Kaizen #13: Communication

Between February 24th and 25th, 10 L.E. Smith associates from across the company joined together to work on strategically changing the way that we communicate within our 4 walls.  With 210 years of service from this combined group, they were certain that they could make a measurable difference on the levels of communication amongst all.  This Kaizen came out of an employee survey, sighting that communication was still an opportunity for improvement, and given our commitment to continuous improvement, we viewed this as a fantastic opportunity for a Kaizen event.  The event focused on 5 key areas of communication:  chain of command, department to department, internally within departments, visual/electronic communication, and internal vs. external.  Within these areas, the most notable changes came from the department to department communication.  The survey showed that while communication was good within departments, it was less than stellar when it came to communication across departments.   To improve this, 2 identical “communication stations” were created to post departmental communication that would affect all companywide.  One of these communication stations is also located further back in our shop, because it became obvious that the levels of communication diminished the further back we went in the building.  Now all of our associates have a convenient place to receive all vital information from other departments.  This Kaizen was an exciting event, and we can’t to reap the rewards of having an improved communication system across the company.

“Start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate with your employees, motivate them and reward them. If you do all those things effectively, you can’t miss.”

– Lee Iacocca