How To Use Kaizen as a Process Map for Employee Development

Have you tried hiring for key manufacturing positions lately? If so, you know the challenge of finding qualified candidates. It’s why many companies are focused on employee development — and why many manufacturers have turned to a familiar methodology to help them develop and upskill their people.

Kaizen has long been a method for creating continuous improvement within production environments. Now, it’s being applied to how companies think about improving their workforce. Working with employees to upskill and seek improvement aligns perfectly with the kaizen practices most are already using.

The concept of kaizen

The kaizen system focuses on continuous improvement. It’s all about fostering cooperation in pursuit of betterment and involves all employees, at all levels of a company, working together to achieve step-by-step improvements in the manufacturing process.

By combining the collective talent of an entire enterprise, manufacturers can create powerful engines for improvement in whatever pursuits they choose. One area where kaizen is being increasingly applied is workforce development.

Kaizen is crucial to employee development — something sorely needed in manufacturing today. The manufacturing space is in the midst of historic labor shortages, making it essential to attract and retain skilled workers. Investing in continuous improvement — alongside fostering a culture where employees feel encouraged to suggest and implement their ideas — enables manufacturers to improve worker loyalty and retention while increasing productivity and innovation.

Kaizen and employee development

Kaizen process improvement methodologies are prevalent throughout the factory, usually focused on problem-solving for improvement. Now, they’re working their way into human resources and employee training programs.

Kaizen can be used to create a process map for employee development so manufacturers can develop skills and abilities in-house, rather than trying to hire for them. These pathways to improvement look much the same as they would elsewhere, only with employee improvement as the focus. The improvement might range from upskilling and cross-training to refining a current skill — anything to help employees feel more comfortable and capable in their roles.

Kaizen works best when you start small. Approach change in increments. Test and implement small changes to increase the speed of improvement while reducing the risks and pressure from adopting a major change like cross-training. Above all, concentrate on addressing the root-cause mission. Don’t treat employee development as a problem, but instead focus on its opportunities.

Kaizen benefits for employees and employers

Manufacturing teams embracing the concept of kaizen enjoy companywide benefits. Employees enjoy advantages on a personal level. From upskilling to continuous development, workers are empowered to share their ideas and points of view to make meaningful improvements. But employees can apply kaizen concepts only once they’re a product of them. Ensure your organization understands the importance of this lean practice.

For employers, productivity, engagement, and quality are just some of the benefits of kaizen. When leaders are committed to a culture of continuous improvement, it sets the tone for the entire enterprise.

Kaizen has applications across the factory environment, and it’s important to partner with companies sharing this philosophy for continuous improvement. You can always count on the professionals at Global Electronic Services. Contact us for all your industrial electronic, servo motor, AC and DC motor, hydraulic, and pneumatic needs — and don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook!
Call for Help