Process Improvementoffice (816) 500-8203

Process Improvement, LLC


People are the greatest asset any company has and their capability impacts company viability more than any other factor. It is surprising how infrequently company leaders and managers behave like they believe it is true. Only through engaged people solving problems and implementing improvement ideas can businesses become more productive and consistently deliver high-quality products and services that outpace the competition.

Engaged Employees

  • Truly engaged employees design, manage and improve their own work. Engaged employees take pride in their work; they do not “coast” through the days and weeks waiting to collect paychecks.
  • Engaged employees are proactive implementing ideas for improvement and use the scientific method to solve problems when they arise.
  • Employee engagement can be difficult to manage because it is sometimes problematic determining meaningful measures of true engagement.
  • Surveys can provide insight into how employees feel, but do nothing to create engagement.
  • It is far better to directly measure the activities engaged employees do, and build management systems to support those activities.

Human Behavior

  • Much has been written about human behavior over the years, and little has changed.
  • Most of what is important in a business environment can be gleaned from Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs and Herzberg’s motivation theory.
  • Employee satisfaction strategies should relate closely to these proven theories.

Employee Pride

  • Leveraging employee pride is an important strategy for every business.
  • While each business is different, every company must find something to awaken or enhance pride in its workforce.
  • This should be a strategy driven by Human Resources and part of every manager’s standard work to encourage and support.

Problem Solving

  • The responsibility and authority to solve their own problems and to get the help that is needed is fundamental to increasing productivity, quality, and employee engagement.
  • A good problem-solving strategy is most important for creating a culture of effective problem solvers and mentors in the problem-solving process.

Turn Ideas Into Improvement

  • Employees that convert their team’s ideas into real improvements in their work, productivity, and quality also take pride in their work, job, team, and company.
  • This fundamental belief drives the “Kaizen” process. Kaizen is Japanese for “change for the better” or continual improvement.
  • Improvement responsibility, authority, and accountability must be driven to the front-line employees.
  • Within their teams and according to policies, engaged employees actively implement ideas for improving their work and make their company more competitive through productivity and quality improvements.

Measure What Matters

  • World-class organizations (WCO) make certain that every metric directly relates to strategic deployment.
  • All metrics that matter should drive action when in an abnormal state; if no action occurs when the metric is in a “red” condition it must be analyzed for relevance.
  • Companies with world-class operational excellence take care not to have employees track and display metrics, or judge employee performance, on metrics outside their ability to influence or control.

Accept Only World-Class Performance

  • Most companies want “A” players and have processes to terminate the poorest performers, but only the best companies act quickly and decisively when it comes to mediocre performance.
  • A leader is only as good as the people working for him or her. WCO’s hire the best, set high expectations, and allow them to do their job.
  • Leaders in WCO’s remove roadblocks and eliminate the average and poor personnel that frustrate top performers. A-string players do not want B-string or C-string players on the team, because team performance is impacted.
  • Tolerating pedestrian performance will result in turnover of high-potential employees. Those that remain bias the quality of the workforce toward below average. As positions open, the survivors move into the open positions more often than outside hires. This survivor bias impacts the quality of management over time.
  • Ongoing performance assessments and reviews should be designed to more quickly identify top performers as well as those in need of performance improvement.
  • WCO’s eliminate the once or twice per year performance evaluations in favor of high-frequency one-on-ones to reinforce good performance and formal periodic reviews designed to identify performance gaps and develop improvement plans.