Implementing lean is about much more than just implementing tools and processes, it is a change in culture for all of those involved.
A big part of it is about having respect for people, and giving them Empowerment in their job. This concept can also be referred to as “workers thinking like owners”. Involving everyone at all levels in continuous improvement and cost savings is essential in the overall improvement of the organisation.
EQMS Quality Consultants put a lot of emphasis on this, we have the ability to connect with the workers on the shop floor, and make the value of implementing lean processes clear for them. It is first considered successful, when all employees feel as part of the bigger picture, and on a regular basis voluntarily contribute to continuous improvement.
An Empowered Team
Within their departments, team leaders and managers should empower their employees. They should encourage their employees to solve problems that occur for continuous improvement on the processes they work with.
One way to get Empowered employees is to give them a way to submit improvements, for example submit current state and ideal state of the process they work on. This is similar to Kaizen where employees are encouraged to submit suggestions for improvement on a regular basis.
Requirements for Empowerment
Before empowering a team to take critical decisions, and organise all their work and so forth, there are a few thing that need to be considered.
The two thing to consider before empowerment to your employee will succeed.
Clarity: What is it we are trying to achieve, what are the business goals? If there is no clarity of this, you are destined to fail.
Competence: All the clarity in the world doesn’t matter, if no one have any idea how to do it. Competence means the leader knows how to do the job, understands the overall flow and the impact of their decisions. They know the directions of the company and why they move in that direction.
If this is not the case, they will not be able to coach and empower their employees.
What Does Empowerment Look Like
- The boss hand over some of his decision making to his employees
- Highly skilled and work teams do most of the decision making with few escalations.
- The manager’s role move from directing and inspecting, to coaching and facilitating. Managers provide their team with skill, information and contacts to do their job.
- Training and development get high priority.
If you are interested in lean and how to make your organisation more efficient, then our 5S Training might be interesting for you. 5S is usually one of the first elements implemented when starting out with lean, as it gives a great foundation for further improvements.
Alternatively you can continue to our Quality Training page to see some of the other trainings we offer.Go to Quality Training