It’s important to start by remembering that continuous improvement is not a “one off event” it is a continuous cycle of improvement. There are in fact six core principles of continuous improvement in your workplace, and it is essential that these are communicated to and with every member of your team.

To achieve continuous improvement in your workplace, you will need to ensure your employees are on board with the idea before you even start – having their input is vital to its success.

Principle One – Small Change Improvements

Change is hard for anyone in any business and it can feel overwhelming or destabilising for some people in your workplace. This is why you need to take small and simple steps so the fear of change is reduced and your employees then feel more comfortable and confident about the process and how it is going to impact them.

Principle Two – Ideas from Employees

In many large businesses an outside consultant or manager from head office comes into the business and tells you what you need to change to make it work better; this person may not have ever have spent a day in your workplace and this can be frustrating for employees. The most effective way is for those that are closest to the problems to provide the solutions or at least have an input into the solutions.

Principle Three – No Big Investments Needed

Remember that incremental improvements will not often require big investments, instead they will eliminate those process steps instead of adding to the process and this means you’ll be able to gain better results for the business without spending huge sums of money.

Principle Four – Employee Ownership

As we said earlier, for a continuous improvement model to work in your business employees at all levels need to be involved. When you are giving your employees ownership and using their ideas they become more invested in the outcome of change which increases employee engagement and leads to better results for the business as a whole.

Principle Five – Reflect on Improvements

For continuous improvement to work you need to continuously collect feedback, continuously reflect on the improvements and have open communication throughout the team during the lifecycle of each improvement project.

Principle Six – Measure the Improvements

Measuring success is often something that is key in the business, whether this is in terms of cost savings, quality improvements, customer satisfaction or improved timelines, however there may be times when the outcome is less defined. There can be times that any improvements in the workplace might be a more engaged happy workforce – which as we all know is a good outcome but less tangible in terms of measurement.

We have worked with businesses, where this type of approach has been used, that small improvement teams or the team has a whole have been used to provide the solutions to any continuous improvement projects. If you would like to discuss how you get your team involved then please contact us at KJ HR Consulting Ltd for an initial discussion.