Self-discipline, 10 Ways to help your team to build it.

To create new habits you need to build self-discipline.

To achieve a successful continuous improvement culture implementation, leadership needs to Develop new behavior patterns.  They will learn and teach new skills to the team. This is by itself a monumental task.  To achieve success, self-discipline is going to be paramount.

How do you motivate your employees while helping them to create new habits?  

Ten things you can do to help the team to build self-discipline.

  1. Model the new behaviors every day, go to gemba, ask with respect, and always explain why.  Set a good example, teach your team how to do it, be consistent and persistent.  
  2. Foster an environment of respect and collaboration.
  3. Encourage daily improvements, kaizen events, PDCA, and root cause analysis.
  4. Take your time to listen, get to know your team, and become a teacher and a facilitator.
  5. Give feedback often, create a reward system and a formal performance appraisal program, including a development plan.
  6. Give specific instructions and communicate clear expectations, follow-up, and assess.
  7. Ensure everybody knows the performance metrics used to measure success and make them visible.  
  8. Conduct daily stand-up or huddle meetings, discuss what we did good, what we can improve.  Celebrate the wins!
  9. Promote customer satisfaction to see the process from customer lenses.
  10. Be present, visit the workplace every day, not just when there are problems.  And when you go, acknowledge the good things your team is doing and come back with at least one improvement idea.

Why do you need it in continuous improvement

During a transformation from traditional to continuous improvement, the entire team will need to learn new habits. Self-discipline is the vehicle to let go of old habits and embrace the new ones. The heart of the continuous improvement or lean system is a highly flexible and motivated team member that is always improving.  

When employees participate in daily improvement activities, they see the benefits of the new culture.  Some of those activities are housekeeping, small improvement steps, problem-solving, and standards review. Becoming an integral part of the company’s success makes the team feel they have a meaningful job. When leadership takes time to listen, teach and learn from them, they build trust and discipline.