The Final 5S Phase: Sustain

5S SustainOnce you implement the 5S model in your place of business, you will see the improvements very quickly. By the time you reach the fifth and final phase, your space should be cleaned and organized and standardized procedures should be developed. But the key to key to long term success is simple – diligence. You need to sustain these results and your progress in order to have a successful 5S program.

Here are some great techniques to keep your staff motivated:

Assign the time to do it.

Give your staff the time to do the steps correctly. For example, designate the fifteen minutes before lunch and shift end as Shine time. During this time, their main focus could be cleaning and organizing according to their checklists.

Start from the top.

Your whole organization must be on board if 5S is going to work in the long run. If your employees see that management is not following the steps, do you think that they will continue to do it?

Create a reward system.

Have friendly competitions between departments each month and reward the winner. Buy them lunch, let them go early one day, or give them priority parking. It doesn’t have to break the bank; you just want to show them your appreciation for a job well done.

Get everyone involved.

Form a committee made up of employees and supervisors of different departments. Their job will be to oversee the implementation of 5S for a fixed period, maybe six months, and then you can rotate in new members. Listen to employee feedback and take their suggestions into serious consideration.

Let them see it.

Posters, banners and newsletters can be a constant reminder of the importance of 5S. Consider posting pictures of the space right after the third step, Shine. This will serve as an example of how it should look at the end of each work day.

Train new employees.

When a worker joins your 5S organization, have current employees carry out their training on the system. This will not only ensure your efforts will be carried over to new workers, but it gives existing employees the opportunity to evaluate their own knowledge and ask questions.

A common concern with this methodology is that the new 5S efforts won’t have the intended results. It’s important to not be discouraged If the 5S audits are coming back and they’re not stellar. This is a problem many organizations face, but a problem that can be fixed. Most issues can be traced back to three contributing factors: inadequate employee training, lack of time, or lack of requested feedback. If you are unsatisfied with your 5S program, evaluate each of these areas and identify where you can make improvements.

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