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Do you know how Kaizen is making the lives of Millennials at work for better? If not, here's a blog that talks about the need for empowerment which can be achieved through Kaizen. So, read this content till the end and you will definitely reap rich dividends.
According to research, four-in-ten millennial workers ages 25 to 29 had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2016. This number of workers is much higher compared to other generations. This implies that they are educated and likely open to change and opportunities. Millennials are naturally creative and idea-driven and always want to challenge the status quo.
In the previous research by Pew, it was revealed that Millennials are confident, connected and open to change. Since this generation is open to change, let’s look at how Millennials can change for the better under the Kaizen culture. Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy that comes from the Japanese word Kai, which means change, and Zen, which means good. This philosophy means “change for the better” or “continuous improvement.”
Additionally, as Masaaki Imai, an important advocate of Kaizen, said, "Kaizen means improvement. Moreover, it means continuing improvement in personal, home, social, and working life. When applied to the workplace Kaizen means continuing improvement involving everyone - managers and workers alike." So, what if there is continuous improvement with millennial workers? Would you still believe that they are lazy, selfish or entitled?
If 64% of Millennials said that it’s a priority to make the world a better place, this implies that they need empowerment, and Kaizen can make them change for the better.
How do they change for the better under Kaizen?
1. Eliminating Unproductivity and Increase Productivity to Reach Goals:
When you’re in a Kaizen culture, you will learn seiri, sorting, section or set in order. Those two S introduced the secret recipe for change, which breakdown the job, whether it’s smaller or larger, into smaller, organized and more manageable tasks.
And how is this applied to Millennials? Coach them to do the task step by step. For example, when writing an article, we will not immediately hit the keyboard or grab a pen to write; it’s best to divide, i.e.: (1) plan your storyline, (2) gathers data, (3) start to write (4) creates stunning headlines, (5) add visuals (6) proofread, (7) revises the content if needed (8) mission accomplished!
If the task is a breakdown, unproductivity can be eliminated since you need to do the first small step to jump into the next one. It’s a must to eliminate waste or “muda” in Japanese terms or what we consider an “unnecessary step,” thus, leading to a productive millennial workforce. Productivity tends to help businesses achieve their goals or reach their targets, which is why great companies are obsessed with it. Who wouldn’t want to achieve more with the same number of inputs?
2. Being Dedicated to Problem-Solving: Solve the X to find Success:
There is a survey that shows that Millennials tend to be lacking in problem-solving skills. With Kaizen, this can be solved. It teaches us that improvements begin with problem identification or recognizing that problems exist. After all, if there’s no x, how can we see they? Simply, no problem, no improvements.
How to connect this idea with millennials? Teach them the process. Begin with a problem definition; remember that not all issues are considered the problem sometimes. These are just symptoms. Find the root causes of the main problem. Then, it’s time to generate alternatives. From those solutions, there is a need to choose the best one and test this alternative. In most cases, we apply this chosen solution in a real-life scenario. After the application or testing, don’t forget to evaluate the results.
Additionally, motivating them to have positive thinking can greatly help problem-solving. And remember that if we can solve any problems along the way, a business will continue to prosper and ultimately leads to success. It’s like thinking, why do we have mobile phones now or the internet? Eureka! A big problem in communication was solved.
Always thinking, why do we need to face a problem? It’s an opportunity to grow, so face it with courage and determination.
3. Working in the Right Direction under Standardization:
In Kaizen culture, Seiketsu or standardization is introduced. This idea means that under Kaizen, there is a need to standardize the best practice within the workplace. With standardization, rules are present. This can help every millennial to work on the right track, thus leading to quality output.
How to introduce standardization with Millennials? Inspire them by bringing examples, i.e., great companies always have their best practice, like Apple Inc and Google, or one of the great examples is the Toyota production system case study. Make them realize that setting rules, standards, or measurements is like a compass that sets the company in the right direction.
At the same time, working under standards makes every business know where it stands. Where are we now, or where are we going? If this is answered, you will surely see growth opportunities.
4. Constant Improvements to Achieve Higher Progress:
Due to the reasons that Millennials are being stereotyped as a self-absorbed, lazy bunch, they tend to come up with ways how they would make their work easier. Since Kaizen is a concept that emphasizes constant improvement, it simply implies that it can best fit with the Millennials. The ways they have found to make the work easier can be added.
How to apply to manage Millennials under Kaizen? A business needs to have a suggestion and support system. It must have an open suggestion system on how to improve work standards. Add a reward system for those who voluntarily suggest an actionable idea to motivate them to suggest. By giving them an open environment to discuss, they will surely find solutions that will help them to finish their tasks. Being technology savvy is one of the reasons why they could come up with better ideas than their contemporaries. With constant suggestions, there will be continuous improvements leading every business to higher progress.
As Erin Andrews said: “Success doesn’t happen overnight. Keep your eye on the prize and don’t look back.” success can be achieved through constant improvements. This is all about moving forward with constant changes for the better.
Overall, Millennials can work for the better under Kaizen culture. The management support system works vital here. Under this culture, we can see that they can contribute to the company's growth if they have a coach. They don’t need a boss or a coach or mentor. After all, we all have one goal: “constant change for the improvement of the company.” Therefore, motivate and teach them the steps to success.
Donna Estrada is an editor forScoopfed and a contributor for AvivMovers, a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism graduate. She spends her time reading books and blogs and writing about moving and millennials.
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