A Time to Change
When putting new processes and technologies into place to save time or increase profits, there are lots of things that can impact success. Even if you are making changes specifically to address waste that harms the team, the beneficiaries of the change will still experience stress. Many changes create some level of stress. If an important change has only recently been implemented, then perhaps a little patience is justified. If it has been a while, then a different approach may be necessary. Remembering the timeframe from the perspective of your team helps to use the appropriate pace.
As companies create or increase store performance expectations there is a natural reaction within the organization. As with other human experiences they are unique, yet tend to follow recognizable patterns. There is an inertia that keeps existing work patterns in place. This is not all bad. Just like old patterns, the new patterns can be set in motion and kept moving forward with less energy once implemented. To implement successfully, change must happen. The symptoms that things are not yet moving may be found from statements that you hear such as:
- I haven’t gotten around to it yet
- Did you want me to do that?
- I did not see any problems this week
- I’m still working on it
Wait and See
Of course, these may be a perfectly valid responses. Even companies that have very productive systems in place will have occurrences of staff overload or bad performance. However, if there is an abundance of explanations or excuses to delay using new technology or processes, then the ‘wait and see’ impact of inertia may be hindering progress.
While denying issues or the avoiding the necessary action is not acceptable, the approach to move forward may impact the long-term success of the change. There are many valid reasons why things may take a while:
- Past management inconsistencies
- Unclear expectations
- Lack of Buy-in
- Unskilled workers
It is important to be consistent and clear. Past mistakes by leadership must be addressed, but certainly cannot excuse inaction. Leaders need to have appropriate resolve, yet allow sufficient patience to accommodate the change. There may be a need to establish training, have a review session to repeat instructions or other actions to get the project on track. It may take some staff more time to understand and operate in a new way. Persistent resolve with the appropriate pace and encouragement is almost always useful. Adding a little levity while maintaining the importance of the work can help. Everyone can use a round ‘To It’ when they are struggling to find the time to get a Round TO IT. Find your style and keep the commitment to necessary change. Find ways to accommodate the different speed at which your team can adjust and improve. Make your ‘To It’ round and drive store performance!
Hint: Print the ‘TO IT!’ button above and use scissors to cut it out as a circle – now you can give anyone that needs it a ’round’ ‘to it!’ So they no longer need to wait to ‘get a round TO IT’.