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How COVID Taught Us the Value of Being Adaptive in Business

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image of shifting gears

Photo by DICSON on Unsplash

While COVID-19 had started to spread in Wuhan China late in 2019, it’s spread to the US was late January, with it being declared a pandemic in March. For those of us business owners and leaders, this pandemic has taught us quite a few things. From a macro level, it showed us how important contingency and emergency plans are. It shows us the value of forecasting and diversifying and being adaptive in business. 

Imagine if any of us had thought in December of 2019 that our businesses, suppliers or vendors may be shut down? Imagine if any of us, just 3 months earlier, had the insight to prepare for workforce, school and even restaurant closures. If we had a glimpse into the future, months before the national emergency and subsequent shelter-in-place orders, how would we have planned differently? 

There is no way to plan for every emergency, but frequently I find many businesses have not planned for ANY of them. Some may have planned once, but haven’t visited those policies since the day they were photocopied and dispersed. However, being adaptive in business means not only do we have a plan, we review it. In lean methodology, this is known as continuous improvement.

What we learned from the restaurant industry 

One real life example of how I saw companies being adaptive, both successfully and not, was the restaurant industry. Many restaurants had been offering “to-go” options prior to the restaurant shut down from COVID. Some restaurants quickly were able to scale up this business component, while others really struggled. 

One famous Italian chain of restaurants allowed us to order online, but when we showed up, there were cars all over the place. After two staff came out to talk to me, a third brought me the wrong order. It was clear online ordering was set up, but the specific location had no systems in place to help the process go easier when it came to getting the food out the door. 

To contrast this, we also went to a Mexican restaurant, and when we ordered, we were asked what color and type of car we were driving. When we arrived, parking spots were marked and someone came out in just a few minutes after we arrived, with the correct order. 

Where does this happen in your business? 

When has your business needed to adapt to a change and it went well, or poorly? 

The main component to being adaptive is communication. What needs to change? How do we implement this shift? How do we communicate the new processes? How will we know if it is working or not? Who else needs to have a say in this? 

Do you have systems in place to navigate adaptations, regardless of the source? Is it time to? Next time change comes, will you be ready to shift gears?

 

PBEX, LLC provides a complete review and analysis of the business processes that create efficiency and profitability, and the barriers to them. Providing consulting and lean process improvement training, we are ready to support your organizational goals. Contact us today to learn more about lean business management and to schedule your review with a lean sensei.   

 

Supply Chain Interruptions and Inventory Management in Crisis

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image of empty pallets

Sometimes it takes a global pandemic to reveal holes in our business processes. Some industries have felt the sting of supply chain interruptions and inventory management.Did you run out of supplies? Did a supplier shut down? Was the demand placed on your business increased or decreased?

Likely, your business faced some sort of change in these recent events, and while it is (hopefully) unlikely we will face anything of this magnitude again in the next hundred years, being prepared for disasters needs to be a part of our business plans. 

Lean Methodology in Times of Crisis 

Lean methodology looks to eliminate waste and improve efficiency – it is the opposite of hoarding. However, that doesn’t mean prudent supplies aren’t on hand. Using a visual inventory method, we make it easy to know when to restock – but what if your supplier suddenly goes under? Whether from a natural or man-made disaster, businesses have seen this happen for decades. 

While developing process maps, it is the role of a Lean Consultant to look at all areas where there could be disruption that creates inefficiency. When done well, we overcome these obstacles proactively. Of course, no one can predict the future or prepare for every possible outcome, but strategic planning around the most likely potential problems helps us resolve most of them, or at least allows us to have some agility in the face of crisis. 

The Case of Envelopes 

In one specific organization I worked with, there was a supply chain issue that was causing company-wide problems. It was an issue with semi-custom envelopes and a replacement couldn’t be found. These envelopes were used for sending out a uniquely large invoice, and because of this, invoices stopped going out, causing cash flow issues. 

We looked at alternates for envelopes and found a solution that saved money on both envelopes and invoices. Because this was a reactive fix, it took some time to implement, however, we were able to adjust and smooth into a new process. 

Being Proactive to Avoid Supply Chain Interruptions

Instead of being reactive, a proactive approach could have anticipated a supply chain disruption and allowed us to make changes to avoid or lessen the impact. The only way to really be proactive is to audit current processes and examine where there are potential problems, and then stay on top of those with a continuous improvement mindset. 

Looking at processes deeply helps us to understand where we currently are and what adjustments need to be made if, all of a sudden, demands increase or decrease. It allows us to make changes quickly to capture opportunities, rather than fail as we slip into holes we didn’t know existed. 

Change will always happen in business. Whether large or barely significant, they can give us space for improvement if we are open to learning. 

 

If you are ready to be proactive, or have found some holes now that need to be filled, that’s my expertise. PBEX, LLC provides a complete review and analysis of the business processes that create efficiency and profitability, and the barriers to them. Contact us today to learn more. 

Does Your Business Have an Emergency Plan in Place? 

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emergency plan image of exit sign

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Reading the news on any given day can create fear of the next big thing for us to be concerned about. Terrorist attacks, virus spread, natural disasters, workplace violence, and more can all be unsettling. While there is no possible way to plan for everything, having an emergency plan in place, and the ability to be agile and adjust, are very important. 

The better documented and managed your current processes are, the easier it will be to make adjustments in order to keep things moving as seamlessly as possible. 

When an emergency hits, your physical office could be shut down, supplies could be limited, income could slow or boom, demand could become higher than you can keep up with, and communication needs are heightened. A business crisis plan lays out actions to take in case of such an emergency.

How to Create an Emergency Plan

First, start by documenting processes. What are you currently doing and who is doing it? What is required for each worker to do their job? What supplies or equipment is needed? Identify your mission critical tasks and what is required for them to function. 

Second, take note of your risks. What part of your processes are at risk? For example, do all supplies come from one chain? Consider what natural or man-made disasters the company may face. For example, if tornadoes are more prevalent in your area than a tsunami, you may want to make a plan for that and not others. Start with the highest risk first. 

Third, create an emergency management plan. Create a plan for chain-of-command and expedited decision-making. Create a communication tree so information can be quickly spread to those who need it most. 

Fourth, build your emergency plan. Decide who needs to be part of building your emergency plan and meet to do so. Consider supplies needed for both evacuation and taking shelter. Determine how to communicate the plan to employees, customers and vendors. 

Document your plan and let people know how to access it. If relevant, keep disaster sheets in appropriate areas for quick access, such as near specific equipment or safety areas. Some organizations keep emergency supplies in specific places throughout the building. Be sure these are marked and accessible. 

Finally, practice and reassess. Once your plan is in place, consider practicing it to work out any bugs and find any gaps in protocol. Plan for times to re-evaluate the emergency plan to update it for changes in business processes or new threats or risks. 

 

Uncertain times will ebb and flow, so having an emergency action plan in place will help you move forward during these times with more ease. It all starts with identifying your needs and documenting your processes, which is exactly what I have expertise in. Schedule today to begin a conversation about your emergency plan. 

Business Process Modeling for Improved Results

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business process modeling

Psychologist Howard Gardener wrote in his book “Frames of Mind” about 9 types of intelligence. The theory showed us that people can excel in certain areas more than others, and that intelligence isn’t limited to just ‘book smarts’, science, or math. 

This is exciting news because it frees those of us who may not have been good in a particular subject in school from feeling generally stupid. We can now focus on the areas of intelligence where we do excel, and find others to support us in those we aren’t as strong. 

For some, processes come easily, while others over generalize them and then wonder what isn’t working. Often what I find is that people become blind to challenges or problems because they lack perspective. 

How Business Process Modeling Improves Results 

Business Process Modeling helps to overcome this blindness and can further utilize a variety of intelligence in order to improve outcomes. Let me offer an example: 

ABC Manufacturing wants to hire workers who will perform one of five tasks. They need to know their own roles, but also how it fits into the bigger picture. They also need to perform it to a required standard and consistency. 

Using a Business Process Modeling strategy, each position can be mapped in a way to allow every worker to be trained to meet the performance goals and expectations, breaking it down in ways that every person can understand to be set up for success. It also allows each worker to see how the flow of work matters to the whole. 

Furthermore, it helps everyone see how or why bottlenecks can occur and how to adjust for these possibilities if they arise. It gives management to front line the opportunity to discover holes that can lead to waste in time, talent, and materials, and make proactive changes towards greater efficiency. 

My Intelligence is Business Process Improvement

My intelligence, as a business consulting firm specializing in Lean, is in logical-mathematical and spatial understanding. I use tools such as business process modeling to help unearth areas of waste and inefficiency and adjust them for long-lasting and continuous improvement. 

We implement change that positively impacts the bottom line of companies that hire and train, provide a consistent product or service, and who are looking to improve efficiency, production and outcomes. We do this with a number of tools, including business process modeling. 

 

PBEX, LLC provides a complete review and analysis of the business processes that create efficiency and profitability, and the barriers to them. Contact us today to learn more about how a lean consultant can help you, and to schedule your organizational audit with a business process improvement expert. 

Does Your Business Want to Learn to Fish with a Lean Sensei?

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image of someone fishing

Along with personal New Year’s Resolutions, there are also business ones. We often spend time each year reflecting on our numbers and then come up with strategies to improve them. For some, improving numbers means increasing sales or efficiency. For others, it means reducing accidents (and insurance claims) or inventory waste.

These needed changes are often discussed over boardroom tables, and other times are given as directives from upper management. Unfortunately, just like personal resolutions, business goals can start strong and then lose ground, sometimes ending up in a position worse than where they started. This is when consultants are often called in.

The Problem with Consultants

Consultants, with a wide variety of specialties, are often called in to help management fix a specific problem they are having. This is like hiring a personal trainer when your goal is to increase your fitness levels. The consultant or trainer takes some background information and starting metrics and then prescribes an action plan.

You then implement that plan, along with accountability from the consultant. While the accountability is in place and you continue to implement the plan, goals materialize. Everyone celebrates! However, too often, once the accountability is gone, there is a sliding back, or even a maladaptive behavior, and this creates a bigger problem than what you started with.

When someone from outside the business comes in, they bring with them the benefit of a fresh perspective, but, if they only give a solution, without really understanding the problem, they will create a bigger fish to fry.

Learning to Fish

Lean consultants often carry the title of Sensei. They do this because unlike consultants, who show up, solve a problem and leave, they look for the root cause of the problem to begin with. A lean sensei doesn’t simply offer a quick fix, but rather seeks knowledge. They don’t look for the “fish” that will solve a problem, temporarily changing results, and celebrating prematurely. Instead, they learn about the lake that is the business at hand, the fish that occupy that lake, and the best bait to use.

When a lean sensei works with a business, they seek to understand how holes got into the systems and lead management into processes that help them discover and solve those on their own. This way teaches managers concepts they can use going forward, rather than giving them a single solution. Instead of a fish, a lean sensei teaches the business how to fish.

 

PBEX, LLC provides a complete review and analysis of the business processes that create efficiency and profitability, and the barriers to them. Providing consulting and lean process improvement training, we are ready to support your organizational goals. Contact us today to learn more about lean business management and to schedule your review with a lean sensei.

 

A Roast, a Business Process, and a Lesson

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business process

Since Thanksgiving and other winter holidays are upon us, I thought I’d remind you of a story you may have heard that illustrates an important principle… it’s the story of the Holiday Roast. 

The Holiday Roast Story 

One Thanksgiving, Wendy was preparing for the big mealseasoning the roast she was about to place into the oven, when her husband Mark came into the kitchen to help peel potatoes. Wendy was chopping carrots to add to the pan, when Mark noticed something peculiar and asked, “Why did you cut off that chunk of roast?” 

“Oh,” Wendy answered, “I don’t know. It’s a family tradition. We always cut the end off of the roast.” 

“Hmm, I wonder why,” Mark asked aloud, prompting Wendy to call her mother. 

“Mom, why do we cut the end off of the roast?” 

“Well, I did it because your grandmother used to do it. I think it makes it more tender,” Wendy’s mother replied, prompting Wendy to call her grandmother. 

“Grandma, why do we cut the end off of the roast?” 

“Wendy, I don’t know why you do it, but I did it because I was feeding a family of 6 and the roasts we would buy never fit in my baker. I cut off the end so it would.” 

The Frankenstein Process 

In this story, we see the origination of a tradition, that was built out of a necessity for a single person’s “process”. The next person to observe and learn, simply went through the motions of repeating what they saw, without knowing the “why” behind it. By the time it got to the third person, she took it for what she thought it was – tradition. 

This happens all the time in business, and leads to what I call a “Frankenstein process”. Often one person creates or tweaks a process that better fits their needs, and this gets passed on without anyone asking why. 

As a lean consultant, it’s part of my job to ask why. Together, we look through what’s working, and what isn’t and follow problematic processes back to the beginning, like Wendy did in the above story. We uncover why something isn’t working, and go back to the roots, so we can address it at that point, making it more effective and efficient going forward. 

Wendy’s grandmother came up with a solution, and the solution worked for her, but when a solution begins creating waste, lean methodology dives in and creates a better solution for current productivity – not just what worked in the past. If you frequently say (or hear), “I don’t know, we’ve just always done it that way,” it’s probably a good time for us to chat. 

 

PBEX, LLC provides a complete review and analysis of the business processes that create efficiency and profitability, and the barriers to them. Providing consulting and lean process improvement training, we are ready to support your organizational goals. Contact us today to learn more about lean business management and to schedule your review with a process improvement expert. 

Are You Fixing Problems or Solving Them?

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Have you ever been to Qdoba? It’s a casual dining restaurant featuring Mexican food. The other day I was there and watched a particular employee wipe down tables and chairs after diners left. He had a smile on his face as he did his work. That was until he got to the trashcan.

He wiped the area clean and looked into the trash bin opening and frowned, throwing his towel down. He fiercely opened the cabinet and pulled out the trash can and reached in, pulling out several silver trays – these trays are how the delicious Qdoba food is served.

He slammed the trashcan back into place, threw the dirty trays into his busboy dish tub and marched to the back. A few minutes later, he returned with a sign – handwritten in thick black marker the words, “Don’t Throw Away the Trays”.

How long do you think this solution lasted? I know for one, I personally didn’t throw my tray in the trash. But was it a complete solution? What else could be done to solve the problem, rather than just apply a temporary fix?

Fix Versus Solve

Fixing a problem is usually quite quick. Someone seems a problem and creates a knee jerk reaction to fix it. It takes into consideration a limited scope of information. In the above case, the busboy, while ambitious, used only his perspective to determine the problem and a fix. You likely know that Qdoba is a chain restaurant – did the busboy’s sign fix the problem of disposed trays at any other location? What was this problem causing other franchisors? Was this a problem worth solving?

Solving a problem, on the other hand, looks at the bigger picture to get to the root cause. It takes in more perspectives to find a long-term solution. In fact, when I meet with companies who have a big problem to solve, there is quite a large impact on their bottom line and just a fix won’t do.

Making it Hard to Fail

When we look at creating a solution, we look to create one that is mistake proof. We make the process SO easy, that it is hard to do wrong. We set people up for success. Lean isn’t the only process that does this though – think about some of the solutions you’ve seen in everyday life to help us, and others, not fail:

  • When a waitperson brings a diet soda with two straws to indicate it is diet
  • When we try to start a car when it’s not in park
  • When you can’t push ‘start’ on your microwave unless the door is closed

Solutions don’t need to be complicated, they just need to allow little to no room for error. Companies who think about processes and how to make them foolproof, rather than just letting them happen, are more successful.

Now, Back to Our Story

The above story about Qdoba is something I made up, but it paints an important picture. To solve the problem, they made the opening to the trash can too small for the silver trays to fit. They also placed a label on the shelf above the trash that clearly, and kindly requested that all silver trays be returned to that spot. This made it fool proof. If a patron tried to throw away a tray, it simply couldn’t be done. It would also trigger them to take another action, such as placing it on the clearly marked shelf, or, in the worst-case scenario, setting it back on the table where they ate. Either way, this which allowed the busboy to pick it the trays up, rather than dig through the trash for them. Problem solved!

 

PBEX, LLC provides a complete review and analysis of the business processes that create efficiency and profitability, and the barriers to them. Contact us today to learn more about lean business management and to schedule your review with a process improvement and automation expert and start solving problems, rather than just fixing them.

Is Storing Cold Inventory Costing You More Than Replacing It Would? 

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5S Organization

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As a Lean Consultant, one of the tools I use is the 5S Organization System which is particularly helpful when it comes to reclaiming space. In fact, storage issues are a big reason I am called into organizations. They need more floor space… they are moving into a new space… they realize they have dead inventory and don’t know what to do about it.  Often when I go into businesses, I discover they have become “blind” to the things they are storing that they don’t need. In some of these cases, this storage costs more than replacing the actual supplies being stored. 

This can happen when the parts become obsolete, or there is no process in place to handle these supplies, either in inventory, scraps, returns, or defect management. This happens a lot in Research and Development, in Engineering, and with business founders. In fact, business owner have a tendency to store personal items on property, creating a problem with space, but that’s a topic for another article. Today, we will address the 5S Organization System. 

5S Organization 

The 5S Organization System is part of Lean Methodology and consists of the components: 1. Sort, 2. Set in Order, 3. Shine, 4. Standardize, and 5. Sustain. Some companies choose to add a 6th S: Safety. Overall, this process helps organizations increase floor space, reduce costs, create a safer working environment, and increase productivity. 

Sort. This is the first step and its where we go through all the equipment, supplies, and tools in an area and sort based on who needs it, for what purpose, and frequency of use. We take into consideration the value of the items and the best location for them – which may include the dumpster, storage, donations, or even re-purposed in another area. 

Set in Order. After sorting and moving items out of a space, we then process the remaining assets. Logical arrangements are made to allow access to the right equipment, supplies and tools by the right people at the right times. Organizational systems such as bins, hooks, shelves or files may be used to reduce chaos. 

Overall processes may be examined to determine the best flow and to discover holes that would cause this problem to resurface. Care is taken to not create additional waste, which includes wasting time and resources. 

Shine. Shine refers to cleaning up the area. Often when items are stored for long periods of time, dust and debris can build up. But Shine isn’t just a one-time project. Shine puts systems in place for continuous organization and cleanliness of the area to prevent future equipment failure, inventory overstock or neglect. 

Standardize. Where Shine may feel janitorial or maintenance focused, Standardize addresses the root cause of the disorganization so it can be addressed proactively as much as possible. It creates processes, schedules, diagrams, task lists and more to create a culture and system of organization. 

Sustain. Sustain brings the organization into the future, keeping the changes in place. It keeps the fix from being a temporary solution. Anytime a new system or process is implemented, it will take time to get used to. After time, it can start to morph, so “checking in” with the process is a part of Sustain to make course corrections, or adapt the shifts for increasing efficiency. 

A Real World Example 

I was called into a company who was moving into a new space because they had too much “stuff” and needed help sorting so they knew where to move everything into the new space. We used the 5S Organization System for this project, as it was the best solution. While sorting, we came across three boxes that had the original tape from when they were shipped, 4 years prior. When I asked what they were, no one knew. So, we opened them. We looked into the boxes and I asked, “Do we need these?” 

The response I received was, “Well, I’m sure we do.” 

We asked around and discovered the boxes were holding supplies for a project that had been abandoned 3 years earlier. We kept going through boxes, determining what could be sold, donated, re-purposed or trashed. We ended up filling two dumpsters. Had they done the process prior to making the decision to move, they may not have needed to. 

 

PBEX, LLC provides a complete review and analysis of the business processes that create efficiency and profitability, and the barriers to them. Contact us today to learn more about lean business management and the multiple tools, including 5S Organization, and to schedule your review with a process improvement and automation expert. 

Too Much Redundancy and Still Finding Holes? Here’s Why. 

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Today we have so much technology that redundancy seems unnecessary. Scanners, tablets, internet-based forms, automation, applications, integration – these are all designed to streamline systems and reduce redundancy, and yet some companies are still finding they have holes in information, resulting in dead inventory, failed customer service, disorganization, and usually frustration. 

How is this possible when technology is in place? How can things still fall through the cracks?

Often the answer is that the technology didn’t solve the root problem – it only created a temporary “band-aid” fix. Let me tell you a story. 

The Manufacturing Company with Bottlenecks 

I was called into a manufacturing company as a Lean Consultant to help with a problem in Accounts Receivable. They weren’t collecting money fast enough, and it was causing delays with purchasing, cash flow and on-time delivery. A fresh and objective set of eyes is usually able to ask the hard questions, as well as the obvious ones no one else is asking. 

In this particular company, there was a lot of finger pointing, and solutions were elusive because the more they searched, they just did more finger pointing elsewhere. In this game of “not me”, things weren’t getting done. Everyone was entering information, and because of this, the company didn’t understand how things were still bottlenecking and being delayed. Surely with their redundancy and technology, this shouldn’t be happening – right? 

The Broken Process – Redundancy and Technology

Sales people made sales, entered in the customer information, and passed them off to the Design department. Sales would then go find the next sale. 

As part of their process, A/R would bill 50% up front, many times missing the proper information to send and invoice, in which case they would call the customer and gather the information and enter it. This delay would bottleneck the process and hurt cash flow. Sometimes this bottleneck impacted design, installation, fabrication and purchasing. 

Once Design received the work order, they would review the sale and start the design process. Sometimes, the Design team needed more information that nobody had, so they would stop the process until they could gather the required information from the customer, delaying the process yet again. Once the design was created, Purchasing took over. 

Purchasing would then take the work order information and procure the materials needed for the end product. Sometimes, purchasing needed to swap out materials, and this would cause a delay due to needed customer approvals and changes to billing. Once everything was ok, Fabrication could begin. 

Fabrication created the product… as long as they had everything they needed. When they didn’t, someone, somewhere was put in charge of making adjustments and finding answers. 

Installation would take the end product and get it to the customer, mostly on time, but not always. When they didn’t, their reputation suffered. It sometimes created cancelled orders, resulting in scrap and wasted labor.  

This happened for a long time. 

Technology Didn’t Fail, the Process Did

The technology that was put into place created redundancy (everyone entering information) rather than solutions. The more people who “touch” the project, the more possibility there will be errors. In this company, everyone touched the same information, and built on it, wasting time. 

When I was able to see the entire process, from start to finish, and get feedback from every department, we were able to create a process that included a client checklist the salesperson could complete at step one that would collect all the information every department needed in order to be successful. 

We also looked at other potential and actual bottlenecks in the production process and created solutions that would keep things moving forward. This reduced frustration to employees and improved customer satisfaction levels. It also allowed the company to revamp some of their automated systems to better support the overall process, rather than just chunks of the process. Technology now has reduced redundancy to create a more streamlined and efficient process that yields higher production, increased revenue, and more profitability. 

 

As Lean Consultants, PBEX, LLC provides a complete review and analysis of the business processes that create efficiency and profitability, and the barriers to them – including ineffective technology and redundancy. Contact us today to learn more about lean business management and to schedule your review with a process improvement expert. 

 

Having Trouble with High Employee Turnover?

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It May Be Time to Look at Your Processes

Some industries are known for high employee turnover. They tend to be jobs in retail or food service, where jobs pay low and are plentiful, but they aren’t the only ones. In fact, according to LinkedIn Learning, Software and Media jobs also rank among the highest.

There are some reasons for this high employee turnover that have a lot to do with changes in the industry, creating a wave of trends that those in employment sectors are watching. But, if you have discovered that your business is suffering from unusually high employee loss, and it doesn’t seem to fit the industry trend (or it does but you’d like to reverse that), you may want to take a look at your processes.

The Management Hole

One of the biggest complaints by employees is that they feel management makes decisions from behind a desk, without really understanding the front line. There tends to be a gap between what managers want from staff and what staff is able to provide. This becomes the forever battle between the front line and management teams.

Hands-on management encourages and equips leaders to spend time getting to understand their direct subordinates. Learning employee motivations and interests helps to close the communication gap, but is it enough?

Lack of Awareness

Sometimes, high employee turnover comes from a lack of awareness about why it is happening to begin with. Are there exit interviews in place? Is the management team open to feedback and continuous improvement?

Simply reviewing the motivations for employee terminations and resignations can create a huge insight from which management can begin to make positive, money saving changes. Just like changing a manufacturing error that creates a physical defect in the end product, making a change to a hiring, on-boarding, or management practices can correct problematic employee results.

High employee turnover and repeated disciplinary actions may be a sign of a broken system

An Example from the Trenches

Recently I discovered that someone close to me left his job in frustration over something that could have been fixed for under $20. The employee had been given warnings with increasing penalties for consistently not taking his lunch break on time. He was often focused on work, and with no clock in the work space, often lost track of time. Due to the type of work he was doing, wearing a wrist watch was dangerous, and he wasn’t allowed to have his cellphone on the floor.

Overall, he felt he was ‘magically’ supposed to know when it was lunchtime, and clock out at the appropriate time. Most of the time, a certain person returning from their break would be a visible trigger for him, but other times he missed it, and therefore, missed his break start, setting in motion a domino effect of missed lunch breaks for others. This was obviously a frustration for management.

When the employee asked for a clock to be installed, or the one on the wall to be repaired, he was told it would happen, but that day didn’t come before he received his third verbal warning for a late lunch clock out. Frustrated, he offered his resignation. No surprise, this wasn’t the only management fail he had experienced, but it was the straw that broke his back.

So, given the cost of replacing the employee, or purchasing a $20 clock, what would you choose? What systems need to be in place in order for this type of mistake to be avoided? A feedback loop? A change in procurement practices? What simple steps can be implemented to reduce the emotional and actual cost of high employee turnover?

Simple, Effective Solutions

Often, when I visit companies looking to improve results that aren’t meeting their expectations, I find a very simple fix. Sometimes this means throwing out cold inventory, changing how a process is done to improve efficiency, or simply purchasing the one thing employees need to be successful.

As an objective outsider, equipped with Lean Management tools, I walk through facilities and processes with a keen eye focused on the areas that can be made more efficient. Some of these changes are immediate, and others take time to get into place.

 

PBEX, LLC provides a complete review and analysis of the business processes that create efficiency and profitability, and the barriers to them. Contact us today to learn more about lean business management and to schedule your review with a process improvement expert.