Five years ago, Christy Benoit co-founded the Mosaic Family of Companies on a core tenet of building people who are happy and engaged at work – and Christy believes that would not have been possible without implementing Lean.
“People are inherently striving to contribute in a meaningful way,” Christy said. Lean philosophy has been deeply adopted into the culture at the Mosaic Family (which includes companies Oil Country Engineering and Pure Mosaic) and it has proven to be an important piece of the puzzle to keep employees engaged. “People leave at the end of the day knowing they did effective work and their time was worth something.”
How did the Mosaic Family achieve this? By appealing to a core human motivator: autonomy.
Autonomy is a known component in job satisfaction. “In traditional corporate structures we often look to our managers and leaders to be fixing problems for us,” said Christy. “And in doing that we’re kind of giving away our power as individuals. That’s not really how anybody wants to be working.”
In the early days at Oil Country Engineering – when there were few processes and little standardization – employees began to get frustrated by problems like communication gaps and delays such as re-work. Delivering a consistent product became more and more difficult as the company grew and waste became a bigger problem. But when the company introduced Lean and employees adopted continuous improvement thinking, they began to realize that they were all part of the solution. Christy noticed employees felt more empowered to fix a problem when they saw it.
And because it was the employees who were creating the processes and standardizing what needed to be standardized, they were able to leave appropriate room for creativity and autonomy.
“You have to have enough freedom within a framework so that people have room to truly leverage their talents and the way that they best do things,” Christy explained.
“Today’s competitive advantage is directly related to how well we can engage our people’s head and hearts. The more engaged they are, the more innovative they’re going to be and the more adaptive that we’re going to be as an organization in a changing marketplace,” Christy added. “The intent of Lean is to give people the tools to help come together and work in a more cohesive, collaborative way.”
To learn more about Lean and how it can apply to your business, get in touch with Red-5.