“If someone isn’t following standard work then it becomes an individual performance issue.”
Have you ever heard a leader say something like that?
It is important to help leaders understand that there are many reasons why standardized work may not be followed and creating a human resource performance improvement plan should not be the first step.
A leader must go and see the actual condition that is causing the employee to not follow standardized work (SW). Leaders need to ask why SW isn’t followed. Here are some potential reasons:
- They don’t know about the SW: How was the change communicated? At a team-meeting where not everyone was present? Via email buried under other announcements?
- They aren’t trained or capable to do the SW: They may not have the tools or the environment does not allow then to follow it. The training provided might not have been enough for them.
- All situations not considered when creating the SW: In order to respond to customers, the SW may not be capable to meet their needs. Do not jump to the conclusion that there isn’t a good reason why an employee did something different. They are on your team because of their hearts and minds and not just a pair of hands right?
- They already discovered a better way: Help them know how to spread improvements discovered by frontline workers.
- No leadership involvement: If leadership does not show they care the process is being followed on a regular basis and helping solve problems uncovered after implementation, then how can you expect employees to care?
- Outcome not achieved but SW still being required: Standardization is not a Lean goal but a tool to help improve outcomes. If your hypothesized outcome didn’t come true, why are you still requiring staff to follow the SW?
- You aren’t improving the SW: Over time the SW will unconsciously change if the continuous improvement of it is not designed or part of your culture. The SW may have had elements missing or wasn’t fully tested.
- Leadership has placed the wrong person in the role: There are some people who willfully do not follow SW. Leadership must take responsibility for this too since they either tolerated bad behavior because of their productivity or have been so uninvolved to know a person does not fit in their new culture.
As you can see, there are many reasons why people do not follow standard work before you need to punish with HR.
What are some other reasons you have seen why SW isn’t followed?
Photo Source: http://wonderfie.blogspot.com/
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