Organisational Perspectives from Table 3

All agreed  ‘Employing Continuous Improvement as a Means to Engage the Disengaged’ was very relevant – continuous improvement is completely dependent on engagement.  Other observations included:

  • The case for continuous improvement needs to be explained – explain benefits and people will participate. Explain the WHY
  • You will always have small number of people who are disengaged – one idea is to move them to an area where positive people are (this has worked for some companies in the group)
  • CI is foundation for improvement – all felt that ci initiatives should be moved to other departments not just in operations but also HR, Finance etc.
  • Could link to bonus system, but some companies have found that this doesn’t work (one company had people who preferred not to get small bonus by participating)
  • Difficult to apply with new employees and employees have been there a long time
  • Are people highly engaged because they’re involved in CI or does CI cause people to become engaged? This resonated with everyone – no definite answer
  • Agreement that you need a strong-willed person in CI role – have to deal with engineers, managers etc and be able to withstand negativity
  • Everyone agreed that if you get people interested, people get motivated
  • Important to change view that CI is not about losing jobs – its about making things more efficient
  • One company gave example that they were 3 weeks from closing, when they started Lean/CI and now jobs have been kept in Ireland
  • Employee Engagement is a contact sport
  • CI driven from top down
  • CI can be about small things – improve peoples’ day to day work and they will become more engaged
  • General agreement that HR should be involved – ci can be personal development, mentoring etc
  • HR drives employee engagement initiatives – could HR use CI as a metric?
  • One company had employees with long service and shifts. They have involved every shift in CI. They found that if you give people opportunity and explain WHY you are doing CI initiatives, people will get involved
  • One company had Idea generation project where ideas were then voted on publically on SharePoint
  • If people are not participating, it’s important to have conversation with them to find out why they’re not. Could be that people have to present their ideas and they would feel exposed…
  • One company had a disruptor and decided to give him ownership of a CI initiative & now he is leading a project.
  • Everyone agreed it was a challenge whether to spend time on top performers or disengaged
  • Improving the work is the work

Key Insights

  • Social exchange – creating networks and teams
  • Cross over ideas
  • Leader support – emotional support
  • Senior Leadership Team CI board
  • Trust cycle