The 8th and final waste in TIM WOODS is the newest waste and therefore not always recognised in every Lean circle. Skills waste did not originally form part of the innovative Toyota production system that sparked the Lean movement of today. However, most Lean organisation now work to actively reduce their skills waste.
Skills waste is also commonly referred to as a waste of unused human talent and ingenuity. This waste, unlike the other seven, is not manufacturing specific and can be applied to all sectors of work. In this blog, we will look at skills waste more carefully and establish what it is, how it is caused and how you can remove it from your place of work.
What is Skills Waste?
Skills waste is essentially wasting the skills and talent of your workforce. This commonly takes the form of unengaged staff who are not utilising their knowledge or expertise in the process. Your workforce is vital in the path to Lean, you will fail to completely remove all the waste from your system if you fail to utilise your employee’s knowledge and expertise in removing the other seven wastes. Frontline workers play a crucial part in identifying problems and developing solutions throughout the entire process.
What Causes Skills Waste?
Skills waste is inevitable when the management team are not connected to the workforce. This causes a lack of understanding for both parties and leads to a lack of engagement for employees.
Other causes of skills waste can include:
- Insufficient training
- A Lack of or irrelevant incentives
- Giving employees the wrong tool for the job
- A poor or absent system of feedback
- Failing to challenge employees
- Failing to develop staff
- Lack of Standard Operating Procedures or unclear methods
- Poor Communication
- Employing staff below their level of qualification and skill
- Allowing employees to work on a process that does not add value to the customer.
- Failing to utilise talent.
How Can I Remove the Skills Waste From My Workplace?
A Skills Matrix is a fantastic method to help employers utilise the talent of their workforce. The skills matrix lists every employ and skill required by the company. This allows managers to instantly see where gaps in know lie within the workforce and opportunities for internal training.
Investing in training to upskill your workforce will ensure you are always bringing the right skills to your table and essentially surrounding yourself with a team of experts who can work with you to establish a culture of Continuous Improvement in your workplace.
Consider investing in visual management to improve communication between departments and ensure that everyone is always armed with all the information to do their best work.
Finally, consider adding a daily morning meeting for your teams so that information can be shared, feedback given and an opportunity presented to highlight and potential problems. Check out our blog on 8 top tips on holding more effective meetings to ensure that these meetings remain a value add and productive activity for all staff members.
ClarityVM Consulting, helping you evaluate and eliminate waste…
Here at ClarityVM Consulting, we coach clients both far and wide about how they can use a Lean programme and visual management to achieve their goals, exceed their targets and make financial savings which would otherwise be lost to waste. We work with our clients to create a bespoke strategy that ensures Lean is set up for success before providing specific, high-quality visual management products to sustain the initiative and make Lean work in the organisation long-term.
You can read more about the work we’ve undertaken with our clients by browsing through our Visual Management Case Studies
Further reading on the Clarity Blog:
- Developing an Effective Standard Operating Procedure
- Assessing Goals and Auditing Strategies
- Aldeburgh Lifeboat Station – Saving Lives With Lean Thinking
- A Visual Management Definition You Can Rely On
- Kaizen Events: Clarity Consulting’s Secret Weapon
- Why Your Workplace Communication Fails (…and How To Improve It)
- Why Lean Programmes Fail
- 6 Simple Solutions to Battle Workplace Stress
- How To Make Your Process Improvements Stick Around
- How To Create A Culture Of Improvement In Your Workplace
- 6 Challenges For Effective Business Leadership
- Our Favourite Lean Quotes…
- Beat Procrastination and Get Motivated
- How to improve the morale in your workplace
- Internal Communication: Is It Standing In The Way Of Your Success?