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5S In The Workplace

By August 22, 2017April 15th, 2023No Comments

How to Implement 5S In The Workplace

Your company’s production and efficiency is dependent on the organization of your work spaces.  Cluttered spaces create risks for employee mistakes, bottlenecks, worker safety, and worker morale. Leaders look to methods such as 5S in the workplace to answer these concerns.

When leadership implements quality measures the wrong way, problems can actually increase for the business.  Leadership can increase stress for staff and decrease output if there is no staff buy in or a misunderstanding of how quality methods fit with the business.

Supporting Successful Adoption Of 5S In The Workplace

When leadership makes changes, leadership must support the workforce in achieving their process goals.  When a workplace adopts components of 5S in a way that makes it harder — not easier — for staff to complete jobs, quality is not added to the process. Before and during a 5S implementation, management should ask:

  • What is the process, and can it be improved?
  • How can 5S best support the process?
  • Where are the problems or delays in the process?
  • Can 5S help remedy those issues?
  • Has leadership consulted with the workers’ day to day experience?
  • Does the current 5S design impact the process, output or quality negatively?

Key Steps for Implementation of 5S In the Workplace

5S is made up of five pillars of organization. They include:

  • Sort: You remove any items that aren’t required for immediate production. Without irrelevant items, safety, communication and production are improved.
  • Set in order: You arrange supplies and tools so they are easy to access or find.  You label and create a place for every item, so it’s easy to put things back after they are used.
  • Shine: You keep all areas clean. You sweep, dust and wipe down areas and machines. Cleaning reduces safety risks and improves staff moral because it’s nicer to work in a clean environment than a dirty one.
  • Standardize: You create a process by which sort, set in order and shine is maintained.
  • Sustain: You follow the process and ensure everyone keeps up with it. 5S is an ongoing process; it shouldn’t involve periodic major cleaning and de-cluttering efforts because people have let the area slip into chaos.

Applying these 5S Pillars In The Workplace

For leadership to implement 5S in the workplace, they must create step-by-step process. Leadership should fully understand the process by consulting documentation such as a flow chart or process map. Leadership should never implement 5S based on what they believe is the process or the best practice. It is important for them to involve subject-matter experts. Employees close to the process know exactly what they need to get the job done.

Next a team, including SMEs, should design a 5S process in full before implementing any part. When an employee sorts or orders a single piece of the process without considering the impact to everyone, issues can arise. A single employee’s part of the process may not require a hammer, but if the employee removes it, they may cause a delay in another part of the process.

Leadership should communicate the reasons for the change to the staff before during and after implementation.  They should involve staff in the evolution of 5s in the workplace. When leadership simply tells staff to keep areas tidy and clean it sounds like a demand for additional work from them. When leadership teaches employees about 5S and how the five pillars helps them achieve their goals, this will encourage buy-in and support from the entire team.

Isolocity Makes 5S In The Workplace Easy

Sustainability is the true challenge of 5S in the workplace. Isolocity can automate and manage your company’s 5S program.  When you use Isolocity for your 5S program, you ensure proper implementation across any company, big or small.

Here is an example of how Isolocity’s audit report tool allows you to set up a 5S audit:

5S In the Workplace: Audit Report

You can create a separate 5S audit for each location by creating various audit areas:

5S In the Workplace: Audit Area

and you can apply either an existing audit template or a completely new one to the audit area:

5S In The Workplace: By Location

When you create an audit type, “5S Reports” for instance, you can set the desired frequency at which you want the audit performed by employees.

5S In The Workplace: Audit Frequency

When a 5S audit comes due, you will be notified by email to complete it:

5S In The Workplace: eMail Notification

and it will  appear as an outstanding audit report in your:

5S In The Workplace: Dashboard

When a 5S audit fails, you can open a corrective action report, automatically prompting the corrective action process to be completed by employees through the system.

5S In The Workplace: Corrective Action Report

Although Isolocity captures the 5S procedures in the audit report template, some companies may like to keep their 5S procedures in document format as well, which can be easily stored in Isolocity’s document manager.

5S In The Workplace: Document Management

If you would like to start managing sustainable 5S procedure in your workplace, sign up for your free trial today.