Take These Easy 5 Steps to Instill New Habits in Your Team August 26 2015

Though there are some conflicting numbers about exactly how long it takes to form a new habit, science has found that it takes a little over two months to make a new routine into a fully-formed habit. In any organization, the habits that employees have define the day-to-day operations of the company.

To create a business dedicated to continuous improvement, it is beneficial for organization leaders to encourage employees to implement better habits geared toward achieving success.

It is important to take a thorough look at the day-to-day operations and the overall outlook of your team before making any decisions on new habits to bring to the company. After all, how do you know what to improve, if you don’t know what needs improving?

From safety, to production, to the general morale of your organization -- anything and everything has the potential for improvement, with the right habits in place. Because you are the company leader, it is up to you to make sure that your company culture is going in the right direction.

Start by changing behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs about the functionality of your organization. It is only through positive and continuous improvement that your company will keep itself on track for success.

1. Keep it simple. After evaluating your organization’s workflow, you may find yourself overwhelmed with opportunities for improvement. Don’t try to shake everything up at once. Instead, start small. For example, your goal may be to eliminate all workplace accidents involving forklifts. Instead of going through the whole process of marking your floors and installing rack guards and collision sentries, find which intersections in your warehouse need more safety measures in place and focus your energies there.

2. Try it for at least two months. Science says it takes 66 days to form a habit. Don’t let yourself or your team get discouraged after a few weeks of a new procedure. It is not always easy to overhaul an old habit and begin a new one.

3. Do it everyday. The habit you and your team are forming should be something that can have attention paid to it everyday. If you are requiring all team members to wear safety goggles throughout their workday, make sure they are being worn every single day. Cherry picking the situation and day during which a habit will be implemented will make the habit much harder to stick.

4. Stay open to changes. Keep an open mind about these new procedures. A new habit may not be the best change for your organization. That’s okay! You always have the opportunity to tweak the new habit after the trial period is over.

5. Don’t expect perfection. Lean is about continuous improvement. Continuous. While you may always be striving for perfection, you will never -- and should never -- reach a golden state of functionality. There will always be room for improvement, even if your new habit does provide a positive change for your organization.

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