Bonus benefits of committing to continuous process improvements
Everyday organizations undertake continuous improvement projects to help streamline their processes, and it’s easy to focus on the benefits of these projects, like increased productivity, better quality, reduced waste, cost, and the potential for greater profitability. However, there are other, let’s call them bonus benefits, that process improvement projects can deliver. Check out these 3 that can help keep your company ahead of the competition.
Bonus #1 – Enhanced teamwork
The improvement of processes within, and between, departments provide golden opportunities for employees to work in a collaborative, integrated manner. Process improvement team members and stakeholders share a common goal, and by this very nature, for project success they need to come together and work as a team. Projects offer participants the opportunity to get to know one another as people and co-workers, and learn what is important from different department vantage points. The pursuit of a common goal dictates that silos be broken down and employees develop the ability to look at things from a unified perspective – the bigger picture. While the undertaking of a process improvement process ultimately leads to an improved process, the company also enjoys the bonus benefit of increased productivity through its employees working with a greater sense of team.
Bonus #2 – Higher company morale
As a company grows, processes must keep up with the growth. For example, if your company is doing $500 million in sales, does the President need to sign off on a $2,500 marketing expenditure? Probably not, but at one time they likely did. If an organization fails to commit and implement process improvements, the result is wasted time, frustration, stress and unhappy employees. All these things can lead to low morale. By committing to continually improve process, the organization will remove road blocks, bottlenecks and red tape. They will increase productivity and enjoy the benefits associated with happier people and higher morale.
Bonus #3 – Higher employee retention and less turn over
This third bonus piggybacks off #2, and the support for this claim is largely from experience and anecdotal. The benefit of higher retention and less turnover is a result of employees being active in the process of improving their work environment. Employees and stakeholders involved in improvements foster a sense of being part of something valuable, and of ownership within the organization. There is a sense of pride and connectedness as they feel their opinions and input are valued, and that they are directly contributing to a more productive, competitive organization. Continuous process improvement reinforces a positive work environment and minimizes reasons for employees to look elsewhere for work. Given the cost of attracting and retaining quality staff, continuous process improvement to help retain talent would be reason enough to undertake an improvement project.
While it’s easy to focus on KPIs and benefits gleaned from process improvement projects – increased productivity, better quality, less waste and greater profitability, remember these projects can yield additional, bonus benefits, like better teamwork, higher company morale, and greater retention with less turnover.