Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Lean Tips Edition #157 (#2566-#2580)

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 #2566 – Connect Every Day Tasks And Efforts To Long Term Goals
Every aspect of your daily business should connect back to your long term mission statement and over all goals. This allows managers and employees to see how their every day work helps the success of the company – and improves their long term career prospects.

Lean Tip #2567 – Encourage All Employees To Commit To Your Strategies
The more that your employees engage and interact with your goals, the more likely it is that they will stay committed to them in the long run. During meetings and performance reviews, remember to encourage commitment and remind everyone of goals and their own roles in achieving them.

Lean Tip #2568 – Transparency is Key for Alignment
Maintaining a sense of transparency throughout your entire organization will allow your employees to see the productivity of their managers and vice versa. Overall transparency can translate to a healthier and more productive work environment for everyone, improving overall engagement.

Lean Tip #2569 – Promote Individual and Team Efforts for Alignment
Raising self-awareness and allowing teams and individuals to have more autonomy can help drive organizational strategic alignment and have employees centered on the company's goals. In order to promote team and individual efforts, a company must offer transparency and provide sufficient information for employees to complete tasks, as well as include other company stakeholders. By promoting efforts to individuals and teams, a company helps build trust, which can increase loyalty to its organizational strategic alignment goals.

Lean Tip #2570 – Decentralized Decision Making.
Unexpected events may require shifts to the execution plan, but these pivots may need to be sparked by managers lower in the organization’s hierarchy — those with the frontline knowledge to ensure the pivots will work. If improperly handled, pivots may be under-resourced, untimely and doomed to fail.

Lean Tip #2571 – Leaders Should Take a Key Role in Communicating Company Strategy
Have you ever played the children’s game “Telephone”? By the time the message gets to the end of a long line of people, its content has likely been drastically altered beyond recognition. Miscommunication costs businesses more than $37 billion USD each year – you don’t want to add to that total. Be direct, make sure everyone understands your plans, and ensure that you communicate your vision and goals to all staff members.

Lean Tip #2572 – Connect Every Day Tasks and Efforts to Long Term Goals
Every aspect of your daily business should connect back to your long term mission statement and over all goals. This allows managers and employees to see how their every day work helps the success of the company – and improves their long term career prospects.

Lean Tip #2573 – Encourage All Employees to Commit to Your Strategies
The more that your employees engage and interact with your goals, the more likely it is that they will stay committed to them in the long run. During meetings and performance reviews, remember to encourage commitment and remind everyone of goals and their own roles in achieving them.

Lean Tip #2574 – Encourage Transparency From The Top
Maintaining a sense of transparency throughout your entire organization will allow your employees to see the productivity of their managers and vice versa. Overall transparency can translate to a healthier and more productive work environment for everyone, improving overall engagement.

Lean Tip #2575 – Recognize and Reward Your Employees’ Strengths
A recent Gallup study shows that encouraging strengths (rather than focusing on negatives) has a very positive effect on productivity. In fact, positive employee feedback was shown to increase productivity by at least 12.5%! Focus on their strengths, compliment them rather than criticize, and find ways to align them with your company’s goals.

Lean Tip #2576 – Coach Employees By Asking Guiding Questions
Open-ended, guiding questions lead to more detailed and thoughtful answers, which lead to more productive coaching conversations. As a manager or leader, it is critical that you develop strong relationships with your employees. This will help you determine if your employees are curious, have the capacity to perform and improve, and what kind of attitude they have towards their work.

This is where communication skills and emotional intelligence really come into play. Managers must guide conversations both by asking questions and listening, not by giving directives. Employees learn and grow the most when they uncover the answers themselves.

Lean Tip #2577 – Listen and Empower
Coaching requires both encouragement and empowerment. As a manager and a leader, your job is to build one-on-one relationships with employees that result in improved performance.

Your employees are likely to have a lot of input, questions, and feedback. It’s important for them to know you care enough to listen to what they have to say, so encourage them to share their opinions.

Some employees will have no problem speaking their mind, while others will need a LOT of encouragement before they share an opinion with you openly. Once they do open up, be sure to respect those opinions by discussing them, rather than dismissing them.

Lean Tip #2578 – Understand Their Perspective
When you’re coaching employees to improve performance and engagement, approaching things from their perspective, rather than your own, will help enormously with seeing the changes and results you want.

Everyone has different motivations, preferences, and personalities, so if you ask questions to help you understand where their “why” comes from and what their preferred “how” looks like, then you can tailor your coaching conversations to align the way they work best with the improvements you’re both aiming for.

Lean Tip #2579 – Coach in the Moment
If an employee comes to you with a question about a process or protocol, use this opportunity to teach them something new. If you’re not able to stop what you’re doing right away, schedule time with them as soon as possible to go over it.

Better yet, keep a weekly one-on-one meeting scheduled with each employee so you can go over questions and issues regularly, while maintaining productivity. Coaching employees with a goal of improving performance means making them a priority each week!

Lean Tip #2580 – Commit to Continuous Learning Yourself
Make a commitment to improve your own skills and competencies. If you’re not continuously learning, why should your employees? Lead by example and your team will follow.

Show that you are interested in their success (why wouldn’t you be?). Ask questions about where they see their career going, or how they see their role evolving in the company. Even if they don’t have a plan laid out yet, these questions will make them think about their career and what they want to accomplish within the organization.


Show your employees that you don’t just want them to do better so you look better, but that you’re actively interested in their career, accomplishments, and professional success.

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