#Working Wisdom

Lean Thinking: How You Can Identify & Stop Wasted Effort

Mohamad Danial bin Ab Khalil
by Mohamad Danial bin Ab Khalil
May 23, 2022 at 5:39 AM

Lean thinking is a production method pioneered by Toyota that identifies and eliminates wasteful effort at work.

Its goal is not just to produce a better product that is more satisfying to the customers but also to create a workplace climate that is as pleasant as possible for employees.

The objectives of lean thinking are as follows:

  • Determine value,

  • Plan how to accomplish this value,

  • Remove flow bottlenecks,

  • Prevent overproduction; and

  • Always strive to improve.

Here are the steps to building a more productive and less stressful office environment:


1. Establish specific objectives

The first step is to have specific and well-defined goals in mind. This is critical from a productive aspect to ensure that no work is wasted.

The purpose of a production line, such as Toyota's, is generally clear: manufacture a car. It may be more difficult to define in other workplaces. Is the purpose of marketing business to make the best advertisement, or is it more of a numbers game?

The work environment will become less stressful once you have a solution to this problem. Employees perform effectively when goals are clearly defined because it explains how they should apply their effort throughout the day.


2. Coordinate processes

After finishing stage one, businesses should plan how to accomplish these objectives. This enables individuals to understand their specific duties and leads the organisation toward productivity.


3. Improve efficiency

The concept of efficiency has been redefined in recent years, owing partly to the pandemic. Nonetheless, many workplaces are not as efficient as they may be.

Meetings, unnecessary training exercises, small talks, and even commuting all add up to hours squandered each week.

Lean thinking enables businesses to eliminate inefficiencies and trim operational fat, leaving only efficient workflow processes.

This means that employees' spent time is not only more productive but may also be more flexible. They accomplish more while improving their mental health.


4. Concentrate on the essentials

The average worker usually thinks they have more work than they can manage, so they bring it home or work on weekends. This is not only stressful, but it is also harmful to one's mental wellbeing.

Lean thinking concentrates only on what is absolutely required. Employees are not compelled to work excessive hours; rather, they are encouraged to perform only what is necessary and to do it well.


5. Deliver high-quality results

Most people value doing high-quality work: they don't want to just clock in and out each day, following a dull pattern. They want to feel as if they are making a positive and important contribution.

We should always strive to improve. Employees may experience less stress simply because they take more pride and joy in their work.


Why lean thinking matters

Mental health in the workplace is crucial, and it is a huge benefit for skilled and valued employees. You want your company to be a productive one that employees will stick with in the long run.


Source: Free Malaysia Today