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Policies vs. Improvement Initiatives

What’s the difference between a company policy and a company improvement initiative…Sustainability

Chances are your organization has policies that govern smoking, work attire, safety protocols and other important ‘rules of engagement’ that allow the working environment to remain safe and comfortable for everyone.  Chances are…these polices are followed by every associate, every day.

Chances are you also have improvement initiatives in place in your organization to improve production processes and overall equipment reliability.  Chances are you have made some great initial gains but struggle sustaining them.

So why are you able to achieve near 100% adherence to company policies, but not to your improvement initiatives?

Consider this…company policies are delivered to associates with full management support.  They are given high priority and high visibility.  Communication around policies (what, why, and how) are clear and continually reinforced.  All associates understand their role in supporting the policies and know exactly what is expected of them; they also know the consequences (personal and organizational) if the policies aren’t adhered to.  Now take a look at your improvement initiatives and ask…are they highly visible?  Does every associate understand their role and exactly what is expected of them relative to the initiatives?  Are the initiatives truly supported by top management, are they communicated clearly, continually reinforced, and understood by all?  Chances are the answer is no or not always.

If you take the same approach to implementation of improvement initiatives (5S for example) as you do your companies smoking policy and safety protocols you will find support, adherence and sustainability will come.

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