Get executive buy-in: You can’t change a culture without sponsorship from the top. If leadership believes that success means just keeping the operation afloat, that’s as far as you’ll go. Once you have a balanced scorecard and value stream map, start working on culture change that raises the bar. And that starts with executive sponsorship, a formal level set of what success looks like in a Lean environment.
Upgrade the tools and systems you use to grade talent: Once you’ve reset expectations and have buy-in from the top down, update your assessment tool(s) to reflect the new environment, culture and expectations. Compare actual performance to those expectations. For example, what have your employees accomplished in line with your Lean tools and systems? What does success mean for your entire department? What behaviors do you expect of Lean leaders?
Document, communicate and review: With new expectations and the right measurement tools in place, the next step is to set up systems for reviewing and communicating performance expectations. Say leading by example is a behavior you’d like to encourage. Update your performance review documents to call out examples of leading by example, complete with illustrations, examples and requirements. Then schedule semi-annual reviews with team members. Explain what leading by example looks like. Review performance against those benchmarks. Ask team members “what have you done to lead by example” – including specific examples – and grade them based on how they meet clearly defined goals.
Set up formal systems for education: Once gaps in skills and education are identified, set up formal systems to close them with education and training. For example, say your financial team members don’t have the acumen or experience to understand P&Ls in a lean environment. Draw up a talent map detailing the skills your team needs to be successful. Arrange formal training, either teacher-led or virtual. Enable employees to select classes and get the skills they need to be Lean leaders. When they have the skills they need and execute them, business naturally improves.
Celebrate success in a public way: Incentive and recognition programs are one of the most effective ways to foster desired behaviors. The key is recognizing outstanding performance in a public way and celebrating the whole team, no matter how big or small. Some examples:
Quarterly reviews that recognize employees with verbal praise
Town hall meetings where team members share wins they’ve achieved
Team-building outings to reward good performance (e.g. a family fun day)
Employee of the month recognition programs
Boards on the floor displaying safety or quality wins