As a response to a wave of quiet disengagement from employees during the pandemic, the head of a 500-person department at a large software company incorporated the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen, or continuous improvement, into the workplace. Using principles such as elimination of inconsistency, overburden, and waste, soliciting feedback, trusting employees, and encouraging improvement in all directions, the manager was able to revive engagement and foster a more supportive and productive work environment.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees of the company silently disengaged from their work, a phenomenon the manager identified as “quiet quitting.”
- The manager adopted the philosophy of Kaizen, a Japanese philosophy emphasizing continuous improvement and growth both personally and professionally.
- Part of this philosophy included the elimination of inconsistency, overburden, and waste in the workplace, which was achieved by revising and standardizing the employee development strategy and reassessing the necessity of meetings.
- The manager found it beneficial to solicit feedback and ideas from employees and peers, trusting them to understand where improvements were needed.
- Rather than a one-time solution, Kaizen was seen as a continuous process requiring ongoing adjustment and improvement from both the employees and the manager, with the overall aim of fostering a positive and supportive work environment.