Building Right Culture in the Workplace

In this article, I have explained the importance of building the right culture in the workplace to have a self-directed work team. The character of a company is defined by the type of culture it has. Simply because, if the company has a vibrant culture where employees and managers work in harmony as a team, its productivity and the quality of the product tend to be high. 

Organizational culture is often unconscious set of forces that determine our individual and collective behavior. It shapes our thought patterns, how we perceive things and values. Culture helps to implement and sustain systems, processes and business strategy.

Sewing operator
Image: Sewing operator

We all have a decent understanding on how the LEAN management tools and various analysis could help our organizations. However, to successfully implement and to ensure continuous use of LEAN tools to achieve intended targets, it is very important to have right kind of culture within the organization.

Also read: Does Employee Happiness Lead to Improved Work Performance?

One of the main goals of a successfully implemented LEAN system is to have a SELF-DIRECTED WORK TEAM (SDWT). The idea behind is that management not having to monitor employees work and quality of the output constantly. This is one of the fundamentals in lean management. Having to check the quality of the work and in-general employees’ behavior add cost to the operation. Some of those costs include,
  • Increased work force by having to hire additional team members, supervisors and managers to supervise the work and correct the damages.
  • Additional training and related costs
  • Impact to production through high employee absenteeism
SDWT is vital for any organization planning to have LEAN management successfully implemented and use its tools to solve issues. To have a SDWT, company needs to create a dynamic culture where employees feel they belong in the company and that the management care about the well-being of employees.

In order to create a positive culture, managers could use several strategic steps.
  • Ensure work place is properly organized according 5S. Display boards and visual aids in strategic locations such as in canteen, reception and production floors promoting company values and its vision and mission.
  • Have the standardization throughout the company.
  • Create a platform to voice employees’ opinions on ongoing matters in the company and to give their suggestions on how to improve things around them. This will help to get difficult and sensitive areas to get through collectively.

An example: 
Let’s say there is an order which needs to ship in 7-day time. Order quantity is 8000 pieces and daily output is 1000 pieces working 8 hours. Instead of managers deciding on their own on doing additional hour of overtime every day and passing the message to employees, imaging a situation where management ask employees about a solution. Without an argument employees would surely suggest why don’t we do a 1 hour of overtime and get this done. When it comes from employees, management have less issues to worry about and employees will be the force driving the production and targets. Quality of the products will much better as they know no time for repair. Employees will monitor each other and help where necessary to ensure order is ready on time.

Unlike in the past, these days most employees have so many opportunities for employment. Most industries looking for employees and entry level and unskilled employees do not think about a carrier path or specializing in one industry. Based on what they hear from others, they will change companies and industries. Therefore, it is important to have a good culture in the organization to ensure it can attract employees and retain them. Otherwise, labor intensive industry such as Apparel Industry would face difficulties.

Charm Rammandala

Dr. Charm Rammandala currently works as the Sustainable Program Manager at Apple Inc. USA. He has over 20 years of international management experience and previously contributed his expertise at Tesla, George Sourcing, and Vomax LLC.

Previous Post Next Post


Contact Form