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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Lean Tips Edition #142 (#2341-2355)

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 #2341 – Empowering Staff – Eliminate Micro-Management
Staff who feel they are being watched too closely and micromanaged feel less motivated and perform at a lower level, according to a Franklin Covey Study. As well as this, the Mckinsey study cited above showed that staff empowerment and giving them the opportunities to lead projects or task forces was one of the top three non-financial motivators, being cited as an effective motivator by 62% of respondents.

So, build a culture of delegation, empowerment and broad-based job descriptions, allowing employees to fill in the gaps. Encourage employees to work to overall goals rather than daily instruction to give them the freedom and scope to be creative and work in the best way they deem possible to reach their goals. It's a much more rewarding and motivational way to work.

Lean Tip #2342 – Remove Blame Culture – Make Failure Acceptable
Innovation is one of the key ingredients in business success and if you want to create an innovative organization you'll need to motivate your staff to show initiative, think creatively and even take some risks. But, they won't do this in a blame culture environment where employees are castigated for failure and for trying something new; they will become afraid to think creatively and won't be motivated to innovate. Research cited in the Harvard Business Review shows that companies with a blame culture are disadvantaged in relation to creativity, learning, innovation and productive risk-taking. Replace a blame culture with one of learning from mistakes. Encourage workers to own up to mistakes but with a focus on what has been learned from it. Senior managers should lead the way by owning up to mistakes to show that it is OK to fail.

Lean Tip #2343 – Always Be Honest and Transparent
Employees are always going to work harder for a boss that they really respect, and a simple way to gain the respect of your workforce is to be as honest and transparent in every aspect of your business. Strive to answer their questions as best you can and never keep secrets from them they might dampen their enthusiasm for their chosen career.

Lean Tip #2344 – Provide Meaning, Purpose, and Sense of Belonging
People often ask me how to get employees excited to work on your projects, products, or business? My only answer to them is to share the mission, purpose, and goals with them. It would not only instill their belief in the company’s vision but would also give them a sense of belonging and an idea of the bigger picture.

Trust me, professionals look forward to work with companies or startups who have their values and work ethics in place. Plus, working on something that employees can relate to would give them a sense of contribution which is much higher than higher salaries or other factors.

Lean Tip #2345 – Foster Interpersonal and Organizational Trust.
Effective leaders keep their word, inspire trust, and build confidence among team members. Interpersonal and organizational trust must be earned, and both stem from an intentional effort to follow through and align one’s behavior and values with the institutional vision, mission, and shared  values. Great leaders cultivate a work culture where each employee is treated with respect and civility and trusted to fulfill the organization’s strategic goals. They promote an environment where meaningful, frequent, and open communication prevails. These factors help to create an environment where employees feel appreciated and thus become highly motivated to accomplish their work.

Lean Tip #2346 - Cultivate Employee Engagement.
Employee engagement doesn’t happen overnight—or by itself, for that matter. In order to improve company culture, you need to help cultivate employee engagement by organizing team-building activities. These activities help build a sense of community and encourage employees to form relationships with their teammates. According to Gallup, research has repeatedly shown that there is a concrete link between having a best friend at work and how much effort employees expend.

Lean Tip #2347 - Communicate Clearly and Consistently.
Poor communication is one of the main factors contributing to employee disengagement. Too often, organizations lack transparency and fail to communicate with employees on a regular basis. You can improve this considerably by holding regular company meetings to update employees on performance, answer questions, and reiterate the company’s vision and goals. Leadership should also encourage managers to hold department meetings and frequent one-on-one meetings with each direct report. This helps keep the communication lines open and gives employees the opportunity to ask questions.

Lean Tip #2348 - Make Employees Feel Confident with Learning and Development.
As part of the onboarding process, employees need to be given the tools to be successful. Some of that comes in the form of policies and procedures. Employees need to know how the company gets things done. But employees also need to get training and development opportunities, so they can feel confident in their current role, as well as future ones. Even the best, most talented employees should update and refine their skills.

Lean Tip #2349 - Remove Barriers For Learning
Many organizations are rigid in their organizational structure and processes, which can make it challenging to implement some cross-functional development and facilitate dynamic growth and high-performance training. It’s up to leadership to bridge silos, knock down walls, and design a system that encourages a fluid approach to learning and working. Today’s generation of workers are used to change and enjoy open work environments that let them explore. Take the barriers away and watch people flourish.

Lean Tip #2350 - Set the Example When It Comes to Learning
An employee will see the value of the development process when they see their current leadership continue to develop personally and professionally. By modeling this behavior, leaders build credibility and the trust necessary to encourage employees to participate in development-building activities. It shows employees that development is part of the organization’s culture. It sends the message that it’s important for, and expected from, everyone in the organization to be part of a continual improvement process that nurtures from within.

Lean Tip #2351 – Communicate the Need for Change
One of the most common yet most avoidable obstacles to change is a lack of understanding within the organization for the need to change. Leverage your senior leadership and management teams to deliver a targeted communications plan that outlines the current landscape and why your organization needs to make the move to modern learning. Leadership involvement will not only help you to answer pending questions but also build confidence and develop buy-in among employees.

Lean Tip #2352 – Address Employee Fears
With the business world changing at an increasingly rapid pace, employees are expecting employers to be more open and honest than ever.  One of the most common reasons for employee resistance to change during a period of transition is fear of the unknown.  As the culture of the organization changes, both new and seasoned employees can feel pressure to understand where they fit into the larger vision. It’s important for leadership to be transparent and openly address their teams’ fears, even in situations where the answer is “we don’t know yet.” That kind of honesty will make the leader more relatable and help them to build trust within their team.

Lean Tip #2353 – Connect the Dots for Change
Human beings are extremely curious individuals, especially when certain decisions and action plans affect them directly.  Leaving your employees to their own devices when it comes to understanding how an organizational change will impact them and what will be expected of them in the future will leave your entire workforce in chaos. Help them to connect the dots by frequently addressing how making the move to a modern learning culture will impact their particular roles.

Lean Tip #2354 – Engage the Entire Team
Everyone has something to contribute during times of change.  However, when making a significant shift that will impact how an organization operates going forward, employees who are close to the end of their careers can slip through the cracks.  Although Millennials will make up three-quarters of the workforce by 2025,  the remaining 25% has something to offer as well.  Engage those employees by allowing them to share their expertise and institutional knowledge to help facilitate your organization’s move to modern learning. This will not only make them feel valuable as your learning culture modernizes, but it will also increase collaboration and creativity among the entire organization, and ensure that you’re capturing critical organizational knowledge.

Lean Tip #2355 – Learn From Your People

Discovering what is not working and why allows you to address challenges in a more timely fashion. The challenge is often to fail quicker so that you can discover what needs to be fixed or improved. Your people know what is not working and it frustrates them. Learn to recognize their frustrations, talk to them about why they are upset, and work together to resolve their concerns.

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