First when you hear the word lean, you think about logistics, production, Toyota, Just in Time System, Henry Ford, Total Quality Management …etc. Everything is related to manufacturing process comes into your mind.
Then how can we connect lean management to human resources?
Before we answer the previous question, look at the definition of lean: “The core idea is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. Simply, lean means creating more value for customers with fewer resources. A lean organization understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste.“ (Source: www.lean.org )
If we check on the definition of lean, we can accept that transferring lean to Human Resources is very useful, because all parts of the HR have waste that cut down on the efficiency of the process. And with this method we can increase customer value.
Who are the major customers of HR?
They are the top managers, middle managers, all employees of the company and possible future employees.
What kind of wastes does an HR department have to face?
The recruitment process is full of wasting time. It contains lots of steps without added value. You just think about the countless documentation or the many approvals. Another one is the inefficient use of human talent or employee abilities. You can waste a lot of time, if the functions are decentralized, the procedures are untargeted and inefficient or the company’s courses and training are not adapted to emerging needs.
You can eliminate these problems with lean management if you can recognize these mistakes and create flows based on the needs of your customers and continuously improve that.
Why is lean management good for Human Resources?
Firstly, because reducing waste is good for everyone in every position in the company. Secondly, your employees will be happier because they find meaning in their job. That is why the fluctuation will be lower, the productivity will rise and the income will be higher. Last but not least the processes will be measurable and the transparency will be bigger.