Concrete Experience and Reflective Observation
Workplace operations and the effective performance of a company are unthinkable without communication. Using a particular system of signs, be it a basic language or a combination of symbols that are characteristic only of a particular workplace environment, a manager and a leader convey important messages to their staff members. Thus, goal and quality expectations within which employees will perform are defined, as Britt (2015) explains. Judging by my experience at the Bridgestone Aiken plant, the nature of communication as the tool for connecting all workplace processes and a tool for maintaining cross-disciplinary collaboration across the target environment have to be supported. Specifically, my experience has shown that workplace communication should encourage active cooperation within a team and successfully transfer important information within a company. With the current span of control, including 191 employees and my responsibility involving the supervision of Personnel, Operations, and Customer Satisfaction, I have realized that cohesion and connectivity as critical characteristics of effective communication are essential aspects of the successful functioning of any organization.
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The intercultural nature of workplace communication also has to be kept in mind when addressing performance issues within a team of experts. My job experience as a manager at the Bridgestone Aiken plant has proven to me that the function of communication is to connect all workplace processes and ensure that a company operates as an entity instead of a combination of separate processes. The specified concept aligns with the principles of the Kaizen philosophy, which I have been implementing as a manager to improve communication within the plant. According to the Kaizen principles, it is critical to view workplace processes as the elements of a single entity (Munby, Versnel, Hutchinson, Chin, & Berg, 2003). The Kaizen philosophy is integrated into the Bridgestone Aiken plant setting by enhancing the philosophy of unceasing improvement and uninterrupted communication. In addition, the integration of Kaizen has allowed me to redefine my roles and responsibilities as a manager, thus bettering my performance and reaching set objectives within the minimum amount of time.
Theories and Principles/Abstract Conceptualization
Creating a comfortable environment in which staff members will feel inclined to improve their performance is essential. Therefore, it will be critical to reconsider the current framework for setting the workplace, its hierarchy, and the relationships within it. For this purpose, several theories will have to be used. The main theories to be discussed include the Kaizen framework, the Six Sigma approach, and the lean management principles.
Theory 1: The Kaizen Theory
As stressed above, the notion of Kaizen has been firmly integrated into my performance at the Bridgestone Aiken plant. The specified theory allows embracing the connection between every single workplace process by focusing on people as the key asset of any organization (Munby et al., 2003; Mainemelis, Boyatzis, & Kolb, 2002). According to Maarof and Mahmud (2016), the principles of Kaizen suggest that an organization should be seen as a single entity with each of its processes being linked to one another. Thus, the theory purports that the slightest change in one of the company’s performance aspects entails an immediate alteration in the rest of its domains. Therefore, the Kaizen approach provides a perfect platform for institutionalizing a change in the selected environment and empowering staff members to accept the proposed corporate philosophy.
Theory 2: The Six Sigma
As the means of purporting corporate goals and encouraging a positive shift in the perception of staff’s responsibilities within an organization, one should also consider incorporating the principles of the Six Sigma framework into the target setting. Six Sigma theory suggests that the principles of continuous improvement should be introduced into the corporate environment (Munby et al., 2003). Making the selected innovation an integral part of the corporate philosophy is another important step to enhancing organizational performance.
Among doubtless advantages of Six Sigma, the opportunity for institutionalizing change needs to be mentioned. However, one might wonder whether the incorporation of non-incremental innovations into the corporate setting can be seen as beneficial to a firm’s overall performance in the global market. Based on my personal experience, the theory in question produces a vast and long-lasting effect by reorganizing how work processes take place and motivating employees to excel in their work. With the application of Kaizen, employees tend to view their responsibilities in a more serious light and develop initiatives regarding the promotion of positive changes. However, by far the most important effect that Kaizen has on the staff’s performance concerns communication. The approach in question creates the foundation for effective data sharing by enhancing interdisciplinary collaboration between a company’s departments.
Theory 3: Lean Management
Another framework that can be utilized as the method of enhancing the communication process and connecting it to the workplace performance enhancement is the lean-approach. Initially implying a reduction in waste levels, the identified framework currently represents a combination of tools for increasing the overall efficacy of staff’s performance by creating a sustainable environment for their development (Mainemelis et al., 2002). Currently, the lean approach implies a careful allocation of the company’s resources to enhance the output and minimize the waste levels (Mainemelis et al., 2002). The weight of the effects that the application of the proposed tool has can hardly be underrated since it offers vast opportunities for the rearrangement of workplace human resources. The selected approach will invite chances for a shift in the management of resources and, thus, maximize the efficacy of communication in the company’s setting.
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Incorporating the Kaizen principles should be seen as the driving force behind the implementation of change in the company’s setting as far as the communication process is concerned. However, due to the intrinsic connection between different workplace processes, the integration of lean management principles will also affect the understanding of the nature and functions of communication within the corporate environment. When considering promoting effective communication across the corporate environment, one should give preference to the Kaizen approach. Being the most cohesive and complete of all of the proposed frameworks helps to set a uniform principle of collaboration in a company, thus defining the further choice of tools for managing possible communication issues.
Testing and Application/Active Experimentation
Introducing the principles of Kaizen into the Bridgestone Aiken plant has been yielding quite positive results so far. The principles in question were incorporated into the setting of the Bridgestone Aiken plant by shaping the values of the organization and focusing on the needs of the key stakeholders as the primary concern of the organization. The model created the platform for a range of positive changes, including the enhancement of information management. Due to the rearrangement of the workflow and the order in which the processes took place, the data management techniques improved significantly, with much more attention being played to the feedback received from employees. The described alterations affected both the workplace environment, making it more comfortable for the staff, and the performance of employees, leading to its improvement.
The Six Sigma framework helped to institutionalize change by introducing order to its implementation and creating a system that renewed whenever important knowledge was acquired. Finally, the Lean Management approach helped reduce the amount of waste by enhancing communication and preventing misunderstandings from taking place. Thus, the communication model used in the corporate environment was shaped toward the promotion of knowledge sharing and reciprocal dialogue between the staff and managers. The Kaizen framework was integrated into the specified environment is the logical step toward improving the organization’s performance and the corporate climate. Since the specified approach encompasses every aspect of workplace performance, including communication, it helps to establish an improved workplace climate, thus making the dialogue within the corporate setting much more palatable and effective. As a result, the team’s performance that I have been supervising has been consistently positive, with minor issues being addressed immediately and resolved successfully.
Britt, M. (2015). How to better engage online students with online strategies. College Student Journal, 49(3), 399-404.
Maarof, M. G., & Mahmud, F. (2016). A review of contributing factors and challenges in implementing kaizen in small and medium enterprises. Procedia Economics and Finance, 35, 522-531.
Mainemelis, C., Boyatzis, R. E., & Kolb, D. A. (2002). Learning styles and adaptive flexibility: Testing experiential learning theory. Management Learning, 33(1), 5-33.
Munby, H., Versnel, J., Hutchinson. N., Chin, P., & Berg, D. (2003). Workplace learning and the metacognitive functions of routine. Journal of Workplace Learning, 15(3), 94.