By Tonya Mott
I mentioned in my last blog post, “What’s a Fastcap?” that our LEAN journey started with an office wide cleanup. That is not entirely accurate. We actually started with the “Why”. Why would we want to do this? It’s a lot of work! If we don’t have buy-in from the team, this may not work. I shared the “Why’s” and the “What’s in it for us” with everyone:
- Deliver value from the client’s perspective
- Eliminate Waste
- Continuous Improvement – leaving it better than you found it
What’s in it for us if we become a Lean Culture?
- Time maximization
- Organizational Clarity
- Increase Morale
- Easy access to resources/tools
- Greater company investment
- Potential monetary rewards
- Work on projects that motivate you
Good news, everyone was onboard!
Then came our timeline and action plan. We decided what we wanted to do and when:
- Immediately – Identify waste and stop signs (ongoing)
- Office wide cleanup – 3 S’s, 1. Sweep, 2. Sort, 3. Standardize
- Workflows – Analyze process, make them “LEAN Certified”
For our office cleanup, we started with a two-week window to clean up our own work areas. Then we closed for half a day, rolled up our sleeves, and got to work. What is the old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words?
Check out the new and improved RISQ Employee Benefits and Employer Services office space:
Storage Room – Before
Storage Room – After
Office Supplies – Before
Office Supplies – After
By making these changes we spend less time looking for supplies and can easily identify what needs to be ordered. We find everything we need by reading labels or visually looking at pictures posted on the front of the cabinets or drawers.
Now that we’re done with the cleanup, we’re evaluating our workflows with a microscope. This involves documenting each procedure, then removing waste. Once we are satisfied with the workflow we’ll deem it LEAN Certified. Even though the process gets the LEAN stamp of approval the work is never done. We welcome any employee’s suggestions and feedback (even if they have nothing to do with the process) to improve the workflow when a change can positively impact our employee’s and client’s experience.
Needless to say this has been a lot fun for our entire team and the end result is a comfortable, clean, and organized work environment for employees to deliver a “platinum rule” type of client experience. The Platinum Rule is part of our client experience compass, but alas that is for another blog article, a little something to you keep you anticipating!
I’m currently participating in LEAN trainings throughout the year, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about LEAN and how to implement it in your workplace. Below is my contact information:
Employee Benefits – Vice President, Operations
By Tonya Mott
On a journey to implement a LEAN culture in our office, I learned about Fastcaps.
What’s a Fastcap?
Self-adhesive stickers that cover screws on cabinets:
What is LEAN?
- Deliver value from your customer’s perspective
- Eliminate waste (things that don’t bring value to the end product)
- Continuous improvement
What in the world do these two things have in common?
Feeling overwhelmed about how to implement the LEAN methodology in our work environment. I came across a book, “2 Second Lean”, written by Paul Akers, the founder of the company Fastcap. After reading his book I checked out their website and found that even though the company was started as a woodworking/cabinetry business they promote LEAN and have a Youtube channel dedicated to the movement. They are all about sharing their LEAN experience with the world so that others can benefit as they have.
Here is a short video giving a tour of their facility: https://youtu.be/jYby_HczyDA
Fastcap inspired me to start our journey with an office-wide cleanup effort. Ironically, during our cleanup, I found the Fastcap’s in the picture above in our storage room buried at the bottom of a box full of various computer cords.
I plan to write additional blog posts about our LEAN adventures and include some impressive before and after photos!
Employee Handbooks – Best Practices for a Proactive Organization
October 17, 2019 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM AKDT
Employee Handbooks are essential for employers in today’s litigious environment and are a valuable tool to protect an employer from future liability. This webinar will discuss trending policies that can proactively provide employers with the means of protecting their organization by outlining the essential policies for your business and exploring emerging issues that deserve your attention. Whether you already have a handbook in place or are looking to create one, you won’t want to miss this presentation
Here is the registration link-Employee Handbooks – Best Practices for a Proactive Organization
Leave of Absence Issues for Health and Section 125 Plans
November 21, 2019 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM AKDT
This webinar will focus on the administration of employee benefits during employee leaves of absence. We’ll discuss the various types of leaves of absence, including leaves required under federal and state law and those offered under an employer’s internal policies. We’ll look at some common challenges employers face in administering benefits during these leaves and offer practical tips to keep you compliant.
Here is the registration link-Leave of Absence Issues for Health and Section 125 Plans
This article is from RISQ Consulting’s MyWave Connect portal, a resource available to all RISQ Consulting clients. Please contact your Benefits Consultant or Account Executive for more information or for help setting up your own login.
Did You Know?
You may not think an error on your auto insurance application is a big deal, but the consequences can be very costly. Giving inaccurate information on your application can lead to increased premiums, policy cancellations or no financial assistance in the event of an accident.
Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Auto Insurance:
- Not listing all drivers—Anyone who continuously drives your vehicle, even if it’s just for a short period of time a week, should be listed on your policy.
- Giving a false vehicle location—The difference between parking in one zip code versus another can greatly affect the amount of coverage you need for your vehicle. Failing to report your car’s true location can impact the accuracy of your insurance quotes.
- Not reporting your driving infractions—It’s best to be upfront about your driving record to avoid any conflicts or discrepancies. Your insurance company can easily retrieve any driving records from the DMV to check the accuracy of your application.
- Not disclosing business uses—In some cases, you may need a specialized policy when driving for business purposes or for a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft. Failing to take the proper steps could lead to a lack of coverage following an accident.
- Failing to update life changes—Changing addresses or adding another driver to a vehicle are all life changes that need to be updated on your policy.By not reporting changes, you may be overpaying for coverage and missing out on available discounts.
Be Honest on Your Application to Avoid the Consequences
Inaccuracies on your auto insurance application can end up costing you more money in the long run. If you think that you may have given false information on your auto insurance application, call your insurance agent to update your auto policy and avoid any ramifications.
By Ashley Snodgrass
It was Harry S. Truman who said, “Not All Readers Are Leaders, But All Leaders Are Readers”. Top business leaders often quote President Truman’s philosophy as one of their keys to success. As someone who enjoys reading books and listening to audiobooks, I’ve found it can be overwhelming to sort through stacks of business-related leadership, marketing, team building, customer service, professional development books and more to find the true experts and best advice.
I recently received this EntreLeadership Reading Guide from Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership email newsletter. The reading guide includes, “100 Books Every Small-Business Owner Needs to Read”. I’ve found this guide to be helpful because the list of 100 books are divided up by category, which allows me to choose a topic, and read 3-5 of the best books published under that topic. Additionally, many of the authors with books featured on this list have also been interviewed on the EntreLeadership podcast, and this is noted with an icon near the book title. The EntreLeadership podcast is another tool from Dave Ramsey’s company, Ramsey Solutions, where major business leaders are interviewed about how they lead their massive, influential companies. It is a fantastic learning opportunity to have access to interviews with so many brilliant business minds.
The EntreLeadership Reading Guide has also been a valuable tool for choosing books for RISQ Consulting’s book club. It can be challenging to choose books to read just by looking at Amazon reviews, so I appreciate having a resource like the EntreLeadership Reading Guide which is a vetted list of go-to greats. Even though the cover page of the guide specifically mentions the books are for small-business owners, in my experience the books are helpful for business leaders or teams who want to grow personally and professionally.
A follow up to “Lyme Disease – The Great Imitator“
By Tonya Mott
Since sharing Kelsey’s story a few exciting, (good and not so good) things have happened:
1. What is Kelsey doing for treatment? She has quite the treatment regimen, but the most interesting is bee venom. She has a bee condo inside her house, some of you may have seen these at the local Costco this summer. Have no worries, the bees are at the end of their life cycle when she received them. Her hubby grabs one with a tweezer and stings her. I know it sounds horrible but if it helps her feel better then I say, I’m all in. (I’m leaving out a lot of detail but wanted to at least share at a high level).
2. Kelsey and I were interviewed by KTUU. It just so happened that my blog post was published in May, which is Lyme Disease awareness month. I shared the story with KTUU and they responded immediately, asking if my friend would be willing to do an on camera interview – sorry, Kels! Of course, she happily accepted.
3. My husband received a clinical diagnosis of Lyme – MSIDS (Multiple Systemic Infection Disorder Syndrome). We had our suspicions after learning about Kelsey’s symptoms and we finally have an answer. This is very new and we are still working through the details.