An idea to help create a culture change would be to assign “area owners” to different work zones within your operation. The area owner of an office would be the employee whose desk is there. In production operations the operator of the specific equipment would be the “owner.” Placing a picture of the owner with a picture of the area 5S’ed can help create this ownership. And, people who own something tend to be much more motivated about its care and upkeep.
While applying the “Shine” step to your entire business is encouraged, we would suggest doing it in sections. In this way, you can stick to the area that you have selected so that you are not frustrated by the process not seeming to end.
Standardize // Seiketsu
The fourth step of Standardize is to develop a method that will support your new practices and make them into habits. By putting a system in place that anyone using items in your elevator or shop will be able to find them quickly and put them in the same place where they belong, you can ensure that your newly organized area stays that way. By placing a label saying “Push Broom” above a hook where you want your employees to keep their push brooms, it becomes more difficult to place a hose or scoop shovel there. It would be immediately obvious to everyone that the item is out of place. It is easy to slip back into old work habits so giving your area structure and standardizing practices will help to create new habits.
Sustain // Shitsuke
The last 5S step is Sustain. To maintain the new structure you have given your office or elevator, it is necessary to continue training and maintaining the standards you’ve set. This is the step that separates your work from just “cleaning up” to evolving into a culture of efficiency and effectiveness.
Some companies develop a formal system for monitoring the results of their 5S program. This could be weekly, monthly or sporadic checks of the area giving grades to the area owners based on the appearance of their work space. You can make a system that shows the progress of the 5S area to inspire the area owners to continually improve their space.
5S can provide significant psychological benefit to your employees by providing them a neat, clean environment. In addition, as discussed above — customers will frequent a nice looking business more often. 5S also has the added benefit of eliminating waste and selling off unused resources. As manager, you can draw your employees’ attention to the correlation between making the changes and the improvements taking place and this can help with the culture shift of 5S implementation.
Posting a map that details where everything belongs can also be helpful in maintaining your system. 5S uses the foundation of having a supportive visual environment to create a positive organization structure. Having maps or other directional signs or labels creates a visually accessible work space.
When new employees are brought onboard, walk them through your organizational system. Teaching them early will help build the culture that you are establishing with your existing employees. When new procedures, safety guidelines or equipment is introduced that affects your 5S system, make adjustments to accommodate these changes and offer training to address the differences. If new employees are trained on your 5S system from day 1 and if you constantly reinforce that “this is the way we do business here,” you will begin to turn the culture of your feed and grain company toward an effective 5S philosophy.
Most 5S programs cost a small amount of money compared with the potential for a large payback. Posters and signs can be a good way to communicate your program and to maintain 5S standards. There are many companies that sell products designed to assist in making an area fit with 5S. There are several firms on the Internet that provide organizational products designed specifically to help you in 5S endeavors. An easy-to-use website that walks you through what 5S, as well as different products, is: http://www.graphicproducts.com.
Vivian Harper, a columnist for South Carolina Business Magazine, gives a few examples in her article “There’s Proof that Mother Knows Best” of ways 5S has positively changed organizations: