Getting Familiar With Kaizen

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Have you heard about kaizen? If not, this is the time that you should be familiar with its concept. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means continuous improvement. Actually, it is made up of two different characters: kai (that embodies change) and zen (that embodies good). This concept is often used by companies and it can also be used in your personal life.

All companies here in Singapore and the world aspire to have this culture where everyone from the clerk to the CEO habitually assesses his/her work and thinks of myriad of ways to enhance it. The idea is doing small steps consistently that will eventually lead to large developments over time. Kaizen is a slow process. It is not something done quickly and the implemented changes will take time.

How to implement kaizen?

Kaizen is not something that you can buy. It is more challenging because it is a way of thinking. In order to implement it, there is a need for all employees to undergo training on the basic concept of kaizen. It does not end there, the implemented guidelines should pass safety regulations plus with detailed documentation.

It is imperative that the management is skilled of the implementation of kaizen and support the employees while embracing changes.

What can it go wrong?

Kaizen is not practised by all companies here plus it is kind of new. As with any changes, kaizen can bring a lot of issues with regards to the implementation but if it is practised consistently, things can be easier. So, what can go wrong?

It is always advisable that the company undertake this without exception. If the management does not support and promote change, it won’t work. The concept of kaizen is that employees should make little but on-going changes and if the management do not support modifications, it will doom to fail.

Since it is slow, employees or even the management will be frustrated at times. The world is in haste that they want quick remedies or results. They do not like dramatic improvements. Another problem would lie in the employees’ motivation to change. The management team want some modifications but then employees are unwilling to change. Being reluctant can surely affect kaizen and their productivity. This is the reason why the management should make conscious effort to document the progress at the end of the day.

As mentioned earlier, kaizen can also be applied on your personal life. It is not easy to set this but little improvements every day can make a big difference.

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