You need sound continuous improvement initiatives to deal with the ever changing consumer, market and even competition. You see, all products that will be sold in the market tomorrow will have more features, look better and even sell for less. This continuous change in markets affect every industry you can think of. This makes us think that sooner or later, the consumer, on a global scale, will move on.
This means that if your products or services have not been refined to meet the demands of this ever-changing market, they will be rendered obsolete. In other words, staying put won’t be an option, unless you are waiting for competition to kick you out of the market.
The better you master your improvement techniques, the more competitive your business becomes. This calls for continuous improvement initiatives that will bring results at the least cost possible.
You see, this process simply allows a business to evolve in every aspect you can think of. This is meant to enhance customer service and experience in various capacities.
Think of it this way — if you’re able to evolve or improve faster than your competitor next door. What will happen? You will definitely secure a larger market share for your business. That’s the reason many top tier business managers consider CI such a big deal. If your company adapts a good CI culture, its evolution will accelerate.
In fact, working hard alone won’t be enough. We need to think about ways in which we can strive to make things better.
3 Continuous Improvement Initiatives to Consider
In relation to the above things, any sound business model will definitely pay attention to this evolution. It’s so critical if a business wants to operate efficiently while reducing its overhead costs. Here are 3 initiatives you may want to consider:
1. Communicate Your Intentions
The CI culture can only move forward if you communicate what you intend to do. In fact, communicating this change process is the simplest and most important thing to do, as it marks the starting point for this gradual process.
You must make it an initiative to state it through strategy reviews, team briefings and newsletters. But there are things you must address when intending to communicate effectively.
For instance, if you’re going to use a sender to deliver that message, are you using the most preferred sender to deliver the message?
Research now shows that employees prefer to hear messages from the person at the top of the change (i.e the person who is responsible for communicating business or change issues) and their supervisors. The supervisors are heard because they are responsible for communicating the impact of this imminent change.
Before you take that initiative to bring change, are you giving them the reason for this change? The first thing employees will ask is — ”why is this taking place now?” So you must tell them the reason and make it consistent throughout the entire phase of the project.
Don’t overlook this step in favor of spending time investing on lean training, six sigma or any of those fancy consultancies.
2. Start Tracking Your Continuous Improvement Process and Register Everything Involved
The word ”continuous” appears in CI because it’s all about driving forward the process of change however slow it is. Once you choose a change model you want to go with, tracking is very important. You need a process that will track, capture, or even register opportunities that can lead to improvement in the business.
A CIP (Continuous Improvement Process) would be ideal in providing the above functions. Maybe it could be in form of a software that lets employees remotely upload discovered opportunities for improvement to some sort of a central improvement register.
Once they upload these tasks, they can be delegated to various stakeholders within the business. At this point, it makes it easy for improvement tasks to be tracked until completion.
You see, without such an organized system, it would be very difficult to implement a change improvement initiative. There needs to be accountability, and things need to be done in a certain organized manner. Keeping records is the way to go.
3. Empower them to Improve
Continuous improvement can only happen when the people involved are motivated. Therefore, to help us go through the improvement process faster than our competitors, we should aim at empowering the entire staff or workforce to do the things that bring change.
Again, this initiative has the ability to boost employee improvement capacity. This way, the company involved is able to realize even more improvement opportunities that were initially hidden.
Many organizations decide to create a team that will be dedicated towards handling improvement activities. However, some scholars argue that this approach can be limited. However, others say it can work provided all members of the staff are encouraged to participate in improvement activities, thus increasing the volume of change that can be realized.
You see, to empower all members of staff to adapt a good CI culture, a robust but not-so-complex change system must be put in place to give an easy time for all employees to adapt to this continuous change.
This means the company involved must design a good change or improvement plan that all employees can follow. This will be the basis upon which they reference everything they do. In other words, by relying on this specific model, they are making controlled change, which is in line with the company’s vision.
The benefit of an empowered employee in an organization can be vast. Imagine this employee is the same person putting direct input to the company’s ultimate success.
To boost their morale, you may opt to come up with a system that makes them more involved with the company’s tasks. And when managed properly, this kind of employee responsibly can boost the company’s responsiveness and also pace of change, thus staying ahead of the pack.
You can deploy a good CI culture effectively and with as little cost as possible. It only calls for good management and leadership to bring this improvement. These are continuous improvement initiatives that can bring results if implemented correctly.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.