The effectiveness of Lean Management is plain to see. Most organisations have achieved cost cutbacks and greater competitiveness. And – importantly – have done so without dismissing employees. These improvements are all good and well, but they mainly benefit the board and the MT.
How and why shop-floor employees benefit from the implementation of Lean are aspects that are highlighted less frequently. And it is time to change this. After all, most of the success achieved by Lean is determined by the employees! So here are five reasons why the implementation of Lean benefits shop-floor employees.
1. A common goal
The obvious ultimate goal of Lean is to save money, but one of its most important characteristics is a focus on cooperation. Successful implementation of the methodology will not be possible without cooperation. This means that shop-floor employees, supervisors and the MT must constantly cooperate to ensure the success of projects. In addition to everyone becoming more familiar as colleagues, the impact of the hierarchy is diminished. At the end of the day, everyone has the same goal and the same values.
2. The Customer
And that brings us straight to the next point: the Customer. With a capital C. After all, the customer is the reason for all your hard work (remember the common goal). Satisfied customers are everyone’s goal, regardless of where you work. That is what I am trying to say. Satisfied customers mean satisfied employees. My point is that happy customers = happy workers.
3. Better working experience
Processes proceed (flow) better when wastes are eliminated. As a result, you enjoy a better working experience by not being interrupted by e.g. hunting for that one file. Or by having to wait for the colleague ahead of you to finish and, in the meantime, pulling out your hair with frustration.
4. Source of improvements
Who? You, of course. After all, you know exactly what works and what doesn’t work, and that is something your superior would love to know. You can make sure that processes run even better by sharing your skills and your knowledge.
Mutual communication is very important because you and your colleagues have the most knowledge about what improvements can and/or should be implemented and pass this knowledge on to the rest of the organisation. Good mutual communication results in more mutual involvement. How great is that!?