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Making Improved Procedures Stick

If you’ve had your company assessed for efficiency, you were likely given a lot of recommendations. Implementing them is always a challenge, but you have to make sure that those procedures become a part of your everyday workflow. Oftentimes, the consultants who provide the assessment can also help implement the procedures. You have to make sure that they’re sustained, however, and that is actually part of one of the most effective ways to increase efficiency, the 5Ss. Without a commitment, none of the proven methods of increasing workplace efficiency will work for long.

If you’ve adopted the 5Ss, for the sake of example, you’ll immediately notice that your employees always have access to all the tools they need and that their workspaces are impeccably clean. In and of themselves, these benefits are ones that most employees would prefer to sustain for their own sake. This, of course, increases the employee’s sense of ownership over their jobs, which is important to efficiency. The procedure has to become part of the everyday workflow for it to offer any real benefit, however, and this requires that communication is effective. Some of what’s needed to ensure the longevity of new procedures is built in to the procedures themselves.

The 5S model, for example, includes having employees clean and maintain their workspaces at the end of their shift so that the oncoming shift always starts in the most efficient way possible. All of the tools are put away and cleaned and the entire workspace is, ideally, spotless. When the next shift ends their workday, they do the same service for the next shift, and so on. This is a way that an efficiency-improving procedure can be built into a process. This is one way to make sure that the changes you make last.

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