A friend of mine asked how we get our team more involved and responsible for their work and I told him that after I read many books, got lots of advice and attended many courses the following three steps made the most difference to my business. All he needs to do is get his team together and say something like this:
I've got three important things to discuss today.
- Our plans to improve productivity and lessen workload,
- New Daily Production Meetings
- Introducing the Kaizen continuous improvement method used by Toyota
Improve productivity but lessen workload.
"We've had some really good advice on how to increase productivity and reduce workload. We'd like you to help us with this so we can improve this company and your work environment. The first thing we need to do is set clear achievable targets for everyone - including management. The first of these targets is what we call TSCs (Target Stage Completes). These are hours that you work that we can charge the client. As an example, 10 TSCs per week from a tech staff member would only just cover his wages so our first Target will be to ensure that Techies are doing at least 10 TSCs per week - we'll increase that target next month"
Daily Production Meetings.
Next we need a way of measuring these TSCs and also a way to keep everyone informed of what we're all doing so from tomorrow we will have a half hour production meeting at 8.30 in the morning and a 15 minute meeting at 5.15 to see if we completed all our tasks for the day. If we haven't completed our tasks lets find out why and see if other team members can help. Attendance to these meetings is compulsory. At the meeting you will need the following information:
[we put this on the big screen so all staff can see everyone's plan for the entire week]
- Total TSCs last week: [hours many chargeable hours did you do last week?]
- Total TSCs this week: [hours many chargeable hours did you do this week?]
- TSCs received for this month:
Monday - 8 September
- 8.30 - 9am Production Meeting
- 9am - 10am: [example emails and client support]
- 10am - 12pm: [example: client meetings]
- 1pm - 2.30: [example: chargeable hours]
- 2.30 - 5.15: [example: chargeable hours]
- 5.15pm: Production Meeting- follow up on the days tasks
- Holdups: [What holdups did you encounter that stopped you from achieving your goals?]
- Improvements: [How could we improve your work environment stop these hold-ups?]
Tuesday - 9 September
- ...[continue with same format for the rest of the week.]
Every so often our Kaizen Group will go through all the Holdups and Improvements and submit the most important ones to management to be addressed. This task must be completed in 15 minutes and the Kaizen Group needs to have different members each week. It is at management's discretion to implement the changes.