Companies which use Kaizen initiatives to help correct problems or make other improvements often find that they can be extremely successful. These types of short term, focused events can help companies of all types overcome issues which would otherwise take weeks or months to address. When the Kaizen process is embraced by leadership, it is possible to plan and schedule multiple Kaizen events in different areas of a company at once.
This is best done when executive leadership allows mid-level management to plan and implement their own Kaizen events. Having leadership endorsement will not only ensure everyone knows that these types of things are allowed, but also that they are encouraged. People will be much more likely to actively engage in the processes to get them done successfully. This will, of course, start with the management team just under the president, owner or CEO and will then quickly spread throughout the company.
One of the best things about a company that has Kaizen support at all levels of management is that people will be much more likely to propose and drive Kaizen events. Some companies push through just one or two Kaizen events per year, and this is a good start. These are often larger events that have bigger results, but it is still missing out on a great amount of opportunity. Companies with leadership support of Kaizen often have two, three or even more Kaizen events happening at all times.
These are normally smaller events which have a more focused scope, but the results can still add up to be significant. If each event is able to decrease waste by a small percentage, or increase productivity by the same amount, it will quickly add up to incredible improvements. Having multiple Kaizen events which build on each other is a great way to improve the overall workplace for the employees as well as increase profits for the company.
When employees see that there is a constant drive for improvement, and that this drive is backed by leadership, they will be more engaged as well. In fact, many companies find that an engaged workforce ends up being the place where most new Kaizen event ideas are born. As people discover inefficiencies or other opportunities for improvement, they will present them to the management or Kaizen team. If it is agreed that there is opportunity for improvement, they can quickly add another Kaizen event to the Kaizen calendar.
People will see that their ideas really are valued and quickly implemented to improve the company as a whole, as well as the day to day lives of the frontline workers. This is likely the most effective way to foster an environment where there is constant improvement at all levels. It will help to reduce waste, improve productivity and generally improve the competitive edge every company can have. Every company has the potential for huge improvements, but the culture which promotes these improvements must come from the leadership team in order to be successful.