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Visual Systems Increase Employee Productivity

Best Practices -- More Than Meets The Eye. The visual workplace's unheralded benefits include an empowered workforce and sustained manufacturing improvement. [Industry Week - Articles & Columns]

Jill Jusko writes about Gwendolyn D Galsworth's book Visual Systems: Harnessing the Power of a Visual Workplace (1997, AMACOM) in explaining the aspects of a work environment that is self-explaining, self-ordering, self-regulating, and self-improving-- because of visual devices. The original article explains how visual systems can improve employee productivity.

Visual devices include colored labels on shelves, directional lines on floors, color coded filing systems, or even representational symbols. Employees work better in visually appealing environments, these symbolic tools help them navigate within their duties making materials easy to find.

An organization system helps employees focus more on the work at hand than finding tools. In a software engineering environment we designated separate spaces for development, testing, integration, and production. Each area had a work-flow diagram posted which included the area layout. This configuration simplified materials storage, improved productivity, and reduced setup times.

For years I've used visual training tools to help employees and clients to understand new processes. These visual tools supplement other training to provide a more rounded learning experience that improved retention and comprehension. Simple flow charts are great visual reminders of how work flows through your organization.

Each employee will have a preferred sense, a strictly audible or mechanical environment will only help a percentage of employees be more productive. Adding visual elements will increase productivity by making processes more self-explanatory and reduces starting times of repetitive tasks.

/ clearly-communicate | employee-relations /

By Justin Hitt at October 1, 2003 2:10 AM  Subscribe in a reader


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