What is the Continuous Improvement Model?

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continuous improvement model
November 12 2018

What is the Continuous Improvement Model?

When a business follows the continuous improvement model, they are committed to making improvements to their services, products, and processes over time. At the heart of the continuous improvement model lies six important principles. Below, we take a look at each of these principles:

Principle #1

The improvements are centered around small changes, not solely monumental alterations or entirely new innovations.

This principle is geared toward minimizing the anxiety members of organizations might feel when changes are too large or abrupt. Since changes are introduced in small increments, the members of an organization will not feel overwhelmed while their services continue to improve at a steady pace.

Principle #2

The ideas of each and every employee are valuable.

When looking for ways in which a company can improve, the continuous improvement model considers the ideas of the employees; not solely upper management. Employees encounter issues every day, so they will likely know of better ways to solve them.

How do you get employees to take time out of their day to contribute these ideas?

Try asking them this: What improvement would you make to the company that would allow you to save five minutes per day? If you ask multiple employees this and they all provide different and useful ideas, you could end up combining them so that everyone can save even more time.

Alternatively, you could ask each employee this: What bothers you about working here? This will tell upper management about a current issue within the company and often one idea of how to fix it. If upper management listens to these complaints, they can recognize them not as a bad thing, but as a chance to grow and improve the state of the company.

Principle #3

Implementing gradual improvements over time is usually not costly.

Commonly, employees will present ideas that involve getting rid of an extra step in a process. By eliminating a process instead of adding one, there is less time and money wasted. In fact, it has the potential to make the entire company or organization run smoother and more efficiently.

Principle #4

When employees can take ownership of new ideas, they will be more invested in improvement.

Employees may be reluctant to change their daily routine after being used to it for so long. However, if the changes sparked from an idea that the employee had, they will be more enthusiastic about implementing it. They are more likely to recognize the value of change if it comes from either them or one of their coworkers. This will allow for the acceptance of incremental advancement while simultaneously boosting employee engagement.

Principle #5

Transparency is essential.

When executing an improvement to processes, products, or services, it is vital for an organization to maintain open communication. Allow employees to ask questions and provide their feedback on how effective they believe the company has been in executing such changes. This will ensure the successful implementation of the continuous improvement model as well as steady employee engagement.

Principle #6

The impact of the change should be measured and possibly replicated.

In order to effectively gauge whether or not any actual improvement occurred, companies must measure the impact of change. This will help let the members of the company know if they can apply the same methods to address other issues. With proof of improvements, members of the company will also be more motivated to maintain the continuous improvement model.

Choose Service West for Innovation & Sustainability

The Service West team has successfully helped numerous clients improve their office spaces. If you’re interested in making office improvements, renovating your office, or if you’re planning to relocate your office in the near future, give us a call at 510-746-3700 or email us at info@servicewest.com.