Making the switch to a 5S organization is one of the best ways to increase efficiency. 5S is no small feat, the methodology should permeate the entire organization. While some people do take it step by step, the overall goal is complete conversion. It seems like beginning the process is easy enough, it may even go well for a week or two, but then participation seems to slide. Why is this? To make sure that change will be permanent, everyone at the company must have 5S buy-in.
While 5S may just seem like a form of organization, it is so much more. After any 5S implementation, the way that people work is altered. Managers may fail to realize this in the early stages. The only way to ensure the success of the program is to anticipate and acknowledge long-term change. The best way to do this is get 5S buy-in from the entire team before you start the process.
Schedule a meeting about 5S implementation. Go through the key processes that will change from the new set-up. For example, if any tooling is now stored in a different area due to safety concerns, address it specifically during the meeting. Let everyone know what expectations are, people can’t comply with new processes or rules that they don’t know exist. Give team members the opportunity to ask questions. Ensure that everyone is on the same page.
The easiest way to create sustainable change is to focus on habit. For example, team members may need to start taking another route to access part of a machine. It won’t happen right away, workers will need to get used to the changed route. Research indicates that 66 days is the minimum amount of time it takes to change a habit. Give the team about 8 – 10 weeks to adapt.
Change is a slow, but worthwhile process. Lasting change takes time. Keep this in mind as new processes become habitual.