…And Why You Should Too
Whether you’re running a startup, a multinational corporation or a winch manufacturing business (like us!), understanding the need for continuous improvement strategies can have a major impact on the company culture and by extension the level of success your business reaches. Using Kaizen principles on a smaller scale can help increase productivity and efficiency while using the same principles on a larger scale (making it the company’s top priority) can help you stay ahead of the competition.
The most successful businesses are always on the hunt for new, creative, and innovative ideas to elevate performance and maximize profit. They understand the importance of continuous improvement and they value their employees’ insights and opinions. Even when things are going exceptionally well, they’re constantly looking into ways in which they can improve what they’re working with.
So in this regard, they are tapping into the power of smart work instead of hard work. With that said, this kind of mindset and behavior isn’t a byproduct of chance or luck, it’s a long process that requires a lot of trial and error. Granted, some people have a natural drive to better themselves and improve the skills they have or even acquire new ones.
Others prefer to stay in their comfort zones and never dare question the way things are done. Continuous improvement is vital to a company’s longevity and prosperity, so leaders must communicate the importance of continuous improvement to their employees. Not only that, they should seek to build it into each and every aspect of the business as a comprehensive and disciplined strategy.
Accordingly, employees will begin to reflect upon internal processes and find ways to make them more efficient. Scrutinizing both their successes and failures will allow employees to act based on those learnings in order to provide clients with the ultimate customer service and experience.
So how do you drive your workforce to adopt continuous improvement as a mindset?
- Be transparent and inclusive: First and foremost, employees need to trust the process. In order to ensure this, they should be intimately involved with how the suggestion and approval process works. While management can facilitate the process, the employees should be on equal footing with exactly how suggestions will be collection, vetted, funded, and approved.
- Listen to your employees’ input: Open communication and ongoing dialogue are essential if you want your employees to feel heard and appreciated. Using a ‘suggestion box’ is a great way to make them understand that their opinions matter.
- Clearly express the type of improvement you want: If you don’t provide any prompts or guidelines on the feedback you want to receive, you may not get any tangible or substantial suggestions so make sure you’re clear on what you’re looking for.
- Celebrate improvements (no matter how modest: Any ideas that improve your company are worth celebrating. So highlight the employee who brought that idea to the table and give them the recognition they deserve.
- Encourage habits that support continuous improvement: Try to build better habits in the workplace. For instance, getting your employees to analyze any weaknesses available can put your company at an advantage and create an opportunity for everyone to solve that issue.