Looking for quick results to kick-start 5S workplace organization?
Struggling to get your team to appreciate the value of launching 5S in your workplace? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Sometimes it’s hard to get everyone on the same page. Oftentimes, people get stuck in their old ways because of the “that’s the way it’s always been done around here,” mentality. When you’re responsible for keeping costs down, while ensuring employees are motivated, you must focus on the solution, not the problem.
What is motivating you to launch a successful 5S program, after all? The same old thinking will always give you the same old results. And you need help overcoming these challenges:
- Tools are never put away in the proper place and employees are wasting too much time trying to find them.
- Production has slowed down because of too many reasons to count.
- There’s tension on the production floor and you’ve got to figure out how to close the communication gaps.
Right now anything sounds better than the situations above, right? You wear multiple hates but need to start seeing results. Managing the manufacturing processes of the company is very busy. We get that.
The reality is launching a 5S program is actually quite simple.
We’d like to walk you through 3 foolproof tips for launching a successful 5S program.
- Tip # 1: Inform all departments about your implementation plan. An implementation plan breaks each strategy into identifiable steps, assigns each step to one or more people and suggests when each step will be completed. The best way to carry out an implementation plan is to provide a completion date or a strategic timetable. When each step is tasked out, it should be thoroughly communicated to each person involved.
At any time the leadership team can determine whether every step has been completed on a timely basis – and if not, they can make changes. It’s also a good idea to make it clear that both you and your team are not disturbed during the times of implementation. With visual graphics, like Store-Boards™, PPE Boards, and Red Tag Holding products, you can ensure that everyone understands what is going on in the designated area.
- Tip # 2: Lead by example. Good leaders must lead by example - no one likes a hypocritical leader or boss, right? If procedures are put in place to benefit the processes used in the company, they need to be followed through from start to finish. If you ever watched the American comedy series The Office, portrayed by Andy Buckley, you know he’s the worst boss ever. The main character, Michael is nosy, selfish, and an inconsiderate boss– definitely not someone you’d want to call the leader of the company. A boss should be a role model for his employees, and it is safe to stay, he didn’t lead by example.
Don’t be like Michael from The Office. Here are five ways you can excel as a leader:
- Get your hands dirty. Get out on the production floor and get your hands dirty (we’ll talk more in detail about this in a minute). When employees see the leader or initiator of the 5S launch willing to get up to their elbows in something that’s “not their job,” per se, you’ll lead by example.
- Follow your own rules. There’s nothing worse than the horrible leadership motor, do as I say, not as I do. Never bend the rules because you’re the leader – if you do, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. In time, dishonesty always cancels out authority.
- Listen to your team members. What’s your most valuable asset? Your team is your most valuable asset. That’s why you need to keep an open dialogue in the workplace. With healthy communication, you can create room for growth, trust, and potentially brilliant ideas.
- Take responsibility. Michael in The Office was really bad at taking responsibility. Avoid being like him at all costs. The best leaders in the world strategically pass the credit and take the blame. When you blame your team for failing something like 5S, you can make them defensive and damage any trust you’ve built. Something like reconstructing your plan to be more effective can help.
- Effectively communicate boundaries. To keep your team on track for a productive 5S launch, you’ll need to have guidelines in place to ensure interruption free-zones. We recommend putting a no interruptions policy in place that includes no cellphone, meetings, phone calls, or emails. Remember that you are always on stage as a leader. Follow the boundaries you’ve put in place while conquering 5S. Completely focusing on task at hand will help you work within the boundaries in place.
Tip # 3: Get your hands dirty. At some point, you'll be ready to get your hands dirty and jump in with the group and systematically tackle the second phase of 5S, set in order. In my opinion, this is where the fun is. Tackling an area and process to make it better for the group - it doesn’t get much better that! The set in order phase ensures all members know exactly where and how items should be stored. But you need to be armed with a plan to make this step successful.
You can’t jump right in without following these tips:
- Take plenty of before pictures. Before starting any cleanup effort, it’s important to take pictures of the area. The pictures will become the before photos of the area and can be used to prove to visitors, as well as those working in the area, how far the people have come in the process. After the initial gains have been made, the pictures will also be useful to keep people motivated to continue the process.
Pictures are also a great way to remind others how things were before the process began, and it can help keep others excited about the transformation.
With these foolproof tips – you can achieve a successful 5S launch!