Continuous improvement (CI) is a culture – it keeps the focus on improving the way things are done - on a regular basis. This can happen through progressive improvements to processes or by focusing on achieving larger
process improvements. It’s important however not to miss the smaller, incremental changes that when aggregated bring valuable and significant improvements to your business.
Why Embed a Continuous Improvement Culture?
Embedding a CI culture yields many benefits. It improves employee engagement and reduces staff turnover. When employees actively embrace this culture they derive a sense of pride and accomplishment from making things better – this in turn results in a stronger feeling of ‘belonging’ and fewer reasons to look elsewhere.
Continuous improvement embedding also enables you to get a consistent message across your business regarding your ‘way’ of working – this can be particularly important when a company has grown through acquisition or has itself undergone a change of ownership and you need to ensure everyone is ‘on the same page’.
So how do you identify opportunities for Continuous Improvement?
Continuous Improvement employs a number of tools that can be used to train your entire work force. With this training your people can spot processes that are not ‘Lean’, or that are wasteful and simply inefficient – when you give your employees the tools to bring in these beneficial changes it becomes very empowering and all sorts of collateral benefits ensue – as many of our clients are experiencing with increased right first time rates, scrap reduction and increased staff morale. Several CI tools and ‘Lean’ methods are discussed.
What will help your business strengthen Continuous Improvement strategy?
Improvement Techniques apprenticeship programs such as Improvement Technician (Level 3) and Lean Manufacturing Operative (Level 2) introduce and embed a CI mind-set within any business. Through organization and visualization, opportunities for PDCA are identified, duplicated work is easily spotted, unnecessary tasks are dropped and needless waste is eliminated – so costs can be reduced significantly. These programmes will provide the basic tools to identify, improve and sustain improvements to your business processes.
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