Transform Your Business: What Is Visual Management?

If your employees are happy, they’re likely to be 12% more productive at work.

A great way to make your employees happier is by providing them with the information and tools they need to be successful.

Visual management is one way to do that. You can implement the visual management methods and see what kind of results you get!

If you’re interested in learning about visual management, keep reading to learn what it is and how it can help.

What Is Visual Management?

Visual management helps people communicate expectations, standards, warnings, and performance using visual cues. It requires almost no training to interpret.

If you’ve heard this term before, you’ve likely heard it in the context of a work environment (especially factories). You’ve probably used visual management tools without even thinking about them! 

The goal of visual management is to get as much information out there as you can using as little time as possible. 

Why Use Visual Management?

Before we can say why you should use visual management, you must understand what lean management is.

Lean management is a way to manage an organization that supports continuous improvement. It’s a long-term approach that’ll achieve small changes to improve quality and efficacy. 

Another great thing about visual management is that it helps with employee engagement and is able to give people ownership over goals. People feel more excited about the progress that they may not have made without it.

Visual management gives your employees a non-threatening authority.

A lean consultant can help you implement the necessary changes if you’re interested in visual management.

Approaches to Visual Management

There are six ways you can approach visual management. As you go through the list, you’ll find that they build on each other.

1. Sharing Information

This is something that almost any workplace does and it can be very simple, like a mass email or a corkboard on the wall.

It’s a way to share information employees need, such as monthly reports, graphs, or important team achievements. 

Everyone has to know what the information means or this category is not complete.

2. Sharing Standards

This helps you communicate information about things that are regularly done to a certain standard.

This can be done with pictures or text, but as long as people understand what the standards are, this category is being met.

3. Building in the Standards

By doing this, you ensure your employees won’t accidentally fall short of set standards.

This could be making templates for certain types of work or giving step-by-step guides.

4. Warning About Abnormalities

The easiest way to explain what this looks like is if you imagine a shadow board. This is a way to indicate to people in a visual way when something is missing or is not done correctly.

You could also use something that lights up to warn employees or even a traffic light system (red, yellow, and green) to interpret where the employee is.

5. Stopping Abnormalities

If a problem has already occurred, visual management can be used to stop it from continuing. 

This can be something manual that doesn’t allow them to continue without contacting their boss or something like a flashing light and noise.

6. Preventing Abnormalities

In this final category of visual management, you’re preventing mistakes from occurring.

This is a pretty simple thing to do and many businesses do this step (as well as the first one) without realizing it.

One example of this is when companies use window envelopes that have the clear window instead of the recipient’s name. This makes it impossible for the wrong name or address to be written on the envelope because it’s on the contents inside instead.

Start Using These Methods Today

Deciding to use visual management in your company is a big step, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.

There are many things that you can do to implement these methods without making big changes.

If you’re interested in learning more about small business tools, check out our website and see what you can find! 

Ted Jones