Process Improvement Tip #11: Give critics a chance to air their concerns

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In the lead up to PEX Masters next month, we’re running a series of process improvement tips to help you jump start your initiatives for 2013. This is the eleventh of twelve.

It’s hard to please everyone all of the time. And if you work in process improvement there’s a good chance that there will be those who feel worried about the changes that might be coming their way.

While it might not feel like it at times, people who are honestly concerned about the impact of process improvement are actually your allies. These are people who care about how the process works and are concerned about the impact on their job of changes to it.

Sometimes this concern will stem from a misunderstanding of what you’re doing, sometimes it might be not being aware of what’s happening elsewhere in the process and how they fit into it, and other times it might just be that they’re concerned you’re coming up with a hidden attempt to make job cuts and pile more work their way.

Hold a townhall meeting, invite feedback and questions via e-mail, discuss with people one on one – do whatever it takes to get that feedback.

If you give critics a chance to share what’s bothering them it gives you an opportunity to address the issues with them and it also helps you better understand who your biggest resistance leaders are going to be.

While there will always be people you still won’t win over, by listening to individual concerns you should have less discontent simmering beneath the surface.