Many think continuous improvement is just for manufacturing companies in order to cut costs, but it is not.

Consistency and continuous improvement should be used interchangeably when speaking about organizations making changes (big or small).

Continuous improvement is a testament to consistency—to making changes (sometimes big, often small) each day. Sometimes those changes can be so small, and the organizations implementing them so big, that the power of their impact can only be seen well after their implementation. Given that, it’s no surprise that continuous improvement is often misunderstood and underestimated.

Continuous improvement cultures span across all industry types, and has become a common type of “healthy culture”. This category of culture typically benefits from cost elimination, but this is only a result of a much larger goal – empowerment of your employees and top line growth due to innovation in services and products offered.

Hockenberry Management Consulting Continuous Culture Improvement

Here is how to do it –

  1. Identify each employee’s daily work and connect it to a compelling vision. Communicate your company’s vision consistently through the year to make sure employees have time to create new beliefs, and raise concerns, or provide additional insights. Over time, the goal is for your employees to begin sharing their own stories of what being a part of the company means to them.
  2. Make sure it is simple for employees to innovate, and share their feedback. By allowing your employee to feel empowered about their input, create innovative ways for them to offer their opinion. For example, a large cinema chain gave each employee three tokens a day to hand out to customers of their choice to use for free snacks, or upgrades. Allowing the employee to reward three great customer interactions per day demonstrated to the employee that their judgement is valued, and built confidence in the team. This simple act led to employees going above and beyond to improve customer experiences. Another idea is to create a Google community with leadership and team members to easily share new ideas and collaborate. Surveys, or even providing iPads at strategic locations throughout the company will give the culture a sense of “we want your opinions!”
  1. Celebrate employees who embrace the “new” way of working. Use storytelling to elevate your “culture heroes” curing internal training to bring to life the vision of going above and beyond for customers. Give teams “scratch-offs” with company prizes to the teams who have been the most innovative and inspiring for the month.

Another great way to celebrate your internal heroes is to listen to what they want. The prize could be a one-on-one discussion with their leader to discuss what could bring their happiness to the next level, and the path developed to get there. Whatever is chosen, small or large celebrations – it just matters that you do it – consistently.

After undergoing a successful continuous improvement culture transformation, your organization will feel the huge impact in difference departments, within your employee base, and your top line revenue. Stay committed, this type of culture is a lifestyle change, not a diet plan.