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MODULE DESCRIPTOR : This module covers the knowledge, skills and attitudes in promoting career growth and advancement, specifically to integrate personal objectives with organizational goals set and meet work priorities and maintain professional growth and development.
Upon completion of this module the students/trainees must be able to:
LO1. Integrate personal objectives with organizational goals
LO2. Set and meet work priorities
LO3. Maintain professional growth and development
3 compelling Japanese concept for personal development

The experience of personal growth is a fantastic feeling. Overcoming obstacles you never expected you would learn different skills, find out new sides about yourself and gain insights. Below you will learn about three Japanese concept you can apply while working on personal growth that will not add stress and help you develop in your own pace towards your goals.


Instead of pursuing for a massive change at once, aim making a minor one daily under a long time. Kaizen means continuous improvement, but if you’re to improve by 1% this will make a huge change. During the long run, you will have less stress but still continue towards your goal. Say you wish to develop a new habit, doing so gradually will have a greater success rate than starting out with too much at once. Imagine how much you can improve if you just try to do 1% better than yesterday each day.


It’s not a secret that we feel worse by comparing ourselves to others. But we still do. The Japanese concept Oubaitori means that we should not compare ourselves. People who spend too much time on social media platforms feel worse than those who spent the time on alternative activities. Social media cause stress, anxious, low self-esteem and loneliness. Same goes if we compare our achievements to others, where we feel less happy what we achieved in relationship to others. Instead, focus on what you want to change and measure your progress.


Ikigai is the meaning of life, what motives you and get you excited. This gives you inner strength energy and brings satisfaction. Ikigai motivates you, keeping a strong Ikigai will fuel and help to continue on personal development. This is great as a charged battery, so you can feel you have the resources you need to take the steps needed.

Intra and Interpersonal Development

People often confuse interpersonal vs intrapersonal skills and communication styles. But the truth is, they are actually opposites, and not interchangeable at all! The key is in the root of the word — “inter” means between people or groups, and “intra” means inside a person or a group. Both are important in their own ways for success in work, school, and life.

Interpersonal Vs. Intrapersonal: Be Strong In Both
Developing both your intrapersonal communication (within yourself), and your interpersonal communication (between yourself and others), will ultimately bring you success in life.

One is not more important than the other, and it is okay to be stronger in one type — but working on both interpersonal vs intrapersonal communication over time is the way to go if you want to do well in school, work, and improve your personal relationships.

What Is Interpersonal Communication?
Interpersonal communication is the communication where exchange of ideas and information happens between two or more people by way of any channel. This can be face to face, online, over the phone, or in written forms as well.

There are several aspects that make this type of communication explicitly interpersonal:
• Inescapable: Even when we hold some thought inside us and do not let it out verbally, it will take its form in other nonverbal aspects of communication such as mood, attitude, or body language.
• Irreversible: Once something is written, said, or submitted, it cannot be taken back. It is forever in the minds of others.
• Complex: There is a high chance of miscommunication between sender and receiver, therefore interpersonal communication is complex.
• Contextual: Context is an integral part of this type of communication, and the context can be situational, environmental, and relational.
What Is Intrapersonal Communication?
Intrapersonal communication is the communication done with oneself. Included are the thoughts, assessments, contemplations, and feelings that are associated with one’s inner communication.

Here are some things that are uniquely intrapersonal:
• Self-Concept: One’s own self concept is at the center of intrapersonal communication. It includes an evaluation of one’s own beliefs, values and attitudes, and how that evaluation plays into what occurs in the outer world.
• Perception: Perception is how people interpret what is going on around them. Perception can influence intrapersonal communication.
• Expectation: Expectations are based upon intrapersonal communication with one’s own self, and are predictions of what will happen based on perceptions of what has happened.

Differences Between Interpersonal Vs. Intrapersonal Communication
The biggest difference that you need to know about between interpersonal vs intrapersonal communication is that interpersonal is between two or more people, and intrapersonal is between you and yourself.

Here are the other main differences:

1. Parties Involved

In interpersonal communication, there’s always more than one person. It doesn’t matter if the communication happens online, over the phone, or in an email. Two people communicating means interpersonal.

This is in contrast to intrapersonal communication which is only done within one’s own mind with one’s own thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

2. Reasons

The reasons you may want to use interpersonal communication is to tell a story, share an idea or experience, or relay information to someone else or a group of people.

The reasons you may be using intrapersonal communication is to reflect on something that happened, make goals and plans, visualize the future, and get closer with your own feelings.

3. Media And Feedback

Feedback for interpersonal communication can be vast — it may be verbal, nonverbal (such as a shrug, nod, or eyebrow raise), or it may be oral or written. Interpersonal feedback can be in person, over the phone, on a computer, or in a letter.

Media used for intrapersonal communication is much simpler — it is always going to be considered in person, although can be done live, in audio recordings, or in writing. Feedback for intrapersonal communication is hard to define. Your feedback is your own and only you know how you react to your own feelings, thoughts, and ideas.

What Are Intrapersonal Skills?

What does it mean to be intrapersonal? An intrapersonal person is someone with strong intrapersonal skills. They are very connected with themselves, and know what they feel, need, and want.

Some of skills highly intrapersonal people have are:

1. Visualization

This is the ability to see things in the mind, how they are meant to be or how you plan them. Many athletes, artists, and politicians have great visualization skills and can ‘see’ themselves in a situation, and make plans for how to succeed in that situation.

2. Recognize Negativity

When things start becoming negative in your mind, it is important to stop and realize that it is happening. Being aware of negative thoughts, and having the power to turn them around is an important intrapersonal skill.

3. Compassion

Being able to see another person’s perspective, and therefore have compassion for them is an intrapersonal skill as well. Putting aside your own views and your own experiences is a part of having compassion.

4. Decision Making

When it comes time to make a decision, an intrapersonal person has the ability to scan potential options, visualize them, and make the right decision. The ability to do so without stress and inner conflict is a skill that you can achieve with practice.

How Does Interpersonal Communication Work?
Great interpersonal communication comes from two or more people who have high levels of skills that interpersonal communication requires. When two sides are able to listen effectively, convey themselves accurately, and be active participants in the conversation, this is the start to excellent interpersonal communication.

What Are Interpersonal Skills?

What Are Interpersonal Skills?

1. Communication

There are three types of communication: verbal communication, nonverbal communication, and public speaking. All three need to be strong in order for someone to have high interpersonal skills.

2. Conflict Management

Interpersonal communication is done by more than one person, and when that happens, there is bound to be conflict at one point or another. It is important to have good conflict management, both between you and others, and for managing others’ conflicts.

3. Empathy

Listening to others, putting yourself in their shoes and understanding them is what empathy is all about. And if you are able to have strong empathy, you are one step closer to mastering the art of interpersonal communication.

4. Leadership

Having strong leadership skills means the ability to motivate and encourage others to help everyone succeed. You don’t need to be in a leadership position to be a leader.

5. Listening

Interpersonal communication is not just about expressive communication, but receptive as well — and that means listening! Taking an active listening role as someone is speaking is a great way to level up your interpersonal skills.

6. Negotiation

Being a great negotiator goes hand-in-hand with having high interpersonal skills. Negotiating requires listening skills, planning and visualization, and problem solving — all important parts of interpersonal communication.

7. Positive Attitude

When you have a positive attitude, you are bound to have positive interactions with other people. This interpersonal skill will help you succeed in school, work, and in your personal life.

8. Teamwork

Interpersonal communication is communication with more than one person, so of course teamwork is key. Collaboration, teambuilding, active listening, and conflict resolution are all important team-based aspects of interpersonal communication.

In order to work well with others, you need interpersonal skills such as listening, empathy, and leadership. Those skills are amplified by greater development of intrapersonal skills such as compassion, self-concept, and visualization.

Code of Ethics

The purpose of public relations is to foster a healthy value system between organizations and their stakeholders and the society and to steadily build relationships of trust. Communications developing mutual understanding, unity and deeper trust forms the core of such public relations activities.

1. Respect for the public interest and fundamental human rights
We comply with international norms as well as the Japanese constitution, laws and regulations in the planning and execution of all public relations activities; and are always mindful of the public interest and respect fundamental human rights and the dignity of individuals.
2. Principles of fairness, accuracy and transparency
We understand the role of the media in the society and respect the freedoms of speech and press. We act with fairness and integrity, convey the truth to all stakeholders accurately, timely and appropriately, and promote transparency. We do not distribute false or misleading information.

3. Maintaining neutrality and impartiality
We convey information accurately and readily accept feedback, and maintain a neutral and impartial stance in our relationships with stakeholders. We act with discipline and integrity.
4. Protecting information and rights
We do not divulge confidential or personal information obtained through the course of public relations activities, use such information outside of its intended purpose, or seek to profit unduly through the use of insider information. We respect and protect copyrights, intellectual property rights and personal information.
5. Generating social value and contributing to a sustainable society
Based on our commitment to build a society for the people, we embrace diversity and encourage the development of a healthy and creative society as well as the generation of new social value. Moreover, we protect the global environment and contribute towards the creation of a sustainable society by acting as good corporate citizens.
LO2: Set and meet work priorities

Japanese Work Ethics

Some of the elements most associated with Japanese business culture are lifetime employment, seniority-based wage, and favoring “seishain,” or regular full-fledged/permanent employees.
The “Shushin Koyo (Lifetime Employment)” system was introduced in the 1950s, when Japan was entering a period of rapid economic growth, as a means of securing long-term employees.
With this came “Nenko Joretsu (seniority-based wage),” a system in which an employee is promoted according to how many years they have been working at a certain company and proximity to retirement.This concept is the reason why many companies today have age-based hierarchical corporate systems.
A “seishain (regular employee)” is a form of employment unique to Japan. Such employees will work fixed hours and are usually hired without a designated contract period, in other words, they can stay at the same company until they retire.
On the other hand, there are also “non-regular” employees who have comparatively limited contracts. A seishain is often confused with the term “full-time worker,” but Japanese non-regular employees work full-time as well, so they should be seen as different concepts.
Regular employees are given favorable treatment regarding benefits, responsibility, and promotion. Basically, it’s easier to earn a stable income if you’re a seishain.
As various systems like the above took root, so did many workplace ethics.
One of the most well-known examples is the emphasis on teamwork rather than individual ability. People value a disciplined attitude toward work. They also attach importance to bonding with coworkers, as one will likely be spending the next few decades with them.

Important Aspects of the Japanese Business Culture

You’ll find that the Japanese business scene has various customs and rules that are different from what people from other countries might be used to. The Japanese people place value in respecting others and the rules of society, so your success in this country can very much be dependent on how much you’re able to abide by the rules.
Here we’ll be explaining six important aspects of the Japanese business culture that you should be aware of.

1. Modesty is a Virtue
“Your hard work led to the success of this project!”
“No, no, I didn’t do much. It’s thanks to all of you.”
When you compliment someone for their hard work, they will act as if they’re undeserving like in the example above, and say it was the effort of the team.
Many Japanese people consider being modest to be a virtue. It’s important for one to be humble, to be in harmony with others, and to sustain good relationships. Those who are able to do this well are often considered competent in business as well.
Purposely “lowering” oneself to enhance the status of another is a form of communication, and is esteemed as a thoughtful act of showing respect.

2. The “Work-First” Philosophy
You’ll find that many employees at Japanese companies have a “work-first” philosophy, and will often prioritize time at the workplace over friends and family.
This has its roots in the period of rapid economic growth, when people would work long hours day on end with almost no time to sleep. The “work-first” philosophy esteems working overtime or on holidays as a virtue, and has long been deeply ingrained in Japan’s business culture.
However, this has started to change in recent years. More people, especially the younger generation, are starting to put their personal life before work.
In a survey conducted by the Japanese government in 2017, over 60% of people between the age of 16 and 29 said they prioritize their family or personal life over work.
As work-life balance replaces the office as the more important factor in many peoples’ lives, the government has also started promoting work-style reforms in an attempt to reduce the overworking of company employees.

The Process Is Just as Important as the Result
In Japan, the process of something is often thought to have the same importance as the result. This is because different opinions within a team can lead to a decrease in efficiency.
You’ll find that many Japanese meetings will not discuss much. Rather, they’re often simply an occasion to share information about the current situation of various projects. That’s why in Japan you’ll be attending countless meetings and be required to submit multiple status reports as your project goes on.
As much as a meeting can seem meaningless, it will have the intention of sharing information between participants and making decisions as a team. This is considered to be a successful business strategy in Japan.

4. Clients and Seniors are Respected
In Japan, it’s common sense to show respect to your clients and seniors. For example, if a client or your boss does or says something that is not exactly correct, one shouldn’t point that out directly. People will try to be as humble as possible, almost to the point that it seems like they’re the one who did wrong, and make an effort to gently inform the client or boss about the mistake.
In addition, you should remember that there’s a “giver” and a “receiver” in various situations.
For example when exchanging business cards, one will handle a business partner’s card with utmost care. This shows that they’re respecting the other person, and also their wish for successful business between the two.

5. Courtesy and Facade are Valued
Being humble, cooperative, harmonious, and respectful are all important values in Japan.
“Reigi” and “tatemae” are concepts that are especially important when appreciating any of the above. They can be translated to “courtesy” and “facade” respectively.
〇Tatemae (Facade)
Even if one feels uncomfortable or angry, they won’t show it on the outside. This is so they don’t dampen the mood for others. As opposed to “tatemae,” a person’s real feelings or ideas are called their “honne (true feelings).”
〇Reigi (Courtesy)
“Reigi” is a word that describes the social manners a person should have in order to act respectful toward others.
For example, it’s considered polite if you visit a business partner’s office before you start working together for the sole purpose of introducing yourself and getting to know each other. The objective of this is to build a better relationship between the two parties, which will lead to a successful partnership.
Also, it’s considered a breach of etiquette if you immediately start talking about business with someone upon meeting them for the first time. You may have already noticed that many Japanese people will begin a business meeting by chatting about irrelevant topics.
This is thought of as an ice breaker that allows for smoother communication.

6. Punctuality is Key
Japanese trains are renowned around the world for their punctuality.
Trains running exactly as scheduled are just one example of things in Japan being flawlessly on time, as punctuality is key in all aspects of business in Japan. Whether it be the start of working hours, meeting times, or any other scheduled event, being punctual and meeting deadlines is a must.
Being late just a few minutes can result in loss of trust, unsuccessful business meetings, and even a drop in salary.

Things To Remember When Working With Japanese People

As you can see, Japan has many business etiquette rules, and you might be wondering what you can do in order to not act disrespectful.
We’ll leave you with three points that will help you understand the Japanese business culture and build a good relationship with your Japanese partners.

1. Be Considerate Toward Others
Japanese people value a peaceful environment and harmony among groups. For this reason, the people have a mindset of separating one’s “honne (true feelings)” from their “tatemae (facade)” depending on the situation and who they’re interacting with.
If you’re working with a Japanese person, you should be considerate and be careful not to dampen the mood in any way.
For example, if you want to turn down a request from a business partner, instead of just saying no, you might want to reply with something like “I will think about it” or “I will discuss it with my boss.”
Even if in reality you have already decided to turn something down, by expressing that you’ll try to make it possible, you’re implicating that you’re not bluntly rejecting the idea.
In this case, your honne (true feelings) is “no,” and your tatemae (facade) is “I will think about it.” It’s a white lie that makes sure the partner isn’t offended, and is an example of how the Japanese people try to sustain peace when around others.

2. HoRenSo (Report, Communicate, Consult)
When working in a team in Japan, it’s important not to disturb the “wa (harmony)” of the group.
The concept of “HoRenSo (Report, Communicate, Consult)” plays an important role in this regard. Frequently reporting, communicating, and consulting when needed will help projects proceed smoothly.
HoRenSo comes from the Japanese words “hokoku (report)”, “renraku (communicate)”, and “sodan (consult).”
〇When To Use HoRenSo
Hokoku: Report the current state of progress and clients’ reactions to your boss.
Renraku: Communicate and share information about client requests and modifications.
Sodan: Consult others for advice to find a solution.
HoRenSo makes sure information is shared within a team or company, leading to improved performance and successful business.

3. Understand and Enjoy the Japanese Drinking Culture
Japanese companies will hold get-togethers for various events for employees or with business partners. These are casual events called “nomikai (drinking party),” and are not quite either business nor personal events, but somewhere in between.
Nomikais are frequently held with the intention of deepening relationships between coworkers. When you’re attending one of these parties, you should never forget your respect toward another, but you can usually loosen up a bit and have heart-to-heart chats with people, regardless of their title or position in the office.
The idea of talking about work outside of the office might seem strange, but we recommend you try to enjoy it as an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the Japanese culture and your coworkers.
Japanese business etiquette revolves around ideas like “respect,” “modesty,” and “harmony.” It can understandably be a little confusing for first-timers working in Japan.
But remember that each concept has a meaning and can help a business succeed.

Company Policies on the use and maintenance equipment

What is 5S?
5S is a system for organizing spaces so work can be performed efficiently, effectively, and safely. This system focuses on putting everything where it belongs and keeping the workplace clean, which makes it easier for people to do their jobs without wasting time or risking injury.

The Origins of 5S – 5S & Lean Manufacturing
5S began as part of the Toyota Production System (TPS), the manufacturing method begun by leaders at the Toyota Motor Company in the early and mid-20th century. This system, often referred to as Lean manufacturing in the West, aims to increase the value of products or services for customers. This is often accomplished by finding and eliminating waste from production processes.

Lean manufacturing involves the use of many tools such as 5S, kaizen, kanban, jidoka, heijunka, and poka-yoke. 5S is considered a foundational part of the Toyota Production System because until the workplace is in a clean, organized state, achieving consistently good results is difficult. A messy, cluttered space can lead to mistakes, slowdowns in production, and even accidents, all of which interrupt operations and negatively impact a company.
By having a systematically organized facility, a company increases the likelihood that production will occur exactly as it should.

Benefits of 5S

Over time, the 5S methodology leads to many benefits, including:
• Reduced costs
• Higher quality
• Increased productivity
• Greater employee satisfaction
• A safer work environment

What Are the 5 S’s?

The 5S concept might sound a little abstract at this point, but in reality it’s a very practical, hands-on tool that everyone in the workplace can be a part of.
5S involves assessing everything present in a space, removing what’s unnecessary, organizing things logically, performing housekeeping tasks, and keeping this cycle going. Organize, clean, repeat.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the parts of 5S.

The first step of 5S, Sort, involves going through all the tools, furniture, materials, equipment, etc. in a work area to determine what needs to be present and what can be removed. Some questions to ask during this phase include:
• What is the purpose of this item?
• When was this item last used?
• How frequently is it used?
• Who uses it?
• Does it really need to be here?
These questions help determine the value of each item. A workspace might be better off without unnecessary items or items used infrequently. These things can get in the way or take up space.
Keep in mind the best people to assess the items in a space are the people who work in that space. They are the ones who can answer the above questions.
When a group has determined that some items aren’t necessary, consider the following options:
• Give the items to a different department
• Recycle/throw away/sell the items
• Put items into storage

For cases when an item’s value is uncertain—for example, a tool hasn’t been used recently, but someone thinks it might be needed in the future—use the red tag method. Red tags are usually cardboard tags or stickers that can be attached to the items in question. Users fill out information about the item such as:
• Location
• Description
• Name of person applying the tag
• Date of application
Then the item is placed in a “red tag area” with other questionable items. If after a designated amount of time (perhaps a month or two) the item hasn’t been used, it’s time to remove it from the workspace. It’s not worth hanging onto things that never get used since they just take up space.
Tip: Set a reminder—on your phone or computer, or posted somewhere in the workspace—to check back in with the red tag area so it doesn’t get forgotten.
Set in Order
Once the extra clutter is gone, it’s easier to see what’s what. Now work groups can come up with their own strategies for sorting through the remaining items. Things to consider:
• Which people (or workstations) use which items?
• When are items used?
• Which items are used most frequently?
• Should items be grouped by type?
• Where would it be most logical to place items?
o Would some placements be more ergonomic for workers than others?
o Would some placements cut down on unnecessary motion?
• Are more storage containers necessary to keep things organized?
During this phase, everyone should determine what arrangements are most logical. That will require thinking through tasks, the frequency of those tasks, the paths people take through the space, etc.
Businesses may want to stop and think about the relationship between organization and larger Lean efforts. What arrangement will cause the least amount of waste?
In Lean manufacturing, waste can take the form of:
• Defects
• Waiting time
• Extra motion
• Excess inventory
• Overproduction
• Extra processing
• Unnecessary transportation
• Unutilized talents
Tip: For the purposes of 5S, specifically consider how the layout and organization of an area could increase/decrease waiting time, motion, and unnecessary transportation.

Everyone thinks they know what housekeeping is, but it’s one of the easiest things to overlook, especially when work gets busy. The Shine stage of 5S focuses on cleaning up the work area, which means sweeping, mopping, dusting, wiping down surfaces, putting tools and materials away, etc.
In addition to basic cleaning, Shine also involves performing regular maintenance on equipment and machinery. Planning for maintenance ahead of time means businesses can catch problems and prevent breakdowns. That means less wasted time and no loss of profits related to work stoppages.
Shining the workplace might not sound exciting, but it’s important. And it shouldn’t just be left up to the janitorial staff. In 5S, everyone takes responsibility for cleaning up their workspace, ideally on a daily basis. Doing so makes people take ownership of the space, which in the long run means people will be more invested in their work and in the company.
Tip: How to clean may seem obvious, but make sure people know how to properly Shine their spaces. Show employees—especially new employees—which cleaners to use, where cleaning materials are stored, and how to clean equipment, particularly if it’s equipment that could be easily damaged.


Once the first three steps of 5S are completed, things should look pretty good. All the extra stuff is gone, everything is organized, spaces are cleaned, and equipment is in good working order.
The problem is, when 5S is new at a company, it’s easy to clean and get organized…and then slowly let things slide back to the way they were. Standardize makes 5S different from the typical spring-cleaning project. Standardize systematizes everything that just happened and turns one-time efforts into habits. Standardize assigns regular tasks, creates schedules, and posts instructions so these activities become routines. It makes standard operating procedures for 5S so that orderliness doesn’t fall by the wayside.
Depending on the workspace, a daily 5S checklist or a chart might be useful. A posted schedule indicating how frequently certain cleaning tasks must occur and who is responsible for them is another helpful tool.
Initially, people will probably need reminders about 5S. Small amounts of time may need to be set aside daily for 5S tasks. But over time, tasks will become routine and 5S organizing and cleaning will become a part of regular work.
Tip: Visual cues such as signs, labels, posters, floor marking tape, and tool organizers also play an important role in 5S. They can provide directions and keep items in place, in many cases without words.


Once standard procedures for 5S are in place, businesses must perform the ongoing work of maintaining those procedures and updating them as necessary. Sustain refers to the process of keeping 5S running smoothly, but also of keeping everyone in the organization involved. Managers need to participate, as do employees out on the manufacturing floor, in the warehouse, or in the office. Sustain is about making 5S a long-term program, not just an event or short-term project. Ideally, 5S becomes a part of an organization’s culture. And when 5S is sustained over time, that’s when businesses will start to notice continuous positive results.
Tip #1: To help sustain 5S practices, make sure all new employees (or employees who switch departments) receive training about their area’s 5S procedures.
Tip #2: Keep things interesting. Look at what other companies are doing with 5S. New ideas for organization can keep things improving and keep employees engaged.

Safety – The 6th S

Some companies like to include a sixth S in their 5S program: Safety. When safety is included, the system is often called 6S. The Safety step involves focusing on what can be done to eliminate risks in work processes by arranging things in certain ways.
This might involve setting up workstations so they’re more ergonomic, marking intersections—such as the places where forklifts and pedestrians cross paths—with signs, and labeling the storage cabinet for cleaning chemicals so people are aware of potential hazards. If the layout of the workplace or the tasks people perform are dangerous, those dangers should be reduced as much as possible. That’s what the sixth S focuses on.
Some people consider safety an outcome of performing the other five S’s appropriately, and as a result say a sixth S isn’t necessary. They think if the workspace is properly organized and cleaned and uses helpful visual safety cues, a separate safety step is unnecessary.
Neither approach to safety is right or wrong. But however a business wants to approach safety, it should be aware that paying attention to safety is important.
Tip: If mishaps and accidents do happen, stop to consider whether a 5S improvement could have prevented it. Could less clutter, cleaner walking surfaces, or better signs and labels have made a difference?

Getting Started with 5S

Even though 5S is a fairly simple concept, beginning a new 5S program can feel daunting. It’s like undertaking a big cleaning project in the garage or the basement at home; there’s a lot of stuff to deal with, and getting started probably doesn’t sound fun.
Start with practical steps such as deciding which departments and individuals will be involved, what training is needed, and what tools to use to facilitate the process. Determining these concrete things will help begin the process of 5S implementation.
Who Should Participate in 5S?
Here’s the short answer to this question: everyone. If a department is starting 5S, managers and all other employees should be included. If anyone is left out, this could lead to confusion or to messes that people don’t want to take ownership of.
It is possible that some people will play a bigger role in 5S than others, which is fine. There might be 5S coordinators who are in charge of installing and maintaining 5S labeling, keeping tracking of assigned tasks, or introducing new department members to the 5S system. These people will obviously spend a lot of time thinking about 5S compared to others. Everyone should think about 5S regularly, though. 5S might initially take place as an event, but ideally it becomes a part of daily work for everyone.
It’s also important to remember that company leaders should participate in 5S, especially if 5S is a company-wide effort. When people see their superiors taking 5S seriously by participating in it, they’ll be more likely to take it seriously, too.

5S Training

Anyone who will participate in 5S activities needs to receive training. This could be done in a classroom setting, with a training DVD, and/or through hands-on activities. A demonstration of how 5S could occur at a workstation might also be useful.
For employees to understand why the company is going to start using 5S and why it’s important, they should be given a brief history of 5S, its parts, and its benefits.
It’s quite possible that the way 5S is carried out at one organization or even one department will be different from others, so groups performing 5S for the first time may need to work out the best way to perform the steps of 5S in their spaces.
In any case, everyone should receive training when 5S is new, and then any new employees who come onboard later should receive training about 5S as well.

5S & Visual Communication

A key part of 5S is that it makes spaces cleaner and therefore easier to navigate. That means people can more easily get their work done. Visual communication tools such as labels, floor markings, cabinet and shelf markings, and shadow boards can make navigating spaces even simpler. Plus, these tools can help keep the workspace organized. A workplace that uses visual management in this way is often referred to as a visual workplace.
Some common visual tools used in 5S are:
Floor Marking Tape
These tapes can be used to outline work cells, mark the locations where equipment or materials are placed, or highlight hazards. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, and can also be used on shelves, workbenches, cabinets, and other surfaces.
Labels and Signs
These visuals use text, colors, and symbols to convey information. They can indicate the contents of drawers, call out hazards, or tell people where to store parts. Many styles and sizes exist, and some businesses even choose to make these in-house with a label and sign printer.
Shadow boards & Toolbox Foam
These visuals are helpful in workspaces with a lot of tools. Shadow boards use cutouts of tools that are placed behind the spot where a tool hangs on a pegboard. Toolbox foam works similarly, except it fits into a toolbox drawer. The tool’s shape is cut out of a top layer of foam, so a bright bottom layer of foam shows through. Both of these methods highlight missing tools and tell people exactly where tools should be placed when they’re finished using them.
Businesses may choose to use some or all of these visual tools. All of them help achieve the often-cited saying of 5S: “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” These tools make it clear where things belong, so clutter doesn’t become a problem so easily.
Tip: If you use color-coded floor markings, tapes, or other visual cues, make sure everyone understands them. Post a color chart if necessary.

5S Outside Manufacturing – In Healthcare, the Office, or Government

5S originated in the manufacturing industry at Toyota and it has proven useful for manufacturers in many industries, not just the automobile industry. In recent decades, 5S has moved beyond manufacturing to other industries such as healthcare. Many offices also employ 5S, as do some schools and other government organizations.
The basic steps of 5S can be applied to any workplace. An office can use 5S to keep supplies organized, as can hospitals and medical clinics. 5S can even be used in a communal kitchen to keep the fridge from filling up with expired food. It’s really just a matter of determining what workspaces and work processes will benefit most from improved workplace organization.

5S Example

Look at the example below to see 5S in action. Before 5S, spaces are cluttered and confusing. After 5S, everything has an assigned place, which is often marked with floor marking tape, labels, and other visual cues.

When 5S is used in the workplace, it’s easier to detect abnormalities and spot potential problems before they grow into significant issues.
The Costs of 5S vs. Long-Term Savings
Business leaders considering using 5S may wonder if 5S is expensive to implement. Generally, it’s not. There may be an up-front investment in tools like floor marking tape and labels, and some time does need to be spent on training and on 5S activities, which takes up employees’ time. In the long run, though, 5S makes processes run more smoothly and prevents mishaps, and those things usually save businesses money.

LO3: Maintain professional growth and development
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