Continuous improvement is the work a company does continue to improve its processes and reduce waste. In order to create a culture of continuous improvement, it is necessary to create strategies that cover the current business model, workflows and culture of the enterprise. In our blog post, we have brought together the main steps for you to create a culture of continuous improvement in your business.
Continuous improvement, also known as Kaizen approach, is an approach that aims to systematically improve with small and continuous changes in order to increase the efficiency of employees and business processes.
Simply put, it is a form of thinking, leadership and management that focuses on building talent throughout your company to improve all processes to reduce costs while consistently delivering high quality products or services.
With the rapidly increasing impact of technologies and revolutionary digitalization, companies have started to feel the need to ensure growth and profitability much more. Today, every business needs to pay more attention to its core competencies. For this reason, having a culture of continuous improvement ensures that all employees are more productive, improvement methods are developed and technologies are applied to this process. Thus, while ensuring that the employees are more productive, it also increases the quality of the products/services.
Here are the steps you need to take to create a culture of continuous improvement in your business:
Finding out what your goal is, where you want to go, and what you need to do to get there is the first step in creating a culture of continuous improvement. While setting goals here, you should be careful that there are no hard-to-reach goals that will make the employees despair. Goals should be achievable, clear and precise.
Demonstrate that as a leader you embrace the principles of the kaizen approach and support a culture of continuous improvement by participating in improvement initiatives. Track progress, discuss setbacks with employees, and celebrate successes. Employees will be encouraged to see that you, as a leader, embrace a culture of continuous improvement.
Regular communication is key to getting engagement from all departments of your business. For this reason, managers should communicate with their employees regularly to talk about how these processes support priorities institutionally, to demonstrate the value of supporting continuous improvement, and to demonstrate with examples what changes occur when improvements are made.
Employees want to know that their ideas are valued and to feel valued. Also, the best ideas for what needs to be improved in your company will come from them. For this reason, ask them for suggestions for continuous improvement, examine the suggestions and make sure to return positive and negative. When you welcome all improvement ideas, you also encourage more sharing of ideas. You can use tools such as e-mail and suggestion systems to collect and manage ideas from employees.
Employees are the ones who will make improvements in their workspace by implementing new processes and strategies to increase productivity, performance and quality of work. For this reason, for continuous improvement to be successful and effective, all employees in your business must participate and support this process. For this, everyone should understand their responsibility and their contribution to the continuous improvement process of the company very well and share the responsibility.
Celebrate and recognize your employees involved in the improvement process at each new improvement. This contributes to greater employee engagement and motivates other team members for process improvements. This also enables employees to increase their productivity.
Creating a culture of continuous improvement requires significant time and effort. This is not a process that can be done overnight or with immediate results. For this reason, if the process is not taken care of, what is done over time will be wasted. For this reason, you need to work and put effort on a regular basis. In order to maintain the culture, it is necessary to ensure the continuous training and development of employees, the development of leaders who believe in the process, and the determination of strategies compatible with improvement goals.
It is important to create a culture of continuous improvement that encourages employees within the company to come together and perform better by constantly looking for better ways to perform their daily tasks. Unify teams around your goals with regular communication, celebrating achievements, acting on employee suggestions with rewards and recognition programs, and setting clear goals for improvement. To get started, make sure each employee is involved in the improvement efforts.