We don’t accept the status quo. We believe that true mastery is never-ending and we’re always looking for ways to improve.
As part of this effort, we have enacted the “Hearthside performance system,” which continuously tracks and monitors new ways to improve at each plant and office. Tracking weekly and monthly KPIs allows us to quickly understand where our attention is most needed, and make improvements before slight dips become larger issues.
From kaizen to Six Sigma, we know that there are several ways you can go about continuous improvement, but ultimately we structure our process in a way to help and keep the floor happy. In the creation of our method, we’ve drawn from various techniques to create a unique process that engages and keeps the focus on our unique people.
Overcoming key challenges
Of course, not all change comes easily at first. Especially when certain processes have become ingrained over time, it can be difficult to inspire and implement real change.
That’s why we aim to connect on a personal level during our continuous improvement work. When we come into an existing operation, we engage with the hearts and minds of those people we’re working with. We want each person to understand why there’s a better way to do things.
To do this, we follow a simple rule: show, don’t tell. When we demonstrate and put into action the new processes we’re looking to help floors implement, they’re more receptive to change because they can see it with their own eyes. Oftentimes, the real magic happens when we’re able to begin enacting these changes side-by-side. After all, our culture is anchored in trust, and our approach to continuous improvement embodies that value.
“Our culture is anchored in trust, and our approach to continuous improvement embodies that value.”
We teach others to fish. Instead of our leadership team coming in and fixing an immediate problem, we empower a culture of change on the floor of various facilities that can be sustained even when our change leaders aren’t physically present.
Whether it’s for the first or 10th time, when you see people work hard to enact a new method and begin reporting out positive results, it’s incredibly rewarding. We want hundreds of people to be able to improve their skills, and enable them all to make thousands of little wins every year as a result. When we can enable this kind of cultural improvement, people enjoy coming to work more, and results, retention, and quality all improve.
It’s the best part of this job, and it truly never gets old.