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Employee Engagement Ideas to Try in the New Year

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 16, 2020 8:00:00 AM

It’s hard to believe that 2020 is upon us already. The turn of the year is a time when business leaders and managers tend to reflect on the past twelve months and think about what could be even better in the months to come. It’s normal to focus on the financial metrics and goals, but the level of employee engagement should not be overlooked as you start to map out 2020.

Why?

According to one study, in the U.S, disengaged employees cost organizations around $450-550 billion each year. That costly disengagement is widespread. According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the Global Workplace, only 15 percent of employees are engaged in the workplace. Yep. 85% of workers are doing only what it takes to get through work each day. On the other hand, that same study showed that organizations with highly engaged employees are 21% more profitable.

The good news is that improving employee engagement isn’t impossible or even expensive. There are simple things you can do to shift your culture toward a more emotionally invested workforce. Here are some things to consider trying in 2020.

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Topics: Employee Engagement

Three Insights Into Operational Excellence

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 15, 2020 1:32:07 PM

The Shingo Institute is a program in the John M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. It is named after Dr. Shigeo Shingo, a Japanese industrial engineer, and Toyota advisor. Dr. Shingo is recognized as one of the world’s thought leaders in terms of improvement techniques, management systems, and business culture concepts. His work contributed to the Toyota Production System. The Shingo Institute is known for it’s Shingo Prize, an award that recognizes organizations that demonstrate an exceptional culture that fosters continuous improvement. Business Week once called it the “Noble Prize of Improvement.”

Drawing from Dr. Shingo’s teachings and years of experience working with organizations worldwide, the Shingo Institute developed the Shingo Model™, which introduces the Shingo Guiding Principles that outline the path to enterprise excellence.

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Topics: Operational Excellence

Increasing ROI Increases ROI

Posted by Mike Wiersma

Jan 2, 2020 8:00:00 AM

I know what you're thinking. First, What does ROI mean? And second, why and how does increasing ROI create more ROI? 

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5 Easy Improvement Ideas to Get Ready for 2020

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Dec 27, 2019 11:14:00 AM

I’m not sure about you, but at this time of the year, I don’t feel like tackling any major new projects. There seem to be a ton of interruptions, people are in and out of the office, and it is just harder to focus with holiday thoughts on the brain. On the other hand, these next couple of weeks present an opportunity to do a few self-contained improvement projects that can tee up 2020 and help you enjoy the holidays knowing you’re ready to rock the new year.

Here are a few ideas. If you tackle any one of them, you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something useful amid all of the year-end excitement.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

Leadership Techniques for Overcoming Resistance to Change

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 26, 2019 11:12:00 AM

People like to joke that the only things that never change are death and taxes, but that's just not true. If it were, you would never hear things like, "That's just the way we've always done it," and, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Not changing, even if the current situation is rife with workarounds and rework, is more comfortable and less risky than trying something new, so it's no wonder that people push back when leaders try to shake things up.

But if you're reading this blog, you likely know that change is a vital business imperative. Overcoming your team's natural resistance to change isn't impossible, but it takes intention and effort. Here are some of the techniques that our customers have found work well.

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

Employee Engagement in 2020 – Meeting the Needs of Millennials

Posted by Matt Banna

Dec 23, 2019 1:09:00 PM

By the end of next year, Millennials (those born between about 1980 and 2000) are expected to comprise half of the American workforce. By 2025, 75 percent of the global workforce will belong to this group. Many large companies, including Ernst & Young and Accenture, have already reported that Millennials make up over two-thirds of their entire employee base.

In some ways, millennials aren't much different than previous generations. They want the opportunity to learn and grow while making a living that will support their families.

But there are some differences in how this generation that grew up amid modern technology and global connectedness approaches work. For example, nine out of every 10 Millennials expect to change jobs every three years. This means most Millennials will have 15 to 20 jobs in their lifetimes. A far different reality than the baby boomer ideal of being a "company man" for life.

With the changing expectations of the younger workforce, employers need to adapt to find workable solutions that help everyone meet their goals. That's leading to a change in the traditional approach to employee engagement.

Company picnics and Employee of the Month programs are giving way to more meaningful engagement strategies. Here are a few that will continue to gain traction in 2020.

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Topics: Leadership, Employee Engagement, Improvement Culture

From Ambivalence to Action: Leadership Lessons from Motivational Interviewing

Posted by Brianna Hudock

Dec 18, 2019 12:32:05 PM

One of the things we love doing most is providing the continuous improvement community with more resources and opportunities to learn. Our webinar series aims to do precisely that by bringing in experts, improvement professionals, and front-line process operators to share their experiences and knowledge.

This post is a recap of one of our most popular webinars ever. Mark Graban, our senior advisor, was delighted to host Mark Valenti. (You can never have too many Marks on a webinar, but you can in a webinar recap. To make it easy to tell who is speaking, and keep the informal tone of the presentation, I'll call them Mark Valenti just Mark, and Mark Graban, Mark G.)

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Topics: Webinars

3 Noteworthy Continuous Improvement Books from 2019

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Dec 17, 2019 9:01:11 AM

Every year, the collective wisdom about how to lead organizations and engage in continuous improvement continues to grow. Many of the core principles remain unchanged, but new ways of thinking about how we get close to perfection emerge, and new voices add their insight to the conversation. In 2019 several new books were published that we think are worth your consideration. If you are putting together a reading list for the holidays or you need some new audiobooks for a long drive, here are three great ideas.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Process

Digital Continuous Improvement – A New Approach for a New Age

Posted by Matt Banna

Dec 13, 2019 10:36:22 AM

The generation now entering the workforce will never use a payphone, never write a check, never get off the couch to turn the channel, and never look up movie times in the newspaper. Things that all seemed normal and permanent to those of us over 40 are simply not things anymore. The digital age is upon us, and we can make calls from anywhere, send money with a click, click through hundreds of channels, and buy movie tickets with an app. Change isn’t always easy, but for those who embrace them, new ways of doing things make us more efficient, better connected, and more flexible.

This is true for organizations as well. Modern technology continues to advance and offer organizations more efficient, scalable, and effective ways of doing things. Core business functions still exist. The sales, HR, R&D, production, accounting, and logistics functions continue to be essential, but now they are assisted with software and other technology that aids performance. Likewise, a new digital continuous improvement approach has emerged and been embraced by successful organizations in every sector.

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Topics: Innovation Software, Software, Continuous Improvement Software, Lean Software

What Do Lean and Improv Have In Common?

Posted by Brianna Hudock

Dec 6, 2019 8:11:00 AM

“Yes, and” - A shorthand phrase that means to first accept the current reality as it is, and then to make a decision and build something based on this reality. Although this concept might sound very similar to certain aspects of Lean, it is actually the backbone of improv comedy. Improv comedy is the art of performing something invented on the spot. Although it can sound rather intimidating, “yes, and” sets a foundation of trust so that performers can become comfortable enough performing with one another even when they have no idea what’s going to happen next. 

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