“Renew the heart and make it good”, Kaizen is a Japanese term that can be translated as, “constant improvement for the good”.
Kaizen is the philosophy at the forefront of Toyota Motor Company’s operations. It is considered one of the world’s greatest manufacturers. There is even a book written about “The Toyota Way”.
Kaizen: Constant Improvement
At the heart of Kaizen is teamwork, making the philosophy a team building strategist’s dream! Every employee is encouraged to share his/her ideas for improvement and the smallest changes will often get consideration and implementation. Team members at Toyota are encouraged to find the minor details that could use improvement, and to make the improvement. Unorganized filing system? Sort the papers, alphabetize, color code, done.
That sounds pretty basic right? Elementary thinking you may say. Well, even the most common sense approaches might come to a screeching halt if management doesn’t deem them an appropriate use of time. For instance- purging files.
Many companies restrict file purging as part of the work process. However, ANYONE who works in an office knows how quickly paperwork piles up and gets out of date, rendering it obsolete and useless. With all that pile up comes clutter, physical and mental, and that stops up the works.
It can be time management battle just to get even a couple of hours out of an entire year to go through the clutter and get rid of what is no longer needed, but it isn’t rocket science. Giving your employees time each quarter to go through their paperwork, clean out their offices and start fresh is essential for optimum productivity.
When you focus on clearing the old you tie up loose ends and clear a little space on your plate. You’re team is sure to feel renewed and ready to face challenges ahead.
Kaizen works for many reasons:
- It empowers employees to be decision makers
- It eliminates waste for your company
- Low cost, high impact results
- Savings can be used for your next team building event!
There are many more reasons why Kaizen is a philosophy every company should consider implementing. There are courses and certifications available to learn the deeper philosophies. There are also several books written about it. Maybe this one would be a good for your team’s book club?!
What are your thoughts? Are you familiar with Kaizen?
Have you made any small changes that had a huge impact on your team’s morale? We’d love to hear from you, please leave a comment below!
At TeamBonding we love having the chance to help our clients give back and helping their communities. It’s even better when we can help companies focus on their corporate social responsibilities and actually have an impact instead of creating vague initiatives. Part of the fun for us is coming up with new ideas and creating new programs to continue giving back. We have a variety of programs from our Charity Bike Build and Team Teddy Rescue Bear programs, Operation Military Care to provide care packages to our troops, all the way to Paws for a Cause where you make dog beds, pull toys, or cat scratchers for animals in shelters – among so many other charitable program options!
Mention team building and you’ll see a lot of eye rolls. Mention that you’ve planned a team building event and the room will fill with groans. To a lot of people, team building feels like a corporate buzzword synonymous with forced participation, uncomfortable interaction and just a means to an end. Some think of it as purely a waste of time, taking them away from work they could be doing.
We have an exciting year of trade shows lined up! From ice sculpting demonstrations to battling with bows & arrows, our team is ready to bring the fun to these events across the country. Will you be in attendance at any of these shows?! If so, be sure to swing by our booth and say hello!
When it’s summer time, head outside to enjoy the rays and blue skies. DYI (Do it yourself) outdoor team building is a great way to learn new activities while surrounded by fun company and building strong bonds.
Communication affects teamwork in positive and negative ways. The quantity and quality of communication within a team and from leadership affects teamwork. The more collaboration your projects require the more assertive and intentional your communication should be. Every member of the team needs to take the initiative to communicate. When a team is not actively communicating, their work is at stake. It’s important for everyone to learn how to communicate effectively in order to work effectively. (more…)
Enter your email and we’ll add you to our newsletter of helpful tips, tricks, and techniques.