A few years ago while working for a another company, my coworkers and I were interrupted by our local human resources manager.
Sometimes she popped in to let us know we were able to leave early. But, that day we didn’t smile and rush out the door following good news.
Instead, we were instructed that our headquarters office will be implementing a kaizen system globally.
What the heck is Kaizen?
Kaizen is a strategy where employees at all levels of a company work together proactively to achieve regular, incremental improvements to the manufacturing process. In a sense, it combines the collective talents within a company to create a powerful engine for improvement.
Thanks you Lean Production for the definition, but this sounds boring.
Cue the eye roll.
I’m not a rule breaker per se, but I am not the first person to pick up an instructions manual.
This Kaizen system sounded like a boring set of rules that might put me to sleep. I am actually shocked I did not fall asleep while watching safety training videos regarding our manufacturing facility for my current employer.
Our own set of Rules
Our marketing department reported how we label, store, organize and track our files, trade show materials and literature. If we notice any issues we must collaborate as a team to determine how the system can be improved.
Cue another eye roll? Maybe not.
- Our digital files are always saved in the correct sub-folder. I do not want to waste 20 minutes looking for one specific item.
- Our storage closet containing literature and giveaway boxes are sealed and noted with the number of items contained in each box. I do not want to waste money purchasing items we already have stored.
- And my personal agenda is filled each morning with a to-do list to highlight what needs to be completed by 5 PM. It is placed next to me on my desk. A desk I clean at the end of each day so I am prepared for the next.
I was following Kaizen all along.
That safety training video may have been boring, but I too would want to make sure my marketing files and storage closet are properly managed.
When we take pride in our work station and process, it demonstrates that we care about what we do.