The Toyota Production System or lean management has been described in many ways. Lean management is the systematic elimination of waste, continuous improvement, striving for interruption-free processes and a passionate focus on serving customers. But one of its aspects that has not been given adequate attention, is how lean is an organization wide system of motivation that creates a high-performance culture.
Considerable lean implementations face the issue of problem-solving skills, but fail to attend to the system or culture of motivation. At last performance of an organization comes down to human behavior. There are always two aspects to achieving high performance: competence and motivation. Undoubtedly competence in technical and social skills is a must but skills are useless unless people are motivated to use them. Somehow problem-solving becomes the focal point.
Many high-performing organizations like Toyota and Honda provides a great level of motivation not only for personal success, but the collective success of the team and the company. By implementing lean management many organizations do well to pay more attention on creating a systematic approach to motivating all the employees.
It must be noted that different things motivate people, at different times, and in different circumstances. It is a mistake to make only one source motivation the focal point. It is the responsibility of the management to optimize all of the available sources of motivation to increase those behaviors that add to the success of the organization. It helps to think of three sources of motivation: social relationships; purpose or meaning; and rewards and punishment as per the demand of the situation.