Hi, I’m Greg Jacobson from KaiNexus, where we make improvement happen.
You always hear that timing is everything, and it’s the same in continuous improvement. In successful improvement cultures, one of the most important things is giving a fast response to opportunities for improvement. While ideas might sit for a month or two in traditional suggestion box systems, leaders need to respond to opportunities for improvement in a day or two, at least acknowledging the opportunity even if the solution can’t be put in place right away.
Employees respond best to timely feedback, so it’s important that leaders at all levels make time each day to follow up on new opportunities for improvement. In just a few short minutes, you can send a powerful signal that improvement is a priority, and your actions can emphasize the importance of improvement more than words ever could. Managers need to respond to their employees’ input, and senior leaders need to ensure that the managers under them are responding quickly. Managers should take a few minutes (prompted by their daily email digest, in KaiNexus) to review and assign opportunities for improvement. KaiNexus makes this transparent, trackable, and extremely easy. We still encourage managers who have a question about the opportunity to talk to the employee face to face or bring it up in a team huddle or meeting, but responding quickly in KaiNexus makes this a snap.
Our experience shows that the most successful improvement programs are those where leaders quickly respond to new opportunities for improvement. Managers can best demonstrate their enthusiasm for improvement by responding quickly, which leads to more enthusiasm and participation from their employees. As a staff member, there are ways you can hold your leader accountable. Enter a comment about your opportunity for improvement in KaiNexus, or better yet, talk to your manager when you see them. Ask them about the opportunity. In many cases, you’ll be empowered to start taking action. KaiNexus helps make improvement easier partly because communication about the improvement happens quickly.
So don’t wait, participate in improvement today.