How to Implement 5S in Your Workplace?

Employees spend almost all of the day at work. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the workplace is orderly and safe to ensure that employees are more productive. The 5S approach ensures order and safety in the workplace by removing unnecessary materials in the workplace, determining what will be used, keeping the archive in order, and ensuring that the equipment is fast and accessible. In this blog post, we will discuss how to apply 5S to create a more efficient and safe workplace.

What is 5S Methodology?

5S is a management philosophy that emerged to create a quality working environment in the workplace. This philosophy ensures the safety of the work area and increases employee productivity by eliminating unnecessary materials in the workplace, streamlining materials and equipment, and conducting cleaning activities. 5S methodology basically consists of five principles: sorting, organizing, cleaning, standardization and discipline.

These principles are as follows in their shortest and most concise form:

Sort: Eliminate unnecessary items.

Set in Order: Organize what's left after removing the unnecessary.

Shine: Keep work area clean and tidy.

Standardization: Establish standards for 5S practices

Sustain: Continue to implement 5S standards.

How to Implement 5S?

5S is a methodology consisting of five steps that creates an orderly and efficient work area when understood and applied correctly. Details on 5S principles and how to apply them are listed below:

1. Sort (Seiri)

The first principle of the methodology is sorting, which focuses on removing unnecessary and unused materials from the work area. By sorting, unnecessary clutter is eliminated and a more efficient work area is created.

How to Apply the Sort?

You can perform this step by dividing the items in the workspace into three categories:

  • Items needed in the work area: These items are items, materials or equipment that employees use constantly and regularly and that they absolutely need in the area in question.
  • Items required in another workspace: These items are items that are used in another workspace, not in that workspace. These materials or equipment must be delivered to the relevant region.
  • Items you don't need: These items are items, materials or equipment that you have not used for a long time and are sure you will not use. You can sell or recycle these materials or equipment.

2. Set in Order (Seiton)

Arrangement is the stage of ensuring that employees can quickly access the materials and equipment they need in the work area. For this reason, each item must have a specific place so that it can be easily found and left in its place.

How to Apply the Set in Order?

You need to place the materials and equipment that employees use frequently and regularly in a place where they can easily reach them. In this way, while employees can access the materials they need, waste caused by excessive and unnecessary movement is also reduced. Another method you can apply at this stage is to group and label the remaining equipment or materials according to their similarities.

3. Shine (Seiso)

The cleaning phase includes regular cleaning and maintenance of the work environment and equipment. This enables problems that could disrupt production to be detected before they occur. For example, if the work area is clean, it is much easier to notice a problem if there is a leak or unexpected wear.

How to Apply the Shine?

You need to establish cleaning routines to ensure that the work area and equipment remain clean and well-maintained. Thanks to these routines, you can make your work area safe and productive.

4. Standardization (Seiketsu)

Standardization is the creation of standards to ensure that the practices in the first three steps are made permanent. At this stage, the standards set need to be regularly checked and improved in order to continue the achievements achieved.

How to Apply the Standardization?

You need to create standards by writing your 5S practices in items and create a calendar for tasks. You should then track whether these practices are implemented through checklists or auditing.

5. Sustain/Discipline (Shitsuke)

Discipline refers to the work that brings together the first four principles of 5S. It is the principle that ensures the continuous implementation of 5S.

How to Apply the Sustain?

You need to create a program that includes 5S practices as structured tasks organized by role, shift and frequency. Additionally, flexibility is very important in applying this principle. As you provide feedback on assigned tasks or receive feedback from employees, you can identify opportunities to make tasks more efficient. Remember that even if you have standardized your jobs and tasks, they should be open to adaptation when necessary.

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