Let’s face it, as individuals we are faced with change throughout our entire lives it simply has to happen in order for us to grow and mature. Physically, mentally, and in business. Corporations are learning (if they have not already), that they must change also if they are to stay relevant in today’s Global Market place. Process Improvement is one area that can flip a business on its head quickly. “Bosses and organizations still tend to think that people whom are managed and employed and paid to do a job should do what they’re told to do. We are conditioned from an early age to believe that the way to teach and train, and to motivate people towards changing what they do, is to tell them, or persuade them. From our experiences at school we are conditioned to believe that skills, knowledge, and expectations are imposed on or ‘put into’ people by teachers, and later, by managers and bosses in the workplace.” (Chapman, 2014) A vast majority of our culture still thinks this way, but businesses must take a different stance.
Why? Simply because process improvement, we are finding relies heavily upon input from the frontline worker. The person operating the machine or doing the actual work knows the process and the pitfalls involved with it better than anyone. These workers are referred to as Process Operators and according to the Kaizen Institute, “they work in collaboration with their Operational Manager, create and own their performance objectives. Process Operators are responsible to understand the performance objectives of the process they are to perform and the specifications of the product they are to produce. In other words they have the ability to give input to what is working and what is not.”(Institute, 2013) Companies around the world are taking this simple first step to improving their processes.
An empirical study of some Indian companies reinforced this need. In the study it was found that:
“The studied companies had difficulty in that the human resource often do not follow and practice the business strategy in everyday operation. Moreover, the learning behavior was very limited creating wide gap of knowledge and ability among employees. To solve this integrated approach to knowledge management is used to maximize innovation performance that lead to competitive advantage. This result agrees with the finding of Gloet and Terziovski, (2004). However, our study extends the result to three best practices vis-à-vis: capability development and human need consideration, unleashing the creative potentials of employees, and ensuring employee participation in the TQM approach.”(Taddese and Osada, 2010)
Chapman, Alan, 2014, Organizational Change, Training and Learning retrieved from: http://www.businessballs.com/organizationalchange.html
Institute, Kaizen May 31, 2013, Key role of EMPLOYEES in Business Process Improvement, retrieved from:https://kaizeninstituteindia.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/key-role-of-employees-in-business-process-improvement/
Taddese, Fasil and Osada, Hiroshi, 2010, J. Technol. Manag. Innov. 2010, Volume 5, Issue 2 retrieved from: http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?pid=S0718-27242010000200005&script=sci_arttext