Virginia Roberson is part of our INDUSTRIAL team on a fact-finding mission to surface the technologies and trends impacting manufacturers and to share what we discover along the way.
In a previous INDUSTRY article we discussed how lean best practices have helped manufacturers respond more quickly to COVID-19 changes, from supply chain disruptions to new demands from customers.
Taking it one step further, let’s get into a key component of lean: respect. According to a Harvard Business Review study, more than 20,000 U.S. employees report an increase in disrespectful workplace behavior every year. The article notes that respect is one of the most important tools for growth and performance improvement.
What does respect mean to lean? Lean practitioners use “respect” in their training, but not everyone perceives respect the same way.
The aforementioned study identifies two types of respect:
As lean practitioners, we need to find a respectful common ground. According to a recent IndustryWeek article, people often confuse respect with being nice. The problem with “nice” is that it doesn’t provide the feedback employees need to learn and improve. Lean leaders should offer constructive criticism, but it should be respectful.
This respect works hand in hand with teamwork, per the Toyota Way:
Demonstrating respect and making everyone in the organization feel like they are part of the same team is an essential lean skill. Master respect, and you’re on your way to mastering lean.
Stay lean, my industrial friends.
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