Continuous Improvement (CI) is not a core function of manufacturing in that manufacturers can produce their products without engaging in continuous improvement practices.

As a result, if not consistently reinforced and supported, CI programs can lose momentum and fail.

If CI is a car, then staff engagement is the fuel that propels it forward.

CI Managers want to focus on high value activities that drive meaningful, positive change. They want to automate repeatable tasks and focus less on administrative paperwork. They want to be out on the floor, with the frontline workers, helping them create a better workplace for all.

We surveyed Continuous Improvement Managers who work for manufacturing organizations across North America to understand their core challenges. These are the key insights.

Top Challenges

Continuous Improvement Managers are challenged mostly with issues concerning training and staff skills, inefficiencies caused by paper forms, and staff engagement problems caused by leadership alignment.

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Staff Engagement

65% agreed or strongly agreed that staff engagement is very important to their success.
If your Continuous Improvement program is a car, then staff engagement is the "fuel" that makes it go.
Suggestions, observations, quick kaizens, etc. initiate projects and action items need to be moved forward.

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Remove Barriers to Staff Success

Over 70% agree that ease of participation is very important.

If CI programs are inaccessible or overly complex, staff will opt-out.

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Collaboration is Key

78% of respondents agree that collaboration is very important.

Leadership alignment is core to CI success.

If staff do not witness management involvement, they will assume that they do not care and their efforts will be wasted.

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Rewards and Recognition

90% of respondents at least "somewhat agree" that rewards and recognition are necessary to achieve results.

CI requires staff to do extra work on top of their regular duties. Staff need to feel recognized and/or rewarded for their contribution.

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Keep them Tuned In

75% of respondents agree that it is extremely important to keep staff up to date on CI activities.

Positive results motivate staff through intrinsic rewards.

Displaying KPIs and key project status can build momentum.

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Self-efficacy is important

72% agree that well trained staff is highly important.

It's worth spending the extra time to ensure staff are supported and have access to the appropriate resources to be effective.

If staff do not feel confident they can make a positive impact, they may decide not to try at all.

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Document Management

Over 70% agree that managing document changes is very important to enable the CI process.

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Administrative waste of time

Over 50% agree that their staff spend too much time re-keying data.

Paper forms and spreadsheets work, but they are cumbersome to use.

Digital data collection saves time and allows you to allocate resources to more value-add activities.

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Understand Results

Over 70% agree that it is important for staff to have access to the results of their work in order to be motivated.

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If this study resonates with you, we can help. Our software is designed to motivate staff participation through rewards, ease of use, collaboration and transparency.