Building a Lean Culture, Part Two

Posted by Ken Chess

Feb 5, 2016 2:36:03 PM

Read Time: 2 MinutesFUSIONOEMCOLOR_324.jpg

Tuesday’s blog discussed our visit to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, and the requirements of a successful company transformation. Under Dave Fox’s leadership, Advocate Good Samaritan has realized tremendous operational improvements, including reduced costs, improved employee engagement, reduced turnover, and increased productivity. The parallels to our lean company culture were profound. We continue this series with focus on a common key to any successful business: engaged employees. At both Fusion and Good Samaritan, there is a culture of employee engagement, which is supported by these three best practices:

  • Create an environment where employees are empowered. An essential part of establishing a lean manufacturing culture at Fusion OEM is employee empowerment and granting employees greater decision-making responsibilities. Creating a work atmosphere that’s open to risk-taking and idea sharing gives employees the chance to provide feedback on current processes and then directly address those concerns themselves. Good Samaritan uses this concept to solicit feedback from operations, doctors and nurses to set the tone for the patient experience. As a result, employees at both Fusion and Good Samaritan feel empowered to get involved in making a solution happen – whether that’s on the production or operating floor.
  • Make training a collaborative effort. At Fusion OEM, we know that developing an effective training program requires feedback and insight from all relevant members of our team. When an employee is given more responsibilities – such as helping develop training materials – they view it as management putting more time and trust into that person’s professional development. If employees understand they have the potential to improve the company by sharing their knowledge, they will be productive and loyal, improving overall morale. This adds value to our business in the form of happier employees and higher margins. Good Samaritan has several initiatives that support the spirit of collaboration, notably the partnership between physicians and nurses.
  • Reward employees based on demonstrating organizational values. Strategic peer-to-peer employee recognition programs are exponentially more influential than traditional “handed down” awards. Additionally, they offer a wealth of valuable, actionable data for talent and culture management. At Fusion OEM, consistent acknowledgment of exceptional performance in a manner that is meaningful to employees has proven to be an effective method of increasing individual and team engagement, satisfaction and retention. In our peer-to-peer Rockstar program, nominees are identified by the Core Value that they have displayed over the previous month. Likewise, Good Samaritan recognizes their high performers as “Pillar Leaders” and employees can be nominated for an MVP award when they demonstrate organizational values. This is what makes the recognition meaningful. Rewards target specific cultural behaviors. This creates a culture of “doing the right thing” and living out our values everyday.

Crafting a culture centered on continuous improvement requires investment of time, but the venture is well worth it, regardless of industry - as demonstrated during our visit to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. Under the leadership of David Fox and his team, Advocate Good Samaritan went from an average hospital to a world-class facility. Prioritizing a sound culture of employee engagement allows us to retain top talent and reap the benefits of a loyal workforce committed to the future success of our business.

Topics: lean culture