Organizations strive for continuous improvement out of respect for people, but it is that basic respect for people that helps make continuous improvement possible.
If an organization is seeking sustained continuous improvement it has to ensure each leader and each participant practices respect for people. People should be kept engaged, respected and valued irrespective or their designation or title or department. Engaged employees are more productive, loyal, more creative, and deliver better service to customers. Improving employee engagement acts as an essential part of an organizations drive for Operational Excellence. But one point has to be kept in mind, Engaged employees do not necessarily mean Satisfied employee. It may differ from satisfied employees where the emphasis is on what the company pays, working conditions, benefits packages, etc. Actively engaged employees need not be fully satisfied and vice versa.
Lack of skills, De-motivation, Unclear goals/targets, Lack of transparency, Poor/Inconsistent culture, Ignoring people aspect, Unclear roles and responsibilities are few of the example that sabotage excellence.
Employees often think:
Do We Know How To Do The Work? (skills/competencies)
Solution: Train for doing current task. Plan long term competency development. Mentoring/Coaching.
Do We Feel Like Doing The Work? (Motivation)
Solution: Formal performance management. Compensation is at par with work done. Rewards & Recognition.
Would We Like To Do It Together? (teamwork)
Solution: Top down communication. Bottom up communication (grievances, issues, opinions). Lateral co-ordination. Team work. Delegation of authority.
Are We Moving In The Desired Direction? (Workforce alignment)
Solution: Resource management. Long term workforce planning.
It has been observed that a major challenge faced by organizations is how to implement best practices to ensure that organization obtains the maximum return on investment from its staff and gets the job done, while at the same time providing job satisfaction, career development pathways and engagement opportunity for various projects.
The work culture of an organization may often affect the levels of discipline, creativity, decision making, etc of its staff. How can an organization ensure that its employees understand and then focus on the right issues? How can the concept of CHANGE for BETTER be instilled in the core behaviour of an employee?
Points to be kept in mind!!
- Improve your on boarding process
- Delegate responsibility
- Be open: provide the tools and opportunity
- Train a core group of middle managers or above in problem solving and improvement coaching
- Gemba KAIZEN™ Workshops to be done on regular basis to instil new behaviours & shift culture
- Lead by example
- Make improvement part of everyone’s job
- Never do process improvement without the involvement of the people who actually do the work
- Advocate the truth that people aren’t the problem – systems are
- Praise & recognition