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Employee engagement

One very important step in continuous improvement and improving business performance, is to ensure that you continuously train and develop the skills of your workforce.

Training should not be viewed as a cost to the business, but as an investment. Training of all employees must be a continuous process. And the learning needs to be ‘strategic’.

This means training everyone, not just isolated pockets. You need to make sure that any improvement initiatives are embraced by the whole business, not just by certain departments or cells. Unless your whole workforce is committed, the results will be disappointing. To achieve continuous improvement, you must provide structured training for your people. Strategic learning needs to be tailored to the objectives of the business.

When it comes to introducing 5S, Lean, Kaizen or Six Sigma programmes, these are merely tools companies can use to improve the business, but they cannot be carried out in isolation. You need to use a broad-brush approach across the whole business for these programmes to succeed. And you always need to keep the employees engaged.

Ownership is critical. Employees must be able to spot problems and issues in their department and solve them. Structured learning and training that includes specific practical projects will ensure this happens. Only then will people start to take ownership.

The economics is simple: the more you train people, the better they will perform in their daily tasks and so the better the business will perform as a result. It’s a win-win situation.

With vast experience in developing employee engagement initiatives and continuous improvement programmes that focus on people, I am well positioned to help your organisation reap the same rewards I have as a business owner.

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