In two previous blog articles, we already became acquainted with continuous improvement and the most important best practices that you need to apply to make a success of this method. Because continuous improvement does require a significant investment (both in time and energy) in your organization and employees, it is important to have a clear grasp of the key advantages of the method. In short, what specific benefits does continuous improvement actually yield? Read on to find out!
1. More engaged employees
Study after study shows it: engaged employees are extremely valuable to an organization. They are happier, more productive and willing to go the extra mile to achieve the desired results. Engaged employees also increase workplace morale. Especially in today’s tight labor market, it is important to bind these people to your organization.
Continuous improvement is a powerful tool for increasing employee engagement. Because the practice allows you to organize processes better and in a more efficient fashion, people are able to do their work faster, better and easier. You provide employees with the knowledge and tools that they need to solve problems that they regularly encounter in their daily work routines. If you apply the method properly, continuous improvement also gives employees the opportunity to provide valuable input and make useful suggestions for improvement. As a result, workers know that you take them seriously and care about their needs and problems.
2. Lower employee turnover
The second major benefit of continuous improvement stems directly from the first: having more engaged employees also allows you to minimize employee turnover. Engaged employees are usually loyal employees. Low staff turnover is good for the continuity of your organization. It’s also a huge cost-saver, since employee turnover is a very expensive business. In addition to severance, the company must pay for recruiting, hiring, and training someone new to do the job. By limiting employee turnover, you won’t lose valuable knowledge and skills. This gives you the opportunity to gradually build a workforce that knows your organization and business processes through and through. Moreover, you do not have to invest a lot of time and money in regularly recruiting and onboarding new people.
3. A proactive learning environment
Continuous improvement is a process that is never ‘finished’. That is precisely why it continuously provides new insights and useful learning moments. An example: you might develop a new working standard that works fine for a while, but still requires some adjustments over time. Continuous improvement enables you to lay the foundation for the learning organization that is crucial for survival in an era in which existing knowledge and technology tend to become obsolete faster than ever before.
A proactive learning culture and stronger focus on innovation make it easier to respond to new market developments and ever-changing customer needs.
4. A safe working environment
Safety should be king in any working environment. Continuous improvement acknowledges this and places safety in high regard. By ensuring that workplaces are tidy and regularly looking critically at machines and production lines, safety in the workplace is given a strong quality boost. You improve and standardize safety procedures. This prevents people from handling chemical substances without the right protective equipment and diving into a machine to manually fix a hitch. Continuous improvement helps you reduce the number of industrial accidents to almost zero.
5. Fewer mistakes
Improving processes regularly and in a targeted manner allows you to reduce the number of errors. Employees know exactly what they should and should not do, while the collaboration between man and machine runs more smoothly. This has a positive effect on the quality of the final output, but also leads to a better working atmosphere and the reduction of unnecessary manual additional work. For example, think of a poorly functioning packing robot that regularly drops an item. In such a case, an employee has to step in every single time to put the dropped items back in the box. This equals poor efficiency, a problem that continuous improvement can take away.
6. Higher productivity
Continuous improvement allows you to delete unnecessary steps and process components. Or to smartly automate mind-numbing and time-consuming tasks. The result? A shorter lead time per process, allowing you to get more work done in less time and thus increase your productivity. Continuous improvement also offers plenty of opportunities to reduce waste during production processes. Good news for the environment, but also for your material costs and profit margins.
7. Faster delivery
Shorter lead times and higher productivity also mean that you can get products to the market and your end customers much earlier. This gives you a significant advantage over the competition. The combination of more speed and an excellent output quality also leads to a higher degree of customer satisfaction.
8. Employees who constantly develop their skills
Employees who are part of continuous development teams constantly improve and expand their professional skills. They gain new knowledge and learn how to perform tasks and processes in the best and safest way. Moreover, this is done in modest, practical and gradual steps. This prevents employees from getting flooded by an intimidating tidal wave of theoretical knowledge.
Experiencing the benefits of continuous improvement? How TWI Company helps
Are you convinced that continuous improvement has the potential to take your organization to the next level? And do you want to experience the advantages of the method first hand? Then TWI Company is happy to help. For twenty years we have been cultivating a culture of continuous improvement within various organizations in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Throughout the years, we have also added a strong focus on TWI. We are an experienced and knowledgeable partner that knows how to combine the best aspects of the two methods. Would you like to know more about the many opportunities continuous improvement has to offer? Please feel free to contact us via 06 57 83 49 86 / 0527 30 50 80 or firstname.lastname@example.org.