Understanding Lean Principles: Respect for People

Understanding Lean Principles: Respect for People

It’s very important to understand what it really means “respect for people” so that organizations have greater productivity, innovation, and sustainability.

Respect for People (RFP) is one of the pillars of The Toyota Way (the other most popular pillar is kaizen/continuous improvement). This pillar is very much needed by organizations to prevent failed kaizen efforts. Citing the Kaizen Institute blog, the RFP has two interesting descriptions, namely Respect and Teamwork.

Respect means respecting and understanding the opinions of others. That is how to make every effort to build a sense of responsibility and trust in each other. Temporary teamwork means a focus on individual and team performance as well as shared opportunities to support both the professional and personal development of all team members. Although not completely defined, these two things help us apply them in our daily work.

Practicing in daily work

Quotes techtarget, in practicing RFP the first thing to do is to respond to people as quickly as possible, listen attentively, listen to their opinions and not ignore them even when they disagree with you. This means encouraging people to speak up, have empathy for their point of view and try to see things from their point of view.

But it should be underlined that this does not mean you have to always agree with them. So one of the arts of respecting people is learning how to be firm and disagree with a point of view, but without sounding aggressive or threatening or argumentative.

Another important part of respecting people is giving people the responsibility to make decisions about their work. To achieve this, it is important to build knowledge and develop people who can think for themselves.

People who can think for themselves and are experts in their fields often need to be empowered to feel respected. One way is to ensure that they communicate and engage directly with them.

Solving problems is not looking for who is wrong

Riyantono Anwar in his article mentions that in Lean there is the term “every leader is a teacher”. This means that it is expected that when the gemba occurs, there is activity coaching where superiors will teach subordinates how to solve problems. The boss will see if the problem lies in lack of knowledge, lack of understanding, lack of skillsor even a lack of motivation in carrying out work so that superiors can perform functions coaching here.

As for mindset what the leader must hold when the gemba is “innocent people” namely believing that the problem was not caused by someone else’s fault. So instead of directly blaming people “who” but dig into the root of the problem with “why”. This paradigm shift is important for superiors to hold when conducting gemba.

Considering the goal to be achieved is “solving the problem” not looking for “who is the problem maker”. So that it will be explored what the difficulties are whether they do not understand, do not understand, lack of training, facilities are not available, process difficulties, or other things. So the choice of punishment becomes the last alternative.

Culture respect for people it also encourages people not to cover up problems because they understand that superiors are not only blaming but helping to find solutions.

Culture lean believes that covering up problems means closing opportunities for improvement for the organization. But on the contrary, problems that are unlocked, analyzed, and solved are treasures for the organization. Because, the problem is an opportunity for improvement.

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