Floor Tape Store

Monday, August 29, 2022

Lean Tips Edition #192 (#3091 - #3105)

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 #3091 – Create Standard Operating Procedures

One of the simplest ways to improve office processes is to have simple, straightforward and standard operating procedures. Another issue to consider is communicating these standard operating procedures. You need to make sure everyone – not just new hires – knows what the standard, approved procedure for tasks related to their job is. Don’t forget to have a standard process for changing procedures and communicating them so that everyone knows what the latest accepted way of doing something is. This eliminates mistakes caused by someone doing it the old way when you changed it to solve some other problem.

Lean Tip #3092 – Map Process Improvement Out

It is one thing to have a standard operating procedure. It is another to viscerally understand the procedure. The solution to this dilemma is to map all of your commonly used standard operating procedures. One benefit of this is that you can see the standard workflow and understand what each step does. When you collect that information along with statistics, you can see how often the standard process delivers things correctly and plan better ways to handle issues that aren’t part of the standard process.

Lean Tip #3093 – Make Quality a Priority 

Many business metrics tend to focus on volume or speed. How many customers did you handle today? How many orders did we ship out? What was the average time per call? How quickly did you assemble that product? One way to improve office processes is to add quality metrics to the scorecard.

If you want to improve office processes, you need to understand what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. You also have to decide that better means delivered right the first time as well as quickly and cheaply. 

Lean Tip #3094 - Encourage Proactive Communication

A lot of errors can be prevented by proactive communication. If an employee foresees an error or inefficiency in the process, coworkers should realize the impact and act on it quickly. Nurture a work culture that encourages team members to identify and solve problems. Announce incentives to employees for increasing the efficiency of the process.

Proactive communication does not mean restlessly seeking problems and solving them. It is acting on a problem immediately after you identify one.

Lean Tip #3095 - Make Changes that Bring Maximum Impact

There are hundreds of improvements you can make to the process. But everything cannot be done in one shot. Be smart at choosing which improvements to execute. The Pareto principle comes in handy.

The pareto principle states that 80% of the consequences come from 20% of the causes. It also means that if you act on 20% of the causes you bring 80% improvement. Instead of doing pointless busy work, concentrate on making improvements that bring more impact.

You need not break your head calculating the percentage of impact. Remember and apply the principle theoretically when you have multiple improvements to make.

Lean Tip #3096 – Promote Training and Development of Employees 

Job training and continuing education help to fuel employee career growth. Encourage team members to pursue relevant business courses and workshops that will further their career advancement. Virtual learning opportunities are a must for many teams right now, and fortunately, there are many affordable options available. 

In addition to nurturing individual needs and growing specific skills, help your employees keep up with what’s happening in the wider industry. One cost-effective method that’s easy to arrange is to host lunch-and-learn sessions by video, featuring either external or internal guest speakers. Also, give your employees the time and flexibility to engage in industry events. Consider asking those workers to share what they learn at these events with their colleagues.

Lean Tip #3097 – Paint the Big Picture

Reminding employees of their unique contributions to the company’s mission adds meaning to their role. It can also increase their motivation to expand their responsibilities and advance in the organization.

Don’t assume they already know how their work adds value, however. Offer regular insights into how their day-to-day actions make a difference to the organization. In your regular updates to team members, be sure to highlight the firm’s progress toward key objectives. And acknowledge individual employees for specific achievements that are helping to drive the company toward those goals.

Lean Tip #3098 – Create a Learning Culture

Incorporate learning and growth into your core values and make sure they shine through in your people strategies and business decisions. Talk about career growth throughout the employee lifecycle, beginning with recruitment and onboarding, and continuing during one-on-ones and performance reviews.

Encourage your team members to engage in learning activities during the work day and to share their learnings with their colleagues. Demonstrate the value you place on learning and growth by rewarding your developing team members with recognition, promotions, and raises.

A learning culture enables your employees to grow in their current roles and achieve upward mobility within your organization. 

Lean Tip #3099 – Identify and Develop Transferable Skills

Working through a pandemic taught many organizations the importance of agility and the ability to adapt to continually changing circumstances. Soft skills or transferable skills are qualifications that help employees excel in a variety of roles. They help employees transition seamlessly from one position to another. Organizations that offer training and educational resources for honing soft skills reap the benefits of productive teams and employees who are engaged with new opportunities.

Lean Tip #3100 – Provide Frequent Feedback

Annual reviews often fail to provide an accurate description of an employee’s overall performance. It’s easy to assume employees have a firm understanding of how they contribute to the organization. Yet, without feedback, most employees suspect their efforts are overlooked. By offering regular insight into how the day-to-day actions of your employees contribute to organizational success, high performers will be inspired to work toward higher-level positions within the company and continue to work toward company goals.

Lean Tip #3101 – Offer Cross-Training Opportunities

Cross-training your employees to do a couple of jobs in a department that is not their own can help them keep their day interesting and continue to be productive. This will increase your employees’ current level of knowledge and skill and help them gain a broader perspective of the organization, and build a foundation for further career advancement. They will develop more appreciation for their colleagues’ duties and better understand the company’s overall mission.

Regular cross-training among employees can also help teams work together more effectively and build a stronger rapport. And the organization will benefit from having a more well-rounded workforce.

Lean Tip #3102 – Identify and Encourage Unique Skills

Learning the special traits of a worker can differentiate them from others in the workforce when applying for future positions. Employees may even have prior work experience that can be repurposed for new careers, like a former artist who can use their talents to design logos for businesses. Encouraging people to take pride in their unique abilities and apply their skills in different ways will lead to more confident staff members, and should promote creative thinking in the workplace.

Lean Tip #3103 – Encourage and Facilitate Networking and Mentoring

As a manager, you may be able to connect members of your team with key players within your company (and, particularly, people beyond your own department) who can provide valuable career guidance and industry insight.

There may even be someone in the organization who could serve as a mentor to your employee, sharing practical knowledge and hands-on guidance and insight that could help an up-and-coming professional better understand the organizational politics they’ll need to navigate to achieve their goals.

Lean Tip #3104 – Clearly Communicate the Strategy, Direction of the Organization

In order to ensure an employee’s career goals are aligned with the company’s goals, the company needs to be open about its strategy and future directions.

If the company plans on pursuing new opportunities which would make some skill sets obsolete, employees should know this up front and decide for themselves if it is time to move on or if they want to be on the forefront of developing new skills to help explore new opportunities. Employees can’t be in charge of their career and make good career decisions if they don’t understand where the organization is going.

Lean Tip #3105 – Managers are the Key Source for Developmental Experiences

Managers have not fully realized the critical role they play in understanding the career goals of their employees and crafting development opportunities that help them to achieve their goals.

To get work accomplished, we tend to ask people to do things they already know how to do. This is particularly true today when we have to do more with less and expediency is very helpful. But if our managers are not proactively thinking about special assignments or roles for team members with potential for advancement, then how will employees be able to continuously learn and grow?

Subscribe to my feed Subscribe via Email LinkedIn Group Facebook Page @TimALeanJourney YouTube Channel

No comments:

Post a Comment