Lean Implementation and Respect for People

Whether attempting to implement lean strategies for the first time in a company or simply making improvements to an already lean culture, it is important to understand how respect for people is involved. Many people who work with lean concepts simply look at the strategies involved and how they can be put in place in a particular company without giving much thought at all to how it will impact the individuals working in the facility. This is a sign that there isn’t any true respect for the people of the company. This lack of respect is not only a bad way of doing business because it is unprofessional, but also because it is ineffective. Respecting people can mean different things for different individuals and circumstances. When looking at making changes for a lean implementation there are several different things that should be done in order to show respect for everyone in the company and also get the beneficial results from the lean strategies.


One of the ways to show respect to those in the company who are doing the day to day work is to recognize that they will be directly impacted by any changes that are made in the company. Rather than simply handing down directives from the management team it is much better to involve them in the changes. In addition to being a sign of free-kaizen-guiderespect, it will also help improve the outcome of the lean strategies. Involving these individuals in the planning process can help ensure they are happy with the changes and will work toward the success of the lean implementation.

Individuals in these roles will also have some excellent ideas which they never shared in the past because they weren’t asked or didn’t care enough to share them. When working directly with this group these ideas often come to the surface and can make dramatic impacts on the way business gets done.


No matter what position someone holds in a company they don’t want to be constantly told what to do without having their opinions heard. Whether it is during the planning phase of these changes or long after the fact it is good to listen and respond to everyone’s concerns. This will show a great deal of respect for each individual, which will result in building loyalty not only to an individual, but to the company as a whole.  Loyalty can lead to a variety of other benefits both for the company and the employees as well.

Two Way Street

When showing respect to other people in a company it is much more likely that they will show respect in return. This can be done in a variety of ways, and each individual will do it slightly differently. When working in an environment where people respect each other there will be many more opportunities for success. This is especially important when working on making significant changes such as lean strategies that need the support of people at every level of the team.

Additional Resources