5S is often the first real workplace effort in a Lean implementation ; as such it is especially vulnerable to tacit learning deficits. Managers behave as they always have and so do employees. Without heeding the sociological challenges to implementation, a 5S effort layered over conventional behaviors will produce a static, one-time improvement in which employees have just done what they were told to do. These efforts ultimately slide backwards. The reality is that neither the 5S process nor its outcomes are the issues. The challenge is with management to create an environment that generates interest and involvement in Lean, 5S and Kaizen, one that recognizes the perceived risk and vulnerability that workers feel when they are suddenly asked to behave in a way that has previously been discouraged. Below we've listed seven do’s and one don’t that will help to overcome this challenge.
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