Does your organization the term “lean” as a belief of managing people, process or P&L’s, or as slang for having the appearance of managing by rigorous principals?
At its core, “lean” is a production philosophy that considers any resources, other than the direct value for the end customer, to be wasteful. “Lean” was introduced to the business world in the 1990’s and organizations have been adopting this ideal of utilizing KPI, Five S, Value Stream Mapping and Kaizen to drive their organization since.
Lean workforce management practices will prove your organization’s effectiveness in utilizing technology, resource management, accountability and reporting practices, while trimming waste and promoting positive behaviors. It also demands a great deal from employees. In order to be successful, you need to develop people who are willing and able to proactively help manage the Lean process. Employees who are customer focused, good problem solvers, and interested in helping to continually improve the processes around them is essential.
Your organization will need a robust Lean competency management process to help you to easily evaluate your employees and put development plans in place to address identified skill gaps, such as a Skill Flex Program.
Making Lean work in any organization requires critical competencies for the whole team, from management to employees. It keeps everyone focused on adding value, without producing waste. So, what kind of Lean-oriented skills and behaviors should you look for in your employees? Here are the top 10:
1. Ability to work in a team environment
2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
3. Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
4. Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization
5. Ability to obtain and process information
6. Ability to analyze quantitative data
7. Technical knowledge related to the job
8. Proficiency with computer software programs
9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports
10. Ability to sell and influence others
Once you have identified, hired, trained and empowered your team members effectively, the results of investing in a Lean workforce management philosophy will become evident. If you will realize that your workforce is the single most important thing in developing a sustainable Lean workforce, your organization will realize unfounded results for years to come.