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Why Do Employees Resist Lean?

Whenever you choose to implement a new program to a company it can be quite the ordeal as you have employees that often resist change. Why do employees resist change so much and what is it about new things like lean manufacturing that causes them to look in other directions? The simple answer is because people don't like to change. They naturally resist change because they are comfortable and do not want to learn new things. The reason behind this is fear of the unknown. They already know the issues and problems that they have to deal with so when it comes to learning new ones, it can be a fear that they do not want to address.

When you are dealing with lean, you need to figure out how to get your employees to change as there needs to be something that changes. It is hard to get your employees to adhere to these changes if you are not helping them with some type of program to implement and you do not make it clear for them to understand. Your employees need to be able to see a program that can work and they need to understand how it will be able to work in order to make a difference.

Results are the best way to help people change. When they can see that there can be some type of difference, they are less hesitant and resistant to the changes that can be made. When there are changes that are made that are easy to see the outcome, people don't have resistance to it. The changes that are subject to change but could go any direction are the ones that people fear. Management might buy into it but your employees may not buy into it because they are concerned about how it will impact their jobs.

As a manager you need to be sensitive to the emotions of your employees. People are usually responding to change with their emotions. Their emotions will impact the state of mind that they are in which is why one day they are okay with changes and the next day they are completely resistant to it. You know how your own emotions play out so it is easy to see that your employee's emotions can easily do the same thing. Notice the attitude of your employees and if they are resisting the change to lean you need to sit them down and talk to them about lean and to figure out what they are thinking. It is your job to get into their mindset and to do what you can to make things better.

Lean comes with action. It is a process that will improve the company but you need to take action for it to be able to work effectively. Start with management and then move your way down the company lines. As you do this you will see changes in the staff and you will start to notice changes in the bottom line as the lean results begin working. This is not a process that you can sit back and watch. It is a process that involves DOING so you need to get involved as much as possible. Show your staff how the program works and reduce their resistance to change by your example.

The structure of lean is one of the things that will have a big impact on the results. You need to be able to learn how to structure lean in the right way that it appeals to your employee's emotions and gets them to feel comfortable with it.

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