Setting a culture of continuous improvement

Ever since the beginning of the Industrial revolution, enterprises have been trying to bring about changes in the way their industries work to bring better profits. With the increased competition everyone is looking for improving their business processes. Therefore it becomes important that companies implement a culture of continuous improvement in their lives.

The Japanese call the term “Continuous improvement” as “kaizen”. It is a philosophy that involves improving the product, the process, the design and the way the teams handle these processes. It is a different way of looking at the project as a whole. The goal is not to reach a particular target but to never stop the improvement process.

This can make a great impact on the way companies work and how they visualize their goals. It is, however, true that changing the existing culture of an organization is very difficult. Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that once you start the process you adhere to it, to get the best possible outcomes. It may not be flashy or instantly informative, but it does bring long-term advantages to your business. Let us look at the steps you need to take to implement such a culture in your organization.

1. Get the organization committed:

It is not enough if only the management or leaders commit to changing the culture of an organization. It is necessary for every employee of the organization to commit themselves to this transformation towards continuous improvement.

2. Make it a part of the routine:

Continuous improvement shouldn’t be an additional burden to your normal tasks. It should become a part of your routine. It should be implemented as a small change that is implemented on a daily basis that over time converts to a big step in the positive direction.

3. Incentives:

While people look at these new changes as just another new initiative, it is difficult to incorporate it as a work culture. Therefore, you need to tie this to the work of each individual. Giving them incentives to successfully carry out new tasks for continuous improvement is one way to motivate them to accept the new work culture.

4. Measure the results:

Just like continuous improvement, a continuous check of the results is also mandatory. Continuous improvement as a work culture is highly metrics driven. This means that it may take a long time to show results, but analyzing the results obtained is essential to the success of this methodology.

5. Communication:

As these initiatives may not give immediate or quick results, it is not transformative instantly. Therefore people may lose focus or motivation for working towards it. Therefore communication plays a key role in letting people know what is going on and the progress being made.

6. Patience:

Creating an entirely new culture and changing the existing one can take a lot of time. Therefore, you need to make a commitment and sustain it. It has to be a relentless approach that is disciplined and regular. Therefore a company that undertakes Kaizen should be patient and persistent.

7. Repetition:

Once you see your business improving steadily, the efforts must not be abandoned. The process must be repeated again and continue the improvement steadily further.