Step 3 – Shine
Now, we are going to jump right into Step 3 – Shine. In the Shine Phase of 5S you are going to be cleaning the work station. This is not just your quick rinse and wipe cleaning mind you. During this, you are going to be giving a very thorough scrubbing to everything: walls, nearby windows, floors and every element at your station. Because you have already cleared your workspace of everything that is unnecessary, it will be very easy for you to see everything that is dirty. With everything out of the way, this is a good time to put on a fresh coat of paint if you want a change of scenery or if it is looking a little tattered. You can also take your computer outside and clean it out with some canned air as well as your keyboard.
Out of all of the steps this one involves the most physical labor. The great part is that it is also very rewarding and it can really make you feel good to be in your office and help you feel more motivated to want to work there.
Step 4 – Standardize
Now that you have done all of the work to Sort, Straighten and Shine your office you are going to want to keep it that way. The hardest part about 5S is making sure that you keep up with it. You also want to keep training new team members as they are on-boarded so that they are initiated right into the system. Realize that some team members and/or co-workers are going to give push back about continuing the system. Maybe they believe it is too hard to maintain or they can’t understand the point of it. As the business owner, you must stand your ground and make sure that everything continues to run smoothly. This is accomplished by creating Standard Operating Procedures or SOP’s.
For every action in your business you want to make sure that you have a specific way to handle it. This includes where and how each item is used, returned, cleaned up after and repeated. In large scale companies you can do this through a log book or laminated sheets that are hung on the wall. If you are an entrepreneur and it is only you, still write out exactly how you are going to accomplish each task and put it where you can see it. All of this will be a constant reminder to you of how far you have come to being more productive.
An easy way to keep up on 5S is to designate the last 15 minutes (or more depending on your business) at the end of the day to go back and return/clean up any items. This way you are starting with everything in their starting point so that tomorrow the person doing that job will be on Step 1 of the SOP. No matter what, make sure that you find the time to reset everything back to where it belongs. When you fall behind one day it is entirely too hard to get back on track.
Which step so far do you think that you will be stuck on in your business? Have you been following along and are stuck in the previous steps? Give me a shout out and let me know how I can help you keep progressing.
Heather Santo is proudly an A Real Change Certified Virtual Assistant with over 15 years of customer service experience via face-to face, telephone and internet. She also spent time in corporate America as a Human Resources Manager performing generalist duties and specializing in recruiting.
She now enjoys using her talents to serve her clients and help them to operate their businesses efficiently.
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