Here at Clarity, we support companies in implementing and maintaining 5S Lean methodology. This system of workplace organisation follows five fundamental principles to enable operational excellence:
The first four steps of workplace organisation are relatively easy to achieve, but many businesses know all too well that the fifth S is the most difficult. This is because it requires perpetual commitment and monitoring, as sustainability never calls in sick and doesn’t take holidays.
Many of our clients previously believed that in order to sustain the 5S process, the management team needed to regularly roam the premises in search of inconsistencies. Whilst we’re sure that you have more important things to do than stroll around with a clipboard and repeatedly click your four-colour pen, it’s also important to remember that this approach can result in staff feeling that they’re not trusted to complete their tasks to the highest standard.
In turn, this can cause the opposite of what you want to achieve, as disenchanted workers lead to reduced morale and lower levels of employee engagement. The question is, how can a business ensure that the fifth S is in place without its managers skulking around the workplace, ready to pounce on even the smallest of issues?
The pandemic has resulted in many senior managers either working from home or simply not having time to carry out audits. This has encouraged them to really think about the most efficient way to guarantee 5S implementation, with the answer always being employee buy-in and the embedding of attention to detail into everything they do.
The result is workers that each understand the individual roles they play in optimising processes and not only standardising but also sustaining the outcomes.
Visual management tools are a highly effective way of giving individual departments ownership over their productivity. By allocating responsibility to each cell and making regular checks part of your company culture, the autonomy is re-established and employees will incorporate the fifth S into their schedules as much as the first four.
A simple checklist is all it takes to make this possible. When followed up with daily team conversations around a 5S board displaying key visual standards for their main work areas, you’ll find that sustainability becomes a natural part of everyone’s workflow.
Not exactly. It’s crucial that you give teams the Lean training and visual management tools they need to implement 5S, plus you need to know that it’s being sustained. This can be as simple as official confirmation that the daily checks are being carried out and a weekly update on any opportunities for improvement that arise.
We also suggest peer-to-peer review, with different departments and teams sharing feedback, insight and advice with one another. This facilitates cross-fertilisation of 5S best practice across the business.
We’re here to support the way you implement and sustain 5S workplace organisation, which will remove waste, improve safety and increase efficiency across your business. To find out more, download our brochures, get in touch on 01482 296451 or fill in our contact form.
Get in touch and speak with a Visual Management Specialist to answer any questions you may have on our products, consultancy or business.
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