Many Business Owners and Top Managers think that implementing Lean Manufacturing is just a matter of:
Getting some books and manuals in their book-shelves
Attending a seminar
Ordering some training
Having their people read a book and follow some directions
If you already are committed into the Lean Manufacturing Culture you will agree: it is not That Simple.
I usually try to have a meeting with any prospective Lean Manufacturing Implementation customers to go through some vital details about the indispensable changes of mindset at all levels in the organization. Among the issues that frequently come as a surprise one is “The Human Side of Lean Manufacturing.”
Since we all want to increase the quality of the processes, and taking into account that humans are generally behind each of these processes, we will need to make sure those Human beings are happy! Happiness is what produces quality.
How do we get people to be happy? Very easy: give them more respect than ever before and ask them:
“How can I help you do your job?”
WHAAAT? HELP THEM! Yes indeed, humbleness is a Good Thing, it all starts here.
That is what I mean with "The Human Side of Lean Manufacturing" When top management and all other management levels become aware that the way to transform the traditional top-down mandate style needs to be improved to more of a Leadership – Motivational Style.
Speaking of Motivation, one of the common denominators of poor performance anywhere is: Lack of Motivation, another is Low Self-Esteem; obviously they both are strongly associated.
How can you contribute to raise the motivation and self-esteem of your people?
You probably have a few answers at this time…
Here are some answers from operators and workers from a variety of industries:
“listening to our ideas and concerns”
“recognition of our contribution to the success, even if it is our job”
“making us feel we are a part in the big picture”
“providing us what we need to do the job”
“allowing for us to decide our vacation times without affecting production”
“having us evaluate our supervisors”
“explaining situations clearly so we can help better”
The list goes on and on, what is critical is to believe that we have the best people and we want to keep them with us.