5S is a structured approach for organizing the workplace. While 5S was originally deployed in manufacturing environments, its use has expanded to service environments including hotels, customer call centers, offices, etc. Here is an outline of each “S” in 5S. Steps must be performed in this order to be effective –
Sort: Remove clutter from the work area.
Straighten: Define a location for everything that is essential to the work area (i.e. not removed in the Sort process). This step also includes labeling/marking the locations for each item in the work area, right down to the trash can locations on the floor.
Shine: Conduct regularly scheduled cleanups to ensure that the workplace remains in a highly organized state.
Standardize: Ensure that workplace organization and cleanliness guidelines are incorporated into job descriptions, work instructions, etc.
Sustain: Ensure that senior management supports the 5S process over the long run, by visiting work areas and communicating positive reinforcement / improvement opportunities.