As you work to improve efficiency and effectiveness in your business, are you fully engaging your employees in helping you? If you follow the management concept of Lean Six Sigma, your employees become a key ingredient to achieving world-class results.
Lean is about harnessing the knowledge of your employees to better serve your customers – both internal and external. There is an important human element to Lean enterprises. Your company’s management, as well as your employees, must be fully committed and understand what Lean is all about – because without their buy-in and true leadership, your Lean efforts will fail. You can pick and choose certain “Lean projects,” but without fully embracing Lean, you will not achieve your company’s full potential.
In a successful Lean Enterprise, each employee should view him- or herself as a true stakeholder in the business. This means that they become equally as important as the shareholders, owners, customers, lenders and others who depend on your business.
As a stakeholder, an employee will become irritated to see things that could be done more efficiently or effectively. He or she won’t want to see your company lose money or do things that will cause it to go under. This stakeholder mindset will create a culture that encourages employees to question why an ineffective or inefficient process is in place. This culture will also promote the idea of continuous improvement and the desire to achieve breakthrough ideas and further success. Stakeholders don’t just stand by and accept the status quo.
It is human nature to resist change, and employees may initially resist Lean efforts they may see as negatively impacting their “turf.” However, if your employees adopt the mindset of stakeholders, they will begin to take a greater interest in the success, and even survival, of your business due to their own investment in the business.
So, are your employees stakeholders in your business?