Economics/Business

5 S in the workplace/how did come about/how works/benefits/How to apply

The 5S Program is a methodology that aims to organize, control and maintain processes in a company. It was developed in Japan, after the Second World War, and is still a very current method. 5 S in the workplace

A simple organization and control methodology emerged in the midst of a great crisis and was disseminated throughout the world due to its success. This is the 5S program, proposed in the 20th century, in the East, and which, due to its ease of adaptation to different realities, still helps to transform scenarios of companies in different segments.

The method is so popular that many organizations apply it here in Brazil and, despite having been created to optimize the activities carried out on the factory floor, know that your company, regardless of the segment, can benefit a lot from it. Read on to understand better and learn how to apply this program! 5 S in the workplace

How did the 5S program come about?

Have you noticed how crises help us to develop, improve or overcome various issues that involve our work? This is how it happened with Japan, after the Second World War, in 1945. The historic moment sank the country — as did many others —, but the nation designed the 5S as a way to get back on its feet again .

The goal was to become the nation it is today, but with a primary focus on advancing economically. Therefore, the country developed the program and it was replicated by several companies, especially large companies such as industries.

Thus, the methodology was being promoted, conquering several segments in Japan and being successful all over the world. It is not by chance that the method became popular. Today, Japan is one of the greatest world powers, it is among the main global economies and is one of the countries that most inspire in good practices. 

After all, what is proven good can and should be replicated, right? But you might be wondering why the term “5S”. Know that the program indicates the initials of five quality control principles from the Japanese tradition

  1. Seiri: sense of use;
  2. Seiton: sense of organization;
  3. Seiso: sense of cleanliness;
  4. Seiketsu: sense of normalization;
  5. Shitsuke: sense of discipline.

How does the method work?

For the Japanese, the success of anything depends on how it is structured, especially in relation to its organization. And the organization here concerns several aspects, as we will see below in each concept of the 5S methodology . 5 S in the workplace

Seiri – Usage

The first S concerns the use of what is really needed to perform the tasks. Anything that is not useful and will not be used in daily activities should be discarded. More than the use itself, here are taught how this use of materials will be done consciously and efficiently .

That is, everything that is no longer useful should be separated and discarded to leave the environment as “clean” and healthy as possible. This applies to resources that are on top of the work table, piles of folders and papers, personal objects and files on the computer.

Seiton – Organization

Keep in mind that the 5S program methodology requires understanding the importance of following the cycle, that is, the order of principles, as one will only make sense if it is followed by the other. An example of this is what happens from the second S. 5 S in the workplace

Seiton means organizing everything that you set aside as useful in the previous step. It’s time to put everything in its place so it can be easily accessed when you need it. What you use every day should be on hand. What is important, but not always necessary, should be placed in a less accessible but organized place.

Seiso – Cleaning

The third step is to ensure the hygiene of the place, whether of the environment as a whole, or of your own work table. For the Japanese, this should be done by everyone and is not just the job of cleaning staff. This “cleaning” also involves aspects such as the good use and conservation of materials.

Keeping the place and resources needed for daily work clean, according to the program’s proposal, also guarantees a healthier work environment, since the place will be suitable for you to carry out everything you need. In addition, this S also refers to personal cleanliness and the importance of always being clean and neat.

Seiketsu – Normalization

We talk about the need to follow one step after another, right? An example of this is this fourth S that promotes the idea of ​​making the three steps followed above standard. In other wordsthe entire company must adopt these strategies and these routines must be part of the company’s organizational culture , not just one employee or another. 5 S in the workplace

Shitsuke – Discipline

In addition to making the process common to all, it is necessary to adopt the discipline and habit of leaving only what is useful, organizing, cleaning, making this routine common and maintaining this pattern. In the final stage, it is essential to have patience, discipline and transform the new actions into a lifestyle and an ongoing process.

In this pillar, as important as making these activities a custom, is being able to stop to see what changes and benefits can be felt after the adoption of these changes, both by the company and by employees and managers. 

What are the benefits of investing in the 5S program?

In the business sphere, the entire company benefits from the application of the concepts of the 5S methodology. Processes become more organized and standardized; Waste with labor inputs and time to perform tasks is reduced . In addition, advantages such as: 5 S in the workplace

  • more safety in the workplace;
  • increase in the quality standard of the projects and processes developed;
  • facilitation of operations;
  • productivity increase ;
  • cleaner, more comfortable and attractive workplace.

How to apply the program?

A company can relate each of the pillars of the 5S method to both the most common activities and the most complex processes. In the first S, for example, think about what is outdated, outdated and no longer useful to be used internally. 

They can be old processes, materials that are at odds with the company’s reality, employees who are no longer being productive and who do not seek growth and development even with the help of HR. Anyway, everything that doesn’t add more should be discarded. 5 S in the workplace 

In the second S, think about how to promote more organized activities, such as employee timekeeping , productivity indicators for occasions when you need to make strategic decisions, make professional data more accessible, but without sacrificing information security, among others. others.

The final pillars can be perceived in very broad ways as well. Evaluate how workers can acquire new knowledge and how the company can help keep them up to date. The importance of conquering and maintaining good practices at work, both those developed alone and those carried out in a team.

When you understand what the 5S program is for, it is not difficult to apply the stages of the cycle in the organization’s daily life , including for new projects. Think: what needs to be implemented, how can I organize it, how can I make it a good practice for teams and how can they maintain this standard? 5 S in the workplace 

Certainly, the 5S program will do a lot for its employees and, consequently, for the organization, as it will be the main beneficiary since all actions aim at the success of its results.

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