The Best Ways to Engage Your Employees in Operational Improvements
One of the biggest challenges business leaders face is keeping employees engaged in operational improvements. Process improvement champions struggle to get their teams behind programs to increase productivity and make work more pleasant for everybody. One of the best ways to improve compliance is to engage the workforce in the process improvement planning as early as possible.
When your employees are committed to common goals, the culture of the workplace changes. Everyone is happier and more productivity and this leads to successful outcomes for the business.
Factors to Consider
The company leaders are the first factor to consider. If the leadership supports improvement initiatives, their enthusiasm becomes contagious. If you want the staff to participate more, start with winning over the managers first. Here are some questions to mull over before beginning your campaign to win the hearts and minds of staff members:
- Have you communicated goals clearly and concisely?
- Did you verify employee understanding?
- What’s the link between the company’s goal and what each employee can contribute?
- Are there measurable goals employees can reference in terms of reaching the goals?
- What is the leadership doing to motivate the workforce?
Here are a few tips to engage your employees in operational improvements.
Tips for Getting Employees Onboard
Get to know your team
Spending time with your staff is the best way to figure out what motivates them. Find time to greet your staff every day and to ask if there’s anything they need to help their projects go more smoothly. Everyone likes to know they are cared for and that their efforts matter. By winning their trust, you can also encourage them to come to you with problems or questions about new policies designed to improve workflow and productivity.
Display Positive Leadership
If you want employees to take process improvement seriously, you need to be on the front lines. Find out where the pain points are in the billing process, customer services or human resources onboarding that make completing tasks harder. Find out the best way to elicit employee feedback so that everyone has a sense of ownership in running a tighter ship.
Process improvement should involve the whole team. It won’t do much good to overhaul the order processing system if the warehouse isn’t properly set up to ship orders efficiently. The company is in it together, like it or not, so the better each department understands the impact of their efforts up and downstream, the more unified everything becomes. Consider holding brainstorming sessions with cross-functional teams to raise awareness and uncover hidden problems and solutions. It’s also a great way to promote teambuilding.
Empower Your Employees
Every team member has unique qualities and experiences to bring to the table. Pairing up groups that are dependent on each other in the workflow can yield innovative ideas on how to improve processes, product offerings, and interdepartmental relationships.
Once you’ve given everyone a platform to express their concerns and ideas, celebrate the brilliance of your champions. Whether you do this through bonuses or gift cards or just express your gratitude, don’t let your process improvement superstars go unnoticed. Even if ideas seem great but end up not working out, your company will benefit from a little experimentation. Some of them will produce big changes that have a big impact on profitability.
Diversity Among Employees
Encourage hiring managers to increase the diversity of the workforce. Men and women from different educational, cultural and work experiences help your company thrive. Different approaches are required to come up with solutions to all the challenges your company faces in a competitive market.
Nurture a workplace that rewards continuous improvement. Employee engagement is the key to making your business operational improvement initiatives a success. Leading with a high emotional quotient earns you the respect and loyalty of a workplace striving to realize a common vision.