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Friday, October 23, 2020

Lean Quote: 5 Ways to Seriously Value Your Employees

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"The more we retain our people, the less time we need to commit to recruiting new people.  — Christine Thatcher, VP of Human Resources at TW Metals

We often hear the phrase “Our Employees Are Our Greatest Asset,” but what does that really mean? Is it just a recruiting slogan, or is it a viable approach to building a stronger business? And how can you tell when a company is serious about valuing employees and when it’s just window dressing?

People are one resource we don’t think about enough in manufacturing. But, if we’re good to our people, it actually saves us time in the end. Working to retain employees is exponentially more sustainable than overworking them and having to replace them. Want to save time? Be good to your employees.

Research shows that companies that view employees as valuable assets, and not cost centers, outperform companies that don’t. When you know what to look for, there are clear signals that prove that a company is serious about investing in its people.

When it comes to valuing people, actions are more important than what the company says. If you want to seriously value your employees, do these five things:

1. Show employees how their work affects business outcomes.

When employees understand how their work contributes to results, they’re more likely to be engaged on the job.

With a broader understanding of the company’s inner workings, they’re better equipped to identify areas where they could work more efficiently or to solve problems they may not have known existed.

2. Model trustworthiness.

Communicate clearly with your team and show your support.

3. Invest in employees.

Guide your team members toward training, development and mentorship programs in your company and in the community. Enable your employees to develop skills that are personally fulfilling and help them do their jobs better and more efficiently.

If an employee has everything they need with your company, they’ll be less likely to look for a new job. Engaged and content employees are also more likely to provide the discretionary effort that drives innovation and productivity.

5. Build a strong community.

Successful leaders have a clear mission for their team, create a supportive culture, seek employee feedback and value good communication. Their employees feel free to raise issues that interfere with the mission and to share ideas to help the team achieve its goals.

Without a strong community and clear mission, employees are more likely to look out for themselves instead of the whole company.

6. Encourage team members to try new things and innovate.

When employees are engaged, well-trained and supported, they need freedom to keep growing and innovating. Good leaders make that possible by guiding staff to be productive and creative without micromanaging them.

Investing time, attention and other resources in your team members can help build a culture that values people. When business leaders respect the time and effort of their staff to the point where it’s engrained in the identity of the business, employees are more inclined to be thoughtful about the business.

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