Lean Wellness Basics

Continuous Improvement at Work - Body, Mind and Spirit

What is Lean Wellness?

Lean Wellness is an approach, or a way of thinking, that is based on the principles of Lean Manufacturing.  It is inspired from the top-down and driven from the bottom-up in organizations that value the health and well-being of its members.  Lean Wellness trusts that people can find their own solutions to issues that affect their health and well-being, when they are supported and engaged in continuous learning and improvement.

 

Where can Lean Wellness work?

Lean Wellness can be applied in any organization or environment.  But, it only "should" be applied when leadership exists that respects, trusts, supports, and works with members to create a healthy culture driven by continuous learning and improvement.

 

When should Lean Wellness be used?

Lean Wellness is a way of thinking and being that should be adopted as a normal and permanent part of any work environment.  When leadership is inspired to care for employees, with the same commitment that it has to safety concerns, it is time for Lean Wellness.

 

Why is Lean Wellness the best approach to health promotion?

Lean Wellness is the best approach to health promotion in the workplace, because it engages people in finding the best solutions to issues that affect their health and wellbeing.  Lean Wellness is not "imposed" on people. It's done BY the people benefitting from it.  Small steps and incremental improvements lead to achievement and lasting behavior change.  It's a way of thinking and being that impacts all of one's life. 

 

Who benefits from Lean Wellness?

Lean Wellness benefits participants, the organizations they belong to, family members and friends, and the greater community.  The influence of people fully engaged in continuous learning and improvement has a far reaching impact.  Because behaviors are based on a new way of understanding and thinking, and small improvements encourage greater achievements, it motivates participants to persist and attracts others to pursue a healthier lifestyle.

 

How is Lean Wellness different from traditional approaches to worksite wellness?

 

                        Traditional Wellness                     versus                                 Lean Wellness

                    Top-down programming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bottom-up problem solving

                          Extrinsic motivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Intrinsic inspiration

                           Behavior change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Habit formation      

                              Participation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Continuous improvement   

                      Individual competition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Team support

                            Identify needs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Build on strengths

                            R.O.I. focused . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Investment in people

                                Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Ongoing learning

 

 

Lean is a journey. Like any journey, it is exciting and exhilarating, stretching and life altering, challenging and unexpected. But it is worth it.

 

- Natalie J. Sayer and Bruce Williams, authors of Lean for Dummies

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