Everyday Lean: 4 Tips To Sustaining 5S In The Office

Clean Desk, Clear MindEveryday Lean: 4 Tips To Sustaining 5S In The Office

5S is the five step process of organizing a workplace. The five steps include:

  1. Sort
  2. Set
  3. Shine
  4. Standardize
  5. Sustain

Shortly after I began working at LeanCor in September, I learned that one of my duties would include conducting a daily 5S auditing process – consisting of a walk through the office and completion of an audit workbook. I was familiar with 5S from my previous employer, but LeanCor took it to the next level. Team members had recognized the need for a frequent auditing process to sustain the program.

Prior to starting the new auditing process, I conducted a reassessment of areas that had fallen short of 5S expectations. Lots of shining, sorting and setting took place - the labeler definitely got a good work-out!

I now begin every morning with a daily walk through the office and restrooms with my audit workbook in hand, taking notes of things that do not meet expectations and correcting things on the spot. A few examples of quickly correctable items would include: a marker missing from the whiteboard, trash cans out of place, or chairs needing pushed back.

When the walk is complete, I update the audit workbook and monthly 5S results charts. These documents are then posted in the break room, easily accessible by team members. Posting the scores daily heightens awareness and assists in sustainment.

Monthly 5S ResultsSustaining the progress we’ve made continues to be a challenge; it’s truly a daily effort that requires cooperation from every team member.


4 Tips to Sustain 5S

Awareness of Expectations for Team Members and Maintenance Staff: Making team members and the maintenance staff aware of expectations has improved our scores and has also been instrumental in sustaining our results.

Accountability: We have asked each team member to be accountable not only for their own desk but for the areas they utilize. As part of my daily 5S walk, I check work spaces to make sure they are acceptable. If they are not, I politely request that the team member 5S their own work space.

Progress Visibility: By posting the daily score, it allows team members to view successes and areas that need improvement. This visibility ensures that they can do their part in assisting in achieving acceptable scores.

Consistency: It is essential that the 5S walk is conducted daily in order to sustain the results. Lack of consistency suggests that 5S is not a priority.

Written by Sharon Spencer, Human Resources Specialist at LeanCor

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Posted by LeanCor Supply Chain Group

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LeanCor Supply Chain Group is a trusted supply chain partner that specializes in lean principles to deliver operational improvement. LeanCor’s three integrated divisions – LeanCor Training and Education, LeanCor Consulting, and LeanCor Logistics – help organizations eliminate waste, drive down costs, and build a culture of continuous improvement.

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