Once you start the 6S model in your place of business, you will see the improvements very quickly. But the key to key to long term success is simple –

Sustain is the final pillar of the 6S system and its chief objective is to give your staff the commitment and motivation to follow each step, day in and day out.

Have you ever gone on a diet to lose a few pounds? In the beginning, you really keep at it. You stay away from those French fries, eat more fruits and veggies, and may even go for a jog a couple of days a week. You lose six pounds in two weeks.

But inevitably, you start to slip. You’re out with friends and you indulge in dessert. Or you hit your favorite fried chicken joint. It’s only this one time, you
say. Before you know it, you’re back to your old bad habits and have gained all of your weight back.

That’s just human nature. If there is nothing to keep you motivated, you will start to cut corners and slip. The fifth pillar, Sustain, is designed to keep your staff motivated and on track.

Here are some great techniques to keep your staff motivated:

Assign the time to do it. Give your staff the time to do the steps correctly. For example, designate the fifteen minutes before lunch and shift end as Shine time. During this time, their main focus is cleaning and organizing according to their checklists.

Start from the top. Your whole organization must be on board if 6S is going to work in the long run. If your employees see that management is not following the steps, do you think that they will continue to do it?

Create a reward system. Have friendly competitions between departments each month and reward the winner. Buy them lunch, let them go early one day, or give them priority parking. It doesn’t have to break the bank; you just want to show them your appreciation for a job well done.

Get everyone involved. Form a committee made up of employees and supervisors of different departments. Their job will be to oversee the implementation of 6S for a fixed period, maybe six months. Then you can rotate in new members.

Let them see it. Posters, banners and newsletters can be a constant reminder of the importance of 6S.

This is not only a great way to keep your staff involved and motivated, but as new employees rotate into the committee, they will get a better understanding of how 6S works and how important it is.

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