5S Checklists

By David Rigbye March 17, 2023

If you own a business, 5S checklists are an organization tool that is great for improving workplace efficiency, safety, and quality.

The 5S involves the following steps;

  • Sort
  • Set in Order
  • Shine
  • Standardise
  • Sustain
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These steps make up a methodology that assesses the current state of your workplace, identifies areas for improvement and then informs the process of addressing these areas – improving the overall business.

In this article; we will go in-depth as to what 5S checklists and audits are, how these tools work, and how you can use them to improve your business in the long term. 

How do 5S checklists work?

5S checklists involve assigning tasks to each of the steps. For example;


This involves removing unnecessary items from the workplace and identifying and eliminating any activities that don’t add value. The goal is to keep only the items that are necessary for the work being performed and to remove any excess or unused items.

Set in Order

This involves arranging the necessary items and equipment in an organized and logical manner. The goal is to create a visually organized workplace where everything has a designated place and is easily accessible when needed.


This involves keeping the workplace clean and well-maintained. The goal is to create a safe and comfortable working environment that is free from hazards, clutter, and waste.


This involves creating standardised processes and procedures for maintaining the workplace. The goal is to ensure that everyone in the workplace follows the same procedures and that the workplace remains organized and well-maintained over time.


This involves establishing a culture of continuous improvement and ongoing maintenance. The goal is to ensure that the 5S methodology becomes a way of life for everyone in the workplace and that improvements are sustained over the long term.

When you implement the 5S checklist, you assign each of these tasks a score from 0-4. A score of “0” suggests that the important tasks are not being completed at all, while a score of “4” indicates that a task is implemented and used systemically in your workplace.

5S checklist example

No excess equipment, all equipment serves a clear purpose.
Storage for unnecessary items/documents is clearly defined.
Standards for eliminating unnecessary items exist and are used.
Out-dated documents are labelled clearly for easy reference.
Sub Total:
Set in Order
All tools and equipment are stored and well organized.
Cabinets, shelves and files are clearly labelled.
Documents are filed in an organized manner. 
Safety equipment is easily accessible and in good condition.
Sub Total:
Walls and ceiling are in good condition and clean.
Desks, tables and furniture are kept clean and clutter free.
Lighting and air ventilation is appropriate for the office.
Rubbish containers are emptied on a regular basis.
Sub Total:
Procedures for maintaining the first three S’s are being displayed.
5S checklists, schedules and routines are defined and being used.
Everyone knows their responsibilities.
Regular audits are taking place using checklists and measures.
Sub Total:
These procedures are completed without staff reminders.
Success stories are being prominently displayed.
Staff are recognised individually for their efforts.
Procedures are regularly reviewed and updated.
Sub Total:

How do I maintain and improve my 5S checklists?

5S checklists are not a one-off process, and need to become a regular part of your workplace operations to maintain their effectiveness. Maintaining and improving your 5S checklists involves actions such as the following;

Regularly review and update the checklist

As the workplace changes over time, the 5S checklist should be updated to reflect those changes. Review the checklist on a regular basis and make updates as needed.

Involve employees in the review process

Engage employees in the review process to get their feedback and input on how the checklist can be improved. Employees who are involved in the process are more likely to be committed to the success of the 5S methodology.

Use visual cues

Visual cues such as photos, diagrams, or drawings can help make the checklist more accessible and user-friendly. Use visual cues to help employees understand the criteria and tasks more easily.

Standardise the checklist

Standardising the checklist can help ensure that everyone in the workplace is using the same criteria and tasks. This can help create consistency and ensure that improvements are sustained over time.

Continuously improve the checklist

The 5S methodology is all about continuous improvement. Use feedback from employees and other stakeholders to make ongoing improvements to the checklist.

Use technology to streamline the process of implementing your checklist

Consider using technology to streamline the 5S checklist process. For example, Operandio has the tools available to help you effectively collect data, track progress, and manage the implementation process with its progress tracker and knowledge base.

Provide training and support to your staff

Provide training and support to employees to help them understand the importance of the 5S methodology and how to use the checklist effectively. This can help create a culture of continuous improvement and ensure the success of the 5S methodology over the long term.

How can Operandio help me implement 5S checklists in my business?

Operandio is workplace productivity software that provides features that make the process of implementing a 5S checklist as easy as possible.

What features does Operandio provide to funeral homes?

Operandio provides an unprecedented level of control over the day-to-day operations of your workplace with its many features that all work seamlessly to streamline your 5S checklist procedures, such as a;

  • Template library to standardise your checklists and business practices
  • Progress tracker to give you quantifiable metrics for how tasks are being completed
  • Knowledge base that you can store all of your procedures in as easy reference for your staff members
  • Procedure storage that allows you to easily update your business’ procedures and notify your staff of these changes
  • Communication services that let you message your staff (and vice-versa) quickly and effectively
  • Feedback functionality that lets you provide instant feedback to your staff, so they know what they are doing right and where they can improve

Request an Operandio demo today, and take control of your business.