Yet another reason for a LEAN strategy, and more specifically a culture of kaizen (continuous improvement)! Here are 5 observations off the top of my head that show why lean companies are better suited to attract and keep talented fellow humans:
- How lean managers behave vs, conventional managers-according to a Boomphor Infographic "Workplace Deal Breakers, Where's the Breaking Point for Employees", one of the top reasons employees leave is because their boss doesn't TRUST them. Think micro-management. Great companies embrace and demonstrate the TPS (Toyota Production System) pillar "respect for people". Respect is demonstrated by trusting that people will do their job, and in fact, trusting them so much that we understand that people who do the work are in the best position to improve the work! People are not treated like robots!
- How lean employees behave vs. conventional employees-all of the companies that have worked hard to build a culture of kaizen using A3 thinking have a very healthy supply of incredibly good team players. Why? Because people are constantly working on or leading teams. You can't power point your way to good team players. It is, like playing the bassoon, a learn-by-doing (a lot) skill. Companies who do A3 are used to doing team work (people from various functions working together) vs. group work (people working with others in their own departments). The more people work together, the more fun they have. Most times, conflict that drives people out is the result of poor communication.
- Maslow-for those of you familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs, you will notice that the very top of the triangle, after food/shelter, security, healthy relationships & self-esteem is "self actualization". This is where creativity, spontaneity and problem solving exist. Sound familiar? People don't leave great lean companies because they live at the top of Maslow's pyramid!
- How Toyota actually measures morale.......by the number of employee suggestions. When morale is high, people are ready and willing to not only do, but improve their work. The best companies are the best companies because, quite simply, people live at the top of the Maslow pyramid!!
- Benefit of super-high productivity-as lean companies continue to build on their ability to drive out the 8 wastes and continue to improve the overall problem solving capability of every employee, productivity increases. We can ship more with the same human effort, because we're not doing so much of the 8 wastes. The best companies therefore enjoy a better work/life balance, higher pay, periodic bonuses, etc.
Like Field of Dreams, build it and they will come. It is not easy, and requires a consistent, steady hand, and everyone being on the same page. But, if you want results others don't get, you need to do stuff others won't do!