other hand, is about dialogue between two or more people. Conversation drives clarity. It is by far the most effective vehicle for providing performance feedback and increasing your team’s engagement levels. It is the only way to efficiently generate new ideas for increasing business results and personal job satisfaction. It helps prevent misunderstandings. It builds trust.

Lean Tip #1863 - Match Projects, Passion, and Proficiency.
Every person comes to work with a different combination of personal values, talents, and goals, which they are looking to satisfy on the job. They don’t necessarily want a lofty title, a higher salary, or your job. If you can help them connect what’s important to them with what’s important to the organization, you can increase their engagement levels and make a positive impact on their job satisfaction, commitment, and contribution.

Lean Tip #1864 - Provide Autonomy
Change affects people and teams differently, but in general, people want to have control over their work environment. Empower managers and employees to incorporate change in the way that makes the most sense for them/their team. Give them permission to find their own solutions to implement the change.

Lean Tip #1865 - Insist on Accountability
Establishing real goals that inspire ownership and commitment can be a strong motivational tactic. It can also help improve employee engagement by as much as 20%. In fact, performance management is the number two driver of employee engagement (after career opportunities), and studies show that people who set motivational goals are up to 75% more fulfilled in their jobs than those who set routine goals (as in, just working through your daily To-Do list). Working together with employees to set short, long-term, and stretch goals—realistic, yet aspirational targets that encourage employees to test their skills and leave their comfort zone without setting them up for failure—can provide outstanding motivation to keep them engaged over the long term.

Lean Tip #1866 - Encourage Transparency
Transparency starts at the top. Management can help improve information sharing in the workplace by encouraging transparency in their own ranks to help it trickle down to employees. Where employees may be reticent to share information in the workplace, once a manager breaks the ice by sharing their own company information, their subordinates are more likely to follow suit. Management should make meaningful steps to take the lead in sharing and disseminating company information.

Lean Tip #1867 - Explain the Why
Often leaders come up with a great idea, plan it, implement it, and may even communicate it, but they may not think to explain why a particular initiative makes sense for any given time.

This requires communicating from the 50,000 foot level and making sure employees understand why something is done and how it supports business goals and organizational strategy.

Lean Tip #1868 - Enable Company-wide Conversations
So many companies are built on top-down communication from management. Employees in this environment feel there is no purpose in taking a stand, since they have no direct channel and don't feel they'll have an impact. As a leader, you may have clear direction and more experience, but that doesn't invalidate feedback and ideas from people on the front lines. Give employees structured ways to make their thoughts, feelings and observations known easily and regularly. Help them understand that their input is valued even if you decide to go a different way. Make sure you acknowledge them for sharing and reward valuable input that helps the company.

Lean Tip #1869 - Put the Numbers Into Perspective – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Most leaders carry lots of information in their brains. Unfortunately, many employees don't get the benefit of all that information, yet they are expected to take action and make good decisions as if they understood every nuance. Great leaders figure out how to extract the important information from their minds and share it in a structured and consistent manner. An employee who clearly understands the core values, purpose and direction of the company can easily make consistent decisions and take appropriate action at any junction. It's on you as the leader to impart your vision. That's how you lead.

Lean Tip #1870 - Be Proactive and Seek Support
Once the results have been shared, request input for action steps to work on areas requiring improvement or outline steps or processes that will be implemented to address shortcomings. Encourage employees to share responsibility for coming up with ideas so they contribute the outcome. Determine what success or improvement looks like in specific and measurable terms.

Lean Tip #1871 - Encourage Safe Failure
Many employees, by their very nature, are risk-adverse.  That's why they are employees and not entrepreneurs. If they work in an environment where the boss is always correcting them before they have a chance to execute, they will constantly look for approval before taking action or, worse, simply avoid any new or dynamic action. Give employees the opportunity to try new things in a way that doesn't put the company in danger. Create milestone checkpoints or set up laboratory environments where people can test new ideas and learn from the failures as well as the successes. Then your employees will gain understanding and feel comfortable innovating.

Lean Tip #1872 - Support Employee Independence
A leader who is constantly looking over the shoulder of employees is little more than a babysitter. Give your employees reasons and opportunity to stretch out on their own and even lead others. They may stumble, but they'll learn a lot and build the respect of their colleagues while preparing to be great empowering leaders themselves someday.

Lean Tip #1873 - Appreciate Employee Efforts
Yes, it's true that people get paid for the job. But the best employees don't work at your company just for the money. Empowered people need a greater level of satisfaction than simply financial stability. They need to feel that leadership appreciates their contribution and values their participation. Don't be shy about finding ways to say "thank you" or celebrating the good things your employees do. If they have to ask how they are doing, you are doing your job poorly as a leader.

Lean Tip #1874 - Help Employees Develop Relationships.
The outcome of any collaborative effort is dependent upon well-developed personal relationships among participants. Not allowing time for this can be a costly mistake. For example, all too often, in the rush to get started on a project, team leaders put people together and tell them to "get to work." You'll get better results if your give your group time (upfront) to get to know one another, to discover each other's strengths and weaknesses, to build personal ties, and to develop a common understanding about the project.

Lean Tip #1875 - Focus on Building Trust.

Trust is the belief or confidence that one party has in the reliability, integrity and honesty of another party. It is the expectation that the faith one places in someone else will be honored. It is also the glue that holds together any group. Leaders demonstrate their trust in employees by the open, candid, and ongoing communication that is the foundation of informed collaboration.

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