How to Motivate Engineers to Participate in Lean Six Sigma Project

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums General Forums Implementation How to Motivate Engineers to Participate in Lean Six Sigma Project

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
  • #55165

    Felix C. Veroya

    Hello Everyone!

    I am Felix Veroya from the Philippines and I started this forum to ask your valuable input regarding the topic as stated above.

    I was tasked to think of new ways on how can our team motivate our Green Belt Engineers to self initiate projects after they have completed their LSS Project Certification requirement. They have told me that they want a new approach regarding this concern. What came into my mind is to establish a reward and recognition system that will touch not only the extrinsic side of the employees as well as their intrinsic side.

    I need your input so I can arrive into a more comprehensive program for our employees and to further strengthen the management – employee relationship we have here.

    Thanks and All the Best!


    Norbert Feher

    Try to organize very short sessions (max 3 day kaizen type of workshops) to get them on board plus try to do as much preliminary work as possible!

    Instead of classroom trainings or long six sigma projects I would reccommend learning by doing activities focusing on a specific tool / problem every time…

    Do not forget communicating the success stories to all the people and issue best practices whenever it is possible…



    use career growth opportunities…. Reward and recognition…
    Ultimately if the management believes, Motivation will automatically comes !!


    Shelby Jarvis


    Rewards and recognition (R&R) are fun and sometimes difficult programs. A few considerations:
    * R&R must be seen as a value to the recipient, not the company. The interesting part of this is that you may find that each engineer may value things differently. You may find it beneficial to have options of relatively equal value for each recipient to pick their reward.
    * R&R must be proportional to the company culture. If you are too high or too low, you can de-motivate the organization. You can typically judge this easily by looking at other examples of R&R.
    * How will you judge success. It is not only important to be taking action, but also knowing when to stop action. i.e. You need to learn to work on the vital few problems.
    * Building easy to understand criteria for R&R can help with this.
    * Considerations for criteria: Do you base it on Financial Impact or on properly
    following your GB process?, What if you have a low payback project that is
    required to be complete to enable a larger project? How do you reward the
    first team?
    * You may investigate non traditional R&R or you may investigate a competition mentality to help with some of these hurdles.



    john berilla

    If there is no (1) awareness for the need for performance improvement nor a (2) desire by the ENG to take part and support it then there is little to be gained in stressing a particular method (eg LSS). Your effort should focus on discovering and leveraging existing motivations within the ENG to focus their collective thinking about the required changes in behavior (eg do more LSS projects, etc). Best of luck.



    I guess I would suggest a very simple approach to start to investigate this issue.

    1) Have engineers been told that it is the expectation for them to continue to do projects? If not, be sure to make this expectation clear to them. How many projects are they supposed to do? How often?
    2) Has management provided the necessary resources for them to do follow-up projects? (Training, time, prioritization of issues to solve, support and sponsorship, team members to help?)
    3) Is management giving feedback to the engineers regarding their performance on projects? Has management been complacent with the engineers lack of engagement doing projects and not addressed it with them directly to gain understanding?
    4) Is life easier for the engineers if they don’t do these projects?
    5) Is life harder for the engineers if they do the projects?
    – If either 4 or 5 are true you need to re-think your reward system.



    In my experience R&R programs have mixed results. Deming opposed them saying that the benefits of improvement should be shared by everyone rather than singling out individuals. R&R can engender resentment if it seems that some people get special reward and recognition while others who contributed don’t. If some people seem to be management’s favorites. If some people think they were denied the opportunity to do something worthy of R&R. If you do a lot of R&R someone who’s repeatedly gotten it in the past may feel passed over if they get less of it. Or may feel like it doesn’t mean much if they get it over and over. You get the picture.


    Martin K. Hutchison

    If they are Green Belts, and they are trained, then they need managers who are giving them problems to solve. Give me a Green Belt with nothing to do, and I would tell him to give me a capacity model of an area, and identify low hanging fruit (then do projects to improve those areas), or a quality issue, or materials/inventory issue, or…

    Summary: Put them to work, under a direct or dotted line manager who will expect real results, with or without formal events.

    Brownie points for doing X number of projects only gets you projects, not real results.


    Felix C. Veroya

    Thanks for this tip. Been using portion of this in our CII redeployment. :)


    Mike Carnell

    Felix C. Veroya Interesting that you are still following up after 3 years. Congratulations. I hope everything is working out well for you.



    @felixveroya: After 3 years, how have things been going? You didn’t mention what type of engineers you were looking to motivate. I assume manufacturing engineers. I have found that reward programs usually bring about cycles of fixing the same problem (it is easy to keep “fixing” the same problem instead of rooting out the cause to begin with). Manufacturing engineers typically want/need to solve issues for good as a fundamental part of their job. Recognize them for their achievements in your performance management program not through a financial incentive program. Just my humble opinion.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.