A walk on the gemba

04/06/17 07:26:am

The Rogers Improvement System (RIS) is creating a new culture throughout the organization where employees get involved in improving how we carry out our work.

To support their teams and the RIS work, leaders use what’s called “gemba walks.” That means short and frequent visits to see what’s going well and also better understand some of the challenges the teams face in their daily work.

“Gemba” is the Japanese word for where the work is done and the idea highlights how important it is to “go and see” what is happening. Daily gemba walks encourage just-in-time problem solving and strengthen connections between leadership and employees. 

Employees around the Rogers System can expect managers and even senior leaders to stop by from time to time to learn more about improvement strategies and how they’re working. Ultimately, those leaders will try to help break down barriers to success.

Here are some of the questions you might get during the short department visits:

  • How has the Rogers Improvement System changed your work? Our patients’ experience?

  • Is there anything keeping you from doing your job? What are some of the challenges you face?

  • How can I best support your work?

  • Can you tell me about any areas where we are maintaining positive results? How did you help us achieve those results?

Gemba walks support the two pillars of the Rogers Improvement System: respect for people and continuous improvement by going to see the actual work and value being created.  

“Gemba walks are intended to be a positive experience for all! It’s part of reinforcing a culture of transformation where patients get the best possible care and employees and medical staff create the best environment for work,” says Terri Schultz, vice president, continuous improvement.  

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