“…the first ever management seminar on how to eliminate wasteful activities in the HR function…”
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Michel Baudin‘s comments:
As Mike Hoseus put it at the Lean HR summit in Florida last May:
“The important question is not ‘what is Lean’s role in HR’ but ‘what is HR’s role in Lean.’ HR’s role in a Lean Transformation is critical and essential. For a Lean Transformation to be successful and go beyond implementing tools, an organization must address Purpose, Process, People and Problem Solving. HR’s role is critical in all 4, but especially Purpose, People and Problem Solving.”
With Respect for Humanity, bowdlerized as “Respect for People,” made into a pillar of The Toyota Way, you might expect Toyota’s Human Resources (HR) policies to be studied, scrutinized, discusses extensively in the Lean literature, and argued over in numerous forums. But it’s not the case.
“Lean in manufacturing staffing requires a close review of your current staffing procedures so that you can identify areas where to eliminate waste.”
See on Scoop.it – lean manufacturing
Blog post at Lean Blog :
“[…]The problem is the culture doesn’t change overnight. Leaders have years or decades of old habits (bad habits) that run counter to Lean thinking. They might be (might!) be trying to change, but people will still fall back into old habits, especially when under pressure.
I hear complaints (in recent cases) coming from different provinces in Canada that say things like:
Lean is causing hospitals to be “de-skilled” by replacing nurses with aides. Lean drives a focus on cost and cost cutting, including layoffs or being understaffedLean is stressing out managers by asking them to do more and taking nothing off their plateNurses hate Lean because they aren’t being involved in changes[…]”
Michel Baudin‘s comments:
In this post, Mark Graban explains how the leadership in Canadian hospitals is slapping the “Lean” label on ancient and counterproductive “cost-cutting” methods, and how the victims of these practices unfairly blame Lean.
This is definitely L.A.M.E., Mark’s apt term for “Lean As Misguidedly Executed,” and is found in Manufacturing as well as Health Care. Much of the article — and of the discussion that follows — is about what I call yoyo staffing: you hire more than you should in boom times, and lay off in recessions.
Of course, it isn’t what Toyota did, and churning your work force in this fashion not only disrupts people’s lives but is bad business. Hiring, training and firing repeatedly prevents your organization from accumulating the knowledge and skills it needs.
Mark makes the case that Lean should not be blamed for mistakes that have nothing to do with it. Other than raising consciousness, however, the post does not propose solutions to keep this from happening.
While there have been studies published on Toyota’s approach to Human Resources (HR), I don’t recall seeing much in the American Lean literature on topics like career planning for production operators.
In his comments, Bob Emiliani paints the current generation of leaders as “a lost cause,” and places his hopes on the next. He seems to suggest that the solution is to wait out or fire the current, baby-boomer leadership and replace it with millenials. I don’t buy it and, deep down, neither does Bob, because he ends by saying “While one always hopes the “next generation will do better”, it could turn out to be a false hope.”
Like everything in HR, generational change has to be planned carefully. The people who rose to leadership positions presumably did so not just because of bad habits but because they also had something of value to offer. And the way the baton is passed is also a message to the incoming leaders: it tells them what to expect when their turn comes.
See on www.leanblog.org
See on Scoop.it – lean manufacturing
“According to a recent survey of over 1,000 U.S. office workers conducted by Wakefield Research Study (and commissioned by software company Citrix), three out of every four workers (74%) dislike participating in at least one of their company get-togethers.”
I have long thought of these “fun” activities as inappropriate and counterproductive. Inappropriate because they are an invasion of privacy. Leisure activities are supposed to happen with friends and family outside of work, not with co-workers and bosses at work. Being playmates is not what employees signed up for when they joined. It is counterproductive because it shows disrespect for the work. You build teams by having people work in teams on projects, not by playing silly games.
According to the survey, “team-building” actually is second to costume contests for unpopularity:
“[…] anything that smacks of “team-building” similarly gets the thumbs-down from employees, with 31% saying they dislike these activities.”
See on www.industryweek.com
Some companies subject job applicants to hands-on tests of the skills required for a position. This says that they appear more interested in filling a capacity gap for a skill set than in recruiting people for careers. The most extreme cases are the “coding interviews” given at Silicon Valley software companies, during which candidates are asked to solve programming problems. This has spawned a whole sub-industry of coaches and books to help cram for such interviews. The problems are typically the kind of textbook exercises given in college that experienced programmers have long forgotten and are irrelevant to their actual work. College students, for example, learn various ways of sorting records, while professional application programmers just use built-in Sort functions. Software developers with, say, 20 years of experience with databases perceive these interviews as silly and demeaning, raising the question of whether they are intended to bias the hiring process in favor of recent college graduates.
This is the opposite of the Lean approach. During a career at a company, a person would have to acquire many technical and managerial skills. With that in mind, the willingness and ability to learn are more important than what the person knows walking in. When Honda set up its Marysville facility, they deliberately hired people with no prior experience in car manufacturing, to train them from scratch in the Honda way. As an employee, the background knowledge you need is supposed to have been provided at school. Whether in the US or Japan, however, schools never work perfectly, and companies end up providing remedial training they feel they shouldn’t have to. However, if all you need today is a technical skill set, you are probably better off hiring a contractor than an employee.