In a world full of opportunities to improve, trials, countermeasures solutions and yes, waste, we all have much to be grateful for. Whatever position you are in, whatever place you are at, gratitude can be a powerful tool if harnessed and used regularly. Studies all around the world have shared the benefits of gratitude in the workplace, homes and in daily practice. In this, the spirit of gratitude and before you share in the comments section below what you are grateful for, we would like to say, thank you. Thank you to each of you who work your hardest everyday. Thank you, to each of you who come home happy and ready to serve those you love. Thank you, to each of you who have indeed IMPROVED the world through gratitude.
Memorial Day is a special holiday that is celebrated every year. Though many of us may think of those we have lost every single day for one day an entire country stops to celebrate the lives of fallen soldiers.
Did you know?
Memorial day was not always referred to as Memorial Day. Originally the holiday was in fact known as Decoration Day. The day was referred to as Decoration Day because it was not a specific day of any battle.
What do people do on Memorial Day?
When Memorial Day comes many families plan trips, bbq or go and visit those they have lost at cemeteries or gravesites. Often times those that we celebrate on this special day may be people we never knew. You may choose to celebrate continuous improvement masters like those on our Masters of Lean and Six Sigma page or you may have someone close to you that served in a military capacity at some point in their life. Whichever category you fall into please know that many of the improvements today are a result of those brave individuals. Though some veterans may never have heard the words:
lean, six sigma or continuous improvement let it be known on this day the most appropriate word for you to share is: Thank You.
In the comments section below please leave a comment with someone you wish to remember. Share their legacy, their story or just their name, but please share. We would love nothing more than to support you in honoring those close to your heart this memorial day!
After a holiday break it can sometimes be hard to get the body up and moving again the first morning of work. Extra caffeine, long conversations and a fuzzy memory are some of the signs you may experience. For others though getting started again is simple; they just jump back in the groove like they never even knew there was a break. Here are three simple things you can do to jump back in the improvement groove after an "extra" day off.
How did they leave?
Most individuals and teams will start their holiday break off by making sure there desk area is in 5S condition and neater than they left it before. Many studies have shown that if you take the time to clean things up, organize and set things in order the morning you come back in will be much smoother. Think of it like planning for the day you come back. Just like Admiral William McRaven shares in the video below: "If you wanna change the world, start off by making your bed." If you leave your work area in a neat, tidy and in a sanitary condition you will return to an organized, more energized, calm and ready environment. Along with these benefits comes one other notable effect. By displaying a behavior of always maintaining a standard condition in your area, you in turn promote a culture that does the same.
Spend some time at the Gemba.
You may be tempted to hang out by the coffee dispenser and chug down one cup after another. While the caffeine will certainly give you a boost of energy, to much caffeine may leave you feeling anxious, frantic and disorientated. Don't get me wrong a little energy is good for everyone, but try taking one cup to the gemba. At the gemba you can review the process and refresh your mind while interacting and strengthening relationships with others. Take a piece of paper with you as you visit the gemba and jot down notes pertaining to: the energy of the value stream, the load of demand placed on the team and of course any changes in the process that may have occurred in the interim.
Last but not least, bring the team together. Take some time for icebreakers, sharing and quality time. Though from a production efficiency standpoint this might not make any sense at all, ponder for a minute the tactical approach. Meeting together in a morning huddle and taking 5 minutes to share one thing or begin with an icebreaker can be a nice transition that helps others feel as though they are cared for.
There you have it; three very simple things to get continuous improvement started again when you return from a holiday break.
***How do you reach out and re-energize teams when they return from a holiday break?***
All year long we strive for improvements. Squeezing waste from every corner of organizations, Posting new videos, or trying to eliminate that pesky root cause, whatever it is you do labor day is for each and everyone of us. Here are three important things to keep in mind on your day off:
Studies have shown that taking a day off can actually increase your productivity when you return to work. Taking a day off doesn't mean sneaking in an email here and there, it means rest. Spend time with your family, BBQ, but most of all enjoy the day. Trust us if you're like most hard working people you'll be going crazy by the first day back and you will get a lot of work done.
2. Use the labor day excuse
Believe it or not the first day back is a great time to ask someone you never talk to, "hey what did you do with your day off." This is a great way to get to know some of your co-workers, share pictures and laughs. If you're on the improvement journey it may give you an opportunity to pull someone new onto the team.
3. Share with your family
Sometimes we get so busy with life, work and everything else that we don't get anytime to share with the people closest to us how work is going. Labor day is a great opportunity to share with children, grandchildren, wives or friends how work is going for you. Just remember to listen too.
Whether you have the day off, or you're pulling some overtime we would like to wish each and everyone of you a wonderful labor day weekend. Enjoy!
*** We would love for each of you to share one of your labor day highlights in the comment section below. ***