Kaizen is an extremely beneficial practice and philosophy for nearly any businesses. Kaizen originated from Japan in the 1950s and the Japanese term Kaizen can be translated to ‘continuous improvement’. Implementing Kaizen tools and strategies can be simple and effectively increase and productivity in the workplace. Kaizen activities aim to continuously improve processes and functions and would ideally involve employees of all levels, from assembly line workers up to the CEO.
Kaizen has been successfully used in many businesses for decades now and is a foundational element of both the Toyota Production System and Lean manufacturing. Not only does Kaizen emphasize teamwork, but it should actually work to empower employees to bring suggestions of improvements to their supervisor. If the frontline workers, who work on specific processes day in and day out, are trained to identify areas they can make small changes to their area, they can greatly affect Kaizen efforts.
There is more to Kaizen than just trying to continually improve. There are a number and tools businesses should use to foster the culture of continuous improvement and encourage workers to get involved. Some of these tools include the PDCA cycle, Gemba walks, the 5 why’s, and more! Kaizen can be practiced in a facility with either daily Kaizen or by holding periodical Kaizen events.