September 7, 2022
Your organization can fall behind the competition if you aren’t actively looking for ways to streamline and improve processes. One way you can combat this is by implementing continuous improvement or Kaizen. If you’re looking for ways to create a better organization, we’ve listed some continuous improvement ideas to try out.
If there’s one thing you should have for continuous improvement, it’s training programs. Training programs are one of the improvement tools that can give your employees more opportunities for development, growth, and engagement. It also provides an avenue to train them with the skills and knowledge your organization needs its workforce to have. For example, you can train them about process improvement training or business approaches like the Six Sigma and Lean to secure customer satisfaction and cost reduction. You can also take advantage of this program to teach them the best business practices to better execute current strategies and find ways to improve on them.
The best way you can execute your training program is through EdApp. With EdApp, you’ll be able to manage training without it eating away at your time. One way EdApp does this is by making user enrollment as easy as possible. You won’t have to manually assign courses to your learners or send course links to them one by one. Most of the manual work is already automated, so all you have to do is sit back and wait for their training results to come in.
Another great thing about using EdApp is having access to its vast and expertly crafted course library. It includes courses like free marketing courses, cybersecurity courses, process improvement examples, and more. You won’t have to spend thousands just to reskill and upskill your team over one topic. You’ll have a ton of topics to choose from in the library.
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Part of why some organizations fail is that they lack constant communication and transparency with their teams. Stand-ups can help you avoid that. They provide regular updates and open a platform for discussion for the entire organization. With standups, you’ll know how your workforce feels about your leaders and the organization as a whole. They’re also an opportunity to clear up any misconceptions and misgivings about the organization or its leaders. Additionally, they can help identify and fix organizational problems before they become bigger.
Another continuous improvement idea you can use is think tanks. Think tanks help solve problems and critical organizational issues by picking the minds of your workforce. You can set up think tank meetings with a purpose or simply establish a goal for the meeting to encourage free-flowing ideas such as for business methodology improvement and boosting customer satisfaction. During these meetings, you can explain how current processes are done to see where improvements and adjustments can be made.
Since technology is so embedded into the operations, discussing upgrades and new software solutions focused on efficiency is a great starting point for think tanks. Automation solutions, for example, are becoming increasingly important for organizations to remain competitive.
Mindmaps are diagrams that arrange information in a way that connects ideas to see how they can be used together. They’re a great continuous improvement idea for planning, problem-solving, road mapping, and idea-taking. Mind maps are similar to trees in that they begin with a central concept (the trunk) and branch out to related ideas, both large and small (twigs).
The visual framework highlights knowledge gaps and connections between ideas. It’s ideal to use when you need your team to see ideas differently so they can have a fresh perspective on how to tackle things. It’s also great for process design, product improvement, quality control, and any other area where you may want to improve.
While outdated techniques persist in the workplace, many organizations recognize the value of performance reviews for continuous improvement. Good performance reviews help managers provide their team members with fair and actionable feedback. By providing clear action points, the members will have a better idea of what and how they can improve.
This can boost employee engagement by providing significant praise and encouragement, as well as creating clear avenues for employee progress and performance improvement that are based on accountability. When leaders execute them well, employees are also able to offer more meaningful feedback that helps the organization achieve operational excellence and get the motivation to do better.
1:1 sessions are a bit like performance reviews. However, gauging whether somebody needs to improve or not isn’t the only thing discussed during these sessions. They’re meant to be casual, regular conversations in which team members can discuss any roadblocks or growth opportunities with their managers. For managers, it’s an avenue to mitigate future issues by addressing misunderstandings, misconceptions, and misbehaviors. By taking advantage of this continuous improvement idea, you won’t have to wait for quarterly reviews to take action for an improvement process.
Time is one of the most valuable things that organizations continue to waste. Accurately measuring and gauging how long a procedure takes on behalf of your workers can provide insight into where you can optimize a process. It’s as simple as timing a procedure with software. You can then examine how long procedures take and look for methods to cut down on them. This could be done by automating approvals and reducing contact points to prevent possible bottlenecks and delays.
Catchball is a continuous improvement idea that demands the person who launched a process to educate others involved in it. They can then “throw” it out to the team for criticism and suggestions for continuous process improvement, but only one person decides how to proceed moving forward. This is because processes shouldn’t be initiated and finished by a single member inside an organization. It’s a collaborative experience. Through catchball, every person becomes accountable for its implementation while also requiring the input and support of others.
Standard work is a continuous improvement idea that encourages documenting every important detail of your organization’s work. It should contain any necessary supporting elements, such as diagrams, mind maps, or images, so anyone who does the work can easily refer to them. It should also be easily available to everyone doing the work and, ideally, created by those responsible. This creates a baseline that you or anyone involved can point to for improvements in the future. By doing this simple methodology, you’ll have the key to ongoing quality improvement.
Value Stream Mapping is a method of documenting and evaluating everything that happens in the product-making process through process maps to bring value to clients. It’s a comprehensive analysis of how a service or product progresses from basic requirements to the customer’s hands. Processes that provide value are reinforced, while those that don’t offer any or provide minimal value are phased out. It’s a good approach for determining the existing state and serves as a springboard for continuous improvement and waste reduction.
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Stephanie is an eLearning content writer for EdApp, a microlearning solution designed for today's digital habits. She creates content about cutting-edge learning technologies and resources to help companies deliver great training experiences. When not absorbed in writing, she spends her time taking care of her dog and binge-watching.