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Improve Your Life in 29 Easy Steps: Continuous Improvement at Work

Posted by Maggie Millard

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May 28, 2015 11:49:00 AM

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Developing a culture of continuous improvement is one of the most important things you can do for your employees, and your business. Empowering people to make daily improvements to their work increases job satisfaction, productivity, and retention. It shows that you respect your employees and value their contributions to making your business better, and gives you more eyes and brains focused on increasing the value you provide to your customers. Really, it's a win-win.

Increasing job satisfaction isn't just a nice thing to do -  it makes financial sense, too. According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics, turnover can cost an organization 33% of an employee’s total compensation, including both salary and benefits. Although some turnover is enviable, engagement programs have been shown to combat it. For example, the Society for Human Resource Management found that companies with strategic engagement and recognition program reported a mean employee turnover rate 23.4% lower than retention at companies without such a program.

If you work at a company that doesn't value employee engagement in continuous improvement, the following steps to improving your life will sound pretty familiar to you. If you're the leader of such an organization, I'd suggest changing the way you manage improvement - before too many of your employees make it to steps 27, 28, and 29. 

How to Improve Your Life, in 29 Easy Steps:

  1. Do your daily work

  2. Realize something you just did was wasteful

  3. Decide that you want to improve the process

  4. Get up from your desk

  5. Look for your boss

  6. Get distracted by the fresh pot of coffee

  7. Talk to Jerry while you pour a cup

  8. Go sit down

  9. Remember why you got up in the first place

  10. Get up from your desk

  11. Look for your boss

  12. Give up on the hunt

  13. Write him a lengthy email explanation instead

  14. Get back to work

  15. Realize you did the wasteful thing again

  16. Refresh your inbox to see if your boss gave you the ok to make the change

  17. Refresh

  18. Refresh

  19. Go find your boss

  20. Explain your idea

  21. Get permission to submit the idea for consideration in next month’s Continuous Improvement Team meeting

  22. Fill out a proposal

  23. Do the wasteful thing for a month

  24. Attend the meeting

  25. Find out that your idea was rejected in favor of ideas with direct a financial impact

  26. Feel the frustration mount as you continue to work inefficiently

  27. Use your free time to search monster.com

  28. Heck, who are we kidding. Search monster.com all the time.

  29. Get a job somewhere with a real culture of continuous improvement

Learn how to engage your employees in continuous improvement in this free eBook:

The Savvy's Leader's Guide to Employee Engagement

Topics: Change Management, Employee Engagement

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