The basis – a motivated team – is important when it comes to the implementation of Lean Six Sigma. A motivated and enthusiastic team can be the factor that determines whether your results are successful or disappointing.
A Lean Six Sigma project based on motivation will not just yield passionate teams and involvement from management, it will also produce better results. So we are listing 12 tips for a motivated team.
1. Find a passionate leader
A passionate leader is visible during meetings, motivates the team and provides all the tools necessary for a successful project. Without such a person, a Lean Six Sigma project won’t get off the ground.
2. Create a passionate team
Find team members who can together take advantage of implemented improvements. These are often people who are responsible for the process. The team itself will respect the leader if he has already earned his stripes.
3. Line up the project charter with strategic objectives
The project charter contains all the information required by the leader to make the right choices regarding the improvement of processes. If this is lined up with the objectives of the organisation, everyone will work towards a common goal.
4. Set realistic objectives
Objectives must always be achievable. To a team, the only thing worse than poor leadership is unrealistic objectives. The ultimate goal of every Lean Six Sigma project is the elimination or reduction of the Cost of Poor Quality. Even if some of these costs are difficult to measure, they are all important.
5. Apply Lean first
In order to truly motivate a team, it is necessary to first eliminate non value-adding activities before shifting the focus to Six Sigma.
6. Ensure a phased approach
A phased approach preserves the energy of team members. Think of it as a relay in which every team member runs his own sprint leg. First implement Lean to reduce wastes and then apply Six Sigma to disciplines that are more difficult to improve.
In an ideal scenario, it would cost an organisation nothing to set up a rewards programme. After all, the employees have already achieved savings with the help of Six Sigma. These savings are perfect for reinvestment into the employees who have achieved them.
8. Hold onto motivated and accountable leaders
A motivated team is stimulated by good leadership. It is therefore important that the leader is also rewarded for results achieved.
9. Reward employees for mistakes admitted
When supervisors punish their employees for mistakes admitted, these employees might try to hide their mistakes by e.g. lying. If – in contrast – employees are rewarded when they dare to admit their mistakes, they’ll become more confident and motivated towards improving processes.
10. Present team members in the right way
Copy all team members into emails announcing results. This will make team members feel that they are talented and smart. If people believe in themselves, they tend to want to be more successful.
11. Schedule follow-up meetings
Monthly follow-up meetings or conference calls are crucial, especially when nearing the end of a phase or when teams encounter obstacles. Solutions can quickly be brought up if meetings are well-attended and preparation is thorough. This will encourage people to resume the thread.
12. Share positive results
This reassures management and shows employees that Lean Six Sigma really works. If employees cannot see positive results, they’ll start believing that their work is going nowhere, which is highly demotivating. Sharing positive results shows employees that they’ve made the difference.
Use these tips for a motivated team to boost the team’s morale. A good start is half the job done. Good luck!