Using the “5 Whys” to Improve Your Company’s HR Processes

Whether you have been hiring inefficient workers or experiencing a dreadfully high turnover rate, you are struggling to make your HR processes work smarter for your company. Over the next several posts, we will be introducing and discussing a very exciting, well-respected methodology for understanding root causes of business problems. You will learn exactly how to apply this method to your business and HR team to get better results.

Introduction to the “5 Whys”

The “5 Whys” methodology is a special problem solving strategy that works to identify and fix root causes of problems. Developed and popularized by Sakichi Toyoda, the CEO of the Toyota Motor Corporation, this five step process has been used across industries to transform and substantially improve diverse business processes.

Here is the basic idea. You use iterative questioning to probe to get clear on the true nature of a workplace problem. Ultimately, you want to find “the cause of the cause of the cause.” Otherwise, you will be treating symptoms, and your attempts to fix HR will not be as likely to succeed, long term. Fixing your fundamental HR problems is a far more efficient (and far less expensive) strategy than working on symptoms.

We will examine the “5 Whys” methodology in more depth in upcoming posts. For now, if you have questions about HR best practices, please connect with experienced Southern California employment attorney, Nancy Gray, for a free consultation.


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