In our organization, we have two jobs: to do your job, and to improve your job. We help our employees do that every day with KaiNexus.Karen Kiel Rosser
KaiNexus enables us to harness our improvement energy by giving us the structure to support and encourage our employees.Matthew Cannistraro
KaiNexus empowers the people who directly impact outcomes. It may be the most powerful tool in the health care cultural revolution.Kristin Bentz
The first step to getting people to participate in your improvement culture is to make it easy for them by letting them submit ideas for improvement from whatever device they’re using when they come up with idea. KaiNexus lets people send in ideas using an app, email, or any computer or tablet.
Get out of your inbox and into KaiNexus by commenting directly on each improvement to keep everyone in the loop, regardless of shift or location. Store data with improvements, build teams to increase accountability, assign work and stay on top of due dates, and access reports that update in real-time. Your teams should focus on improvement. Let us manage the details.
Give a shout out to the people who are improving with built-in recognition features that let you reward engagement and encourage additional participation .
A sustainable culture of continuous improvement needs five things: bottom-up improvement, top-down improvement, strategy deployment, coaching, and visual management. Every organization claiming to be Lean incorporates some of these 5 elements, but only the best incorporate them all.
Part of the trouble companies have is that they find themselves focusing too much on top-down initiatives such as Rapid Improvement Events, Kaizen Events, and Lean projects. Yes, these approaches are all valuable - but they’re not the end all, be all of an improvement culture. Bottom-up improvement is necessary in order to make incremental, impactful improvement by engaging every person in the organization in solving the most pressing business concerns.
There are some major differences that must be accounted for when coaching bottom-up improvement as compared to top-down. Let's take a look at what some of those differences are - and why increasing bottom-up improvement is worth making a change to your coaching style.
When the only improvement initiatives taking place in an organization are large projects and events, it’s relatively easy for an individual coach (or a small team) to keep track of who is working on what, issues that are popping up, and the results obtained.
When you’re coaching a bottom-up improvement culture, it’s a different story. Here you have hundreds of employees fulfilling every function in the business, spread throughout the building - or even across the country.
You’ll need to utilize technology that increases visibility into the improvement work of a dispersed workforce. You can’t possibly have one-on-one checkins like you could with small teams in rapid improvement events, but you can get the visibility to see what people are working on, when work is falling overdue, when managers aren’t keeping up with their staff, when people need coaching on thinking through improvements, and so on.
It’s critical that you maintain communication with your staff, offering feedback consistently and promptly. Continuous improvement software makes it possible for you to offer this level of service to a large team in a bottom-up improvement culture without necessarily having to expand your coaching team
When you’re coaching improvement experts in Kaizen events and Lean projects, you’re pretty much running the show. It’s a controlled environment, you have access to all the data, and you have the bandwidth to coach all teams closely.
When coaching a bottom-up improvement culture, though, managers play a much heavier role in guiding the culture and driving progress. For example, you can’t approve and assign every improvement in the organization; even taking bandwidth out of the equation, you don’t know enough about every process to decide whether the ideas are good ones or who should work on them.
That’s where your managers come into play. You’ll need to focus a lot of effort on how to coach managers to encourage employee engagement, maintain a positive improvement culture, and ensure that progress is made via improvement toward strategic goals.
To do this, it’s important to have transparency into the workflow of the managers. Are their areas getting fewer staff ideas than others? The managers need coaching to increase employee engagement in the improvement program. Are staff submitting ideas that are ignored for too long? The managers need coaching on the importance of reacting quickly to new ideas. Are managers taking on too much of the work themselves, and thus falling behind and reducing employee engagement? They need some coaching on how to empower employees to be responsible for their own ideas.
With targeted coaching like this, you’ll gradually train up a team of managers that are capable of helping you drive a bottom-up improvement culture at a local level. With that extra layer of help, the culture will spread far beyond what it could have done without the help of managers.
When you’re an improvement coach leading one improvement event per month, the impact you can have on the organization is limited in size and scope. If you’re a coach in a bottom-up improvement culture, the opportunity for growth and impact is really unlimited.
The more people you’re able to reach through targeted coaching and manager development, the more far-reaching your impact will be. Using the engagement and activity reports in continuous improvement software makes it possible for you to continuously hone in on areas that need your help and offer encouragement to those that are doing well without you.
In this way, coaching bottom-up improvement gives you the opportunity to touch more people and lead an organization-wide cultural transformation.
When you have people all over the organization engaged in bottom-up improvement, it’s impossible to keep up with what’s happening where using spreadsheets and bulletin boards. Continuous improvement software gives you access to activity and engagement metrics that show where your help is most needed, so that you can target your coaching for maximum impact and efficiency.
While staff don’t need to be improvement experts to participate in daily continuous improvement, they do need some base-level knowledge about what type of ideas to look for and how to implement them effectively. Continuous improvement software makes it simple to track your certification classes and training projects so that you can keep up with a large-scale rollout without all the paperwork.
Managers play a big role in a bottom-up improvement culture, because they’re the ones interacting with staff on a daily basis about their improvement. The role of the coach in this scenario is to offer those managers coaching and skills development as needed. Continuous improvement software helps you identify bottlenecks like managers who aren’t delegating, those who aren’t keeping up with new improvements as they’re submitted, and those who aren’t validating the results of completed improvements. This way, you know which managers need your help, and can focus your efforts on helping them improve.
Keeping up with the improvement initiatives across the organization can be overwhelming - all the meetings and emails can easily get out of control. Continuous improvement software streamlines communication, standardizes reporting, and increases visibility so that you can focus on your staff and the big picture rather than little administrative details.
There are lots of reasons one would want to validate the ROI of their work, from justifying your position or an improvement budget increase to advocating for more time spent on improvement. Continuous improvement software makes it possible to confidently, objectively show the impact your work has had on the bottom line.
Continuous improvement software makes your boards digital so that they can still be displayed on the wall of work areas with the formatting your staff are used to, but can also be accessed on your computer so that you can check in from anywhere. Drill down into the details of any improvement or project without having to hunt people down with questions, and thus spend your valuable on-site and meeting time discussing the work at a higher level.