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5 Tips to foster a culture of continuous improvement

Dec 2, 2022 | 3 min read

In this blog from our Lean Methodology Series, we explore how to foster a culture of continuous improvement. At Roboyo we’re passionate about nurturing a culture of growth and innovation and our Human+ approach means that everything we do starts with your talented people.

Improving business processes doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, it can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor when approached with the right strategies. We believe in empowering teams to reach new levels, and that’s why we’ve curated these invaluable tips for fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

1. INVEST IN TRAINING PEOPLE

Effective business process improvement is a skill that can be honed through training, just like any other. It doesn’t have to be expensive to train your teams to have the right skills, knowledge, and mindset and the return on investment will far exceed the training cost. Having a Lean Six Sigma training provider deliver the training at your workplace can also save valuable time.

Here at Roboyo we pride ourselves on delivering the best Six Sigma training solutions through Roboyo Academy. We are subject matter experts, with a wealth of experience in strategy, implementation and delivery, ensuring that our courses are not only practical but relatable to real-world scenarios. Furthermore, we offer bespoke courses tailored to meet the unique needs of your business, fostering a workforce equipped to drive continuous improvement.

2. GIVE PEOPLE THE TIME TO WORK ON IMPROVEMENTS

If you’re an organization that has invested in some Lean Six Sigma training (that’s great!) but where it often falls apart is after the training – staff don’t have enough time to put what they’ve learnt into practice. Plus, it’s likely to take them longer than an experienced professional because they’ve only just been trained.

Too often, Managers or Support Staff are trained in improvements, but then they return to their full-time job and don’t have the mandate to make the required changes. They’re expected to create time to work on special projects whilst still managing all their usual work.

To overcome this challenge, we advise our clients to schedule dedicated hours and set clear goals for improvement initiatives.

3. GIVE PEOPLE THE AUTONOMY TO MAKE CHANGES

So, your team has enjoyed some Lean methodology training and you’ve made the time available for them to work on improvement projects – but have you given them the opportunity to make changes?

Ask yourself: Do your team members have the freedom to make decisions and drive changes? Or are they hindered by approval bottlenecks that obstruct progress?

It’s vital to enable your employees, regardless of their seniority, to take charge of process improvement implementation. To expedite progress, consider implementing a rapid approval and decision-making process. By doing so, you empower your team to move their improvements forward at an accelerated pace, unlocking their full potential.

We’ve seen many good projects fail through a war of attrition while getting through the internal approvals process. By embracing the power of autonomy you’ll no doubt see your team’s creativity and innovation soar to new heights.

4. GIVE THEM A BUDGET FOR IMPROVEMENTS

If you want improvement work to happen, it will usually require budget. From employee resources to potentially engaging Lean Consultants, IT expenditures, and licenses for third-party suppliers, meaningful changes necessitate financial investment upfront before reaping the rewards of return on investment (ROI) from process improvements.

Ensure that you establish a dedicated budget for continuous improvement and treat it as a long-term line item in your balance sheet. Many organizations want to prove an ROI even before work has started, but preliminary assessments (which can cost money) are necessary to determine what the ROI will be. This then paves the way for more informed decision-making.

While a good Lean Six Sigma project sets clear expectations for process improvements, it remains a well-formed hypothesis until you actually start implementation. Whilst uncertainty is scary, its the perfect opportunity for growth and innovation.

At its core, financial planning empowers your organization to strategically allocate resources which lays the foundation for a transformative journey, delivering tangible and lasting results.

5. YOU MUST MAKE IT SAFE FOR PEOPLE TO FAIL

Amidst this list of indispensable tips, one stands out as paramount – the acceptance of failure. Iterative work and experimental work always come with a large volume of experimentation, learning and optimization which means some degree of failure. Because failure is an inherent aspect of any change management project, where processes will be reviewed and altered, it’s important to accept failure as part of the improvement process.

Without open and well-communicated acceptance of failure, a fear of failure can stunt the appetite for change, impeding progress and innovation. Growth always requires risk – look at any investment portfolio. The same goes for continuous improvement within businesses – embracing risk is an integral aspect.

The leaders of an organization must work hard to instill an attitude where failure is seen as an opportunity for learning and growth. At Roboyo we strive to create an environment where people are not afraid to take well-calculated and measured risks. We extend the same encouragement to our clients, recognizing that it is through these risks that transformative breakthroughs happen.

TAKE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Unleash your business’s potential with Roboyo! Our proven Lean Six Sigma methodology pinpoints opportunities for continuous improvement and opens the door to the power of cutting-edge hyperautomation. Let our experts create meaningful efficiencies and take your business to the next level – book a meeting today.

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