Not Respecting the Front Line Workers


Road Commission under fire –

One of the two pillars of the Toyota Production System is “respect for people.” It's a shame that we have to work on something so basic and fundamental, as this, but respect is often lacking — from manager to employee or in the other direction. The news story I've linked to is from a county road commission in Michigan, the article says, in part:

“…the Road Commission's middle management had little respect for their employees who do the front-line work. County Commissioner Mark Ouiment, R-Scio Township, said employees and retirees are being ‘treated badly” by management.”

The article didn't elaborate on how that played out on a day-to-day basis, but it's sad to see even the allegations, but it's not uncommon, is it?

Have you tried working on the “Respect for People” side of Lean in your workplace? If so, how have you tried to influence behavior or set expectations for what Respect means? Click comments to share your thoughts.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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