How to Encourage Kaizen in the Workforce

Kaizen is ‘continuous improvement’ and is a popular subject among businesses and managers. Kaizen basically means that the best way to affect big change in an organization is to encourage lots of small, incremental changes that can improve workflow, profit margins and everything else. By continually improving in small ways, you can create change throughout your whole business that will result in much more efficient and effective operations.

But kaizen works best when it is applied at the individual level. In other words, if you can help your staff to work better on their own and to improve the way they approach problems and their regular workload, then you can make your entire organization more effective. A chain is as strong as its weakest link and a business is really the sum of its employees.

If you try to come from above as management and enforce continuous improvement, then chances are that it won’t go well. Your staff might be resistant to small changes and you might be too far removed from the process to really see where the problems are occurring or where things need to be improved.

On the other hand though, if you encourage your team to improve themselves they will be far more motivated and they will be able to make changes that really have an effect on what they’re capable of and how much they’re getting done.

So how do you encourage this continuous change in your team?

The Environment

The solution is actually to give your staff more space and to provide them with the environment and the tools they need to continuous improvement.

What this means first and foremost is that you should create a blame free environment. This means that your team should feel comfortable to try new methodologies and systems without thinking that you’re going to punish them if their new ways of working don’t work as well as they should have.

Giving your staff a sense of ownership over their work is also an important step that will motivate them to be better, as is making sure that you aren’t micromanaging them to the point where there is no flexibility.

Finally, get your team to monitor and report on their performance and to show you how profits are increasing or satisfaction is increasing. This shouldn’t be used to apply pressure but by monitoring metrics they will get the feedback to see what works and what doesn’t.

How to Afford Anything You Want With Kaizen

Kaizen is essentially the application of small, incremental lifestyle changes that add up to bigger changes that can improve your life for the better. Kaizen is a popular term right now in business circles but it’s also a highly popular concept in self-development, fitness and finance.

In regards to finance, the ultimately idea of kaizen is often to look at how small savings can add up to help you save large amounts of cash with time. In fact though, this is only one aspect of it and other elements include finding ways to supplement your income in small ways and ways to get things for cheaper.

Using these principles in conjunction, it’s almost possible to actually afford pretty much anything you could ever want. Read on and we’ll look at some of the ways that this is possible…

Every Little Helps…

One of the easiest ways to afford something you want and to avoid making it feel like you’re spending a lot of money is to think about something that you want to buy and then think about when you want it by. Now just divide the value of the item by the number of days until you want it, and you’ll have the small amount of money you need to save each day.

So say you have your eye on a new computer that’s going to be released in three months. That’s 90 days to buy a product that will likely be $1,000 maximum. $1,000 divided by 90 is just over $11. So save $11 a day and you’ll have the money within 3 months.

This is actually a very small amount of money to save but it can make a gigantic difference to your perception of what you can afford.

Adding to the Pot

Similarly you can also use other ‘kaizen’ inspired strategies to help these sorts of pots grow. If you can’t afford to save quite the $11 you need a day, then make it $8 but add to this plan the intention to save any spare change you have in a pot and to add this to your cumulative score at the end.

Likewise, you could find small items you can sell and add those as well. Maybe this would mean your old computer or maybe it would just mean a bunch of DVDs. Again, kaizen tells us that every little bit helps!

Better yet, look at places you can save money. Instead of buying that morning coffee, take the money you would normally spend on that and add it to your pot as well. If you normally buy a new item of clothing every month, just forgo that for the next three months (are t-shirts really that exciting anyway?).

Combine these techniques and you’ll find there’s almost nothing that you can’t afford in a short amount of time!

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