When we have been doing the something for a very long time, it becomes extremely difficult to change the way we do that certain thing. I think the majority of people would agree with that statement. I see it every time I would step foot in a manufacturing plant and talk to the line operator who has been working on the line for 30+ or 40+ years. I provide an update to what I am doing and why we are doing it. It typically involves a change to the line operators job. Immediately they yell, “I’ve been doing it this way for a very long time and that just isn’t going to work for me.”
Some line operators were more willing to modify their work styles than others, but very few long-time employees were willing. Usually, it is the younger line operators who didn’t mind the changes. This type of thing is not unique to manufacturing plants. We can also see this in the office, school, town hall meetings, and the list goes on. As people who have been doing the same things the same way for a very long time, we are not always excited to change. It requires work and I understand that, but there may be greater benefits in the long run to making some adjustments. Those benefits need to be clearly communicated and understood by the people who are being impacted by the changes.
You could be the person undergoing the change, the person pushing for the change, or an innocent bystander. It is sometimes necessary to undergo changes for the better good. We also need to understand that it may take some time to get used to the new changes being implemented. We need to manage our expectations and not expect a change to be easy all the time. I struggle with it, but after a while if we are persistent these changes become normal for us. Before you know it, you won’t even remember the struggles of going through the changes.
The last piece to think about is understanding if the changes are truly worth it. Are these changes valuable or not? If you think they are not valuable, justify why you think that and do not just say no because you are annoyed. Too often, people decide without good reason and after this happens a few times, you will not be taken seriously. Those are my thoughts for today.