Is Blame Culture present in your business? If so, do you know how much this could be costing you? 

If you haven’t heard this term before, let us break it down. Blame Culture is when employees pass responsibility onto other colleagues when something goes wrong and it begins at the very top. 

When something doesn’t quite go to plan on a particular project, and management or leaders seek to blame lower-level employees, or direct reports, instead of taking responsibility themselves, it reinforces to other employees across the organisation that they can do the same. 

Taking ownership of your job requires integrity and accountability, and blaming others for mistakes you may have made impacts productivity, quality of work, breaks trust, and pits employees against each other. 

So how do we combat blame culture? There are a number of Lean Tools we are going to talk about that can help to reduce the chances of this happening in the workplace, and stamp it out completely. 

Firstly, the RACI Chart. RACI stands for ‘responsible, accountable, consulted and informed’. It is a tool that identifies the key roles and responsibilities of major tasks within a project or process. RACI charts are a fantastic, visual way of balancing workload and establishing decision-makers. They typically put one person in charge of the decision-making process. You can see how it would assist greatly in reducing or even eliminating blame culture. 

Next, we have ‘The 5 Ws (and 1 H)’ approach. The 5 Ws as you may have already guessed are – Who, What, When, Where, and Why, and the H is for the How. This technique allows for more understanding of a project by analysing all of the aspects. It helps to ask the right questions, obtain the right information, and in turn find the best solutions. 

Thomas Edison said many inspirational things, one of them being “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Edison saw failure as an opportunity for success, to begin again, yet with more intelligence. The lesson we can learn from this is that failure is not a bad thing, it is part of the learning process and often brings us one step closer to success. We should encourage our employees to see it that way. Adopting this mentality allows us to eliminate unsuccessful methods of working which in turn helps to manage failures better and attain more success.

Another approach is to empower your employees with the tools and techniques they need to succeed. Have you relinquished enough power and trust to those who have demonstrated the capacity to handle the responsibility? Allow the flow of information to go up the chain as well as down and listen to what employees are saying. Let certain decisions be made without having to consult the top of the hierarchy. In a more practical sense, ensure your team has the tools they need to operate. This could be in the way of training, equipment, or hiring new employees to assist the team. 

The final approach we are going to discuss is the LSS approach. This stands for Lean Six Sigma and it is a data-driven, evidence-based approach to decision making. It is the approach firms and managers take in decision making based upon the strength of verifiable data. There are 5 stages to this method which are: define, measure, analyse, improve, and control. This method relies upon evidence to make better decisions and in turn improved outcomes, with the overall aim to reduce defects and variations in processes using the evidence. 

If you have read this blog, this means you have taken the first step to improving your organisation’s culture. Ready to take the next step? Why not check out our Lean Six Sigma training: 

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