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Monday, August 21, 2023

Lean Tips Edition #208 (#3331 - #3345)

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 #3331 – Require Management to Set a Strong Example

When employees are told they are supposed to follow the standards which have been laid out for them, only to find that their managers are not doing the same it can be very discouraging. The leadership team should always be the examples which other people can follow, not a source of trouble for the lean team. Managers at every level should be required to follow the standard and also enforce the same on their teams throughout the company.

Lean Tip #3332 – Create an Implementation Plan with Milestones

Implementation can be a difficult time for any strategy which is why it should be properly planned out. Having a written plan with set milestones is the best way to get the results you’re looking for. When the plan is written and easy to understand it is much easier for everyone at all levels to follow properly. While creating the plan make sure to include all the key teams which will be needed during the implementation process so they can give their input and have a good understanding of how everything works throughout the process.

Lean Tip #3333 – Show, Don’t Tell What The Ideal Workplace Should Look Like

Most people are visual learners by trait. Use visual aids to help the staff understand what your definition of a clean and organized workstation looks like. Before and after pictures can help show a pattern of progression and track success. Place the before pictures outside the workspace so workers can visually track progression.

Lean Tip #3334 – Clearly Define Your Expectations

Every employee should have specific roles that they are expected to fill within the system. These expectations should be clearly defined within each and every job description. Consistently emphasize the importance of completing these tasks and why they are important to the overall success of the company. Your leaders should be able to provide both positive feedback and constructive feedback if certain expectations are not met.

Lean Tip #3335 – Reward Excellence

Take the time to reward your staff or teams that are outperforming. This not a means of rewarding employees for doing their job, but rather pointing out those that go above and beyond the level of standards you layout. As you conduct your monthly audits remember it is important to recognize achievements. Friendly competition and recognition is a powerful tool for improvement.

Lean Tip #3336 – Leave Your Door Open To Be More Accessible

The times when you shut your office door to conduct sensitive business or ensure privacy should be the exception rather than the rule. If you spend most of your time behind closed doors, your staff isn't going to feel a connection with you. Instead, they'll feel alienated and cut off. Even if it means more distractions due to people stopping by to say hello or ask questions, try to keep your office door open whenever possible.

Lean Tip #3337 – Talk to Your Staff If You Want Them to Approach You

Take an interest in your employees beyond just the work they do. Getting to know your staff builds trusting relationships. You don't have to get deeply involved in workers' personal lives, but you should know about their families, interests and hobbies. A simple "Good morning, how was your weekend?" can work wonders in making an employee feel that you care about them. As smart managers know, employees who feel liked and respected are more likely to be productive and enthusiastic workers.

Lean Tip #3338 – Don't Punish the Messenger

If you're the kind of boss who only wants to hear good news, your employees won't tell you everything you need to know-and that will mean unpleasant surprises down the road. Let your staff know they can come to you with potential problems or suggestions on how to improve operations. Recognize that since they're the ones on the "front lines" of your business, they may have better insights than you do into what is really going on.

Lean Tip #3339 – Speak Openly and Honestly With Others

If you want to become an approachable manager, a crucial step is to start speaking openly and honestly with others. It means being straightforward and honest about your intentions and willing to listen to others’ perspectives. Be responsive, show openness to feedback, and communicate openly about what you are doing and why so that everyone in your team feels engaged and invested in your work. Finally, while being honest, respect others’ time and effort.

Lean Tip #3340 – Seek Feedback From Your Team and Others Around You

To be an approachable manager, you need to seek feedback from your team and others around you constantly. It will help you understand the areas in which you need to improve and take the necessary measures to improve your relationship and communication skills.

By getting feedback from various sources, you will be able to understand the needs of your team better and cater to them accordingly. However, take proper note of your feedback, as it can be a valuable tool in your professional arsenal. If handled properly, feedback can help drive continuous improvement and development in your managerial skills.

Lean Tip #3341 – Create an Image of Change

Create an image of the benefits of change and show your audience why taking action is necessary. You can do this through a scenario planning framework. Drawing the best-case scenario, worst-case scenario and realistic scenario can allow your team to react and buy into your vision. You may also use case studies to help your audience visualize what you are working to achieve.

Lean Tip #3342 – Show the Benefits of Your Plan

Showing how the plan is going to help the organization can allow your team to make mental calculations of whether the idea is worth buying into. Sometimes, the perceived loss of current benefits can make some people slow to accept change. If you show them the positives of the change, they may be more likely to be accepting of your plan.

Lean Tip #3343 – Lead Your Team by Example

It can be easier to get buy-in from a team if you lead by example. If an idea requires changes of staff, first make the changes yourself to show team members you are prepared to do what you're asking them to do. This can give them an idea of what you're asking of them as well as encourage them to trust you.

Lean Tip #3344 – Be Aware of Emotions

Getting buy-in is an interpersonal activity, often with high stakes involved. Selling your vision is likely to stir emotions such as passion and anger, which, if appropriately directed, may improve your chances of securing a commitment from others. To be successful in getting buy-in, you can pay attention to your audience's emotions while also maintaining your own emotions.

Lean Tip #3345 – Leverage Feedback

Use the team's feedback to improve the original idea. People may be more likely to commit to action if they feel their ideas are part of the plan. Not all feedback may become part of the plan, but it is vital to acknowledge everyone who contributed by saying "our plan." The way you communicate can help show others that the vision is not from an individual, but is the product of a team effort.

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