The Richmond Register

November 24, 2013

Resistance to change prevents opportunities

By Jennifer Napier
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — “I heard we may be getting a new computer system installed” a co-worker shares with you. “I heard the changes to the system may be pretty big. I don’t know if I can learn a whole new system again. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that we had to upgrade to this one.”

You say to your co-worker “Aren’t you looking forward to the changes? It’s suppose to make our jobs easier in the long run. It’ll just be time consuming to learn at the beginning, but it will get better.”

You do not fear change and are looking forward to the new system. You heard that the transition would be a big change, but it would also be more efficient and offer access to new tools and reports that should reduce the amount of time required to complete the tasks.

The co-worker replies “I don’t want to learn a new system. The one we have works fine.” Then the co-worker leans forward and talks lower “I just want to do my job and go home. I’m not interested in wasting more of my time to learn another program. Management always does this stuff to us. It’s too hard to learn a new system and it’s even harder to wait on customers while struggling with a new system.”

You feel a sense of inflexibility on the part of your co-worker. The co-worker does not want to adapt to a new system. You try to encourage the co-worker by saying “It’ll be fun to take a class on how to operate the new system. We can take the class together and help each other learn to use it.”  The co-worker just cringes and says “I’ll go if they make me and pay me for my time, otherwise you can count me out.”

Work is all about change. What you do when you are at home is your choice when it comes to learning the latest technologies, gadgets, and devices, but at work, your choices are reduced to two. Learn it and implement it, or don’t learn it and get replaced by someone else who will. Your positive attitude and ability to adapt at work is your key to longevity in the workplace.

Many times employees get complacent with their jobs and often feel that they have become too irreplaceable or too valuable to an employer to worry about being replaced. This is a dangerous thinking pattern for far too many employees.

In order for employers to make a profit and be able to pay their employees’ wages, they must remain competitive and relevant to the current needs and trends of our economy. This requires continuous learning of new skills and integration of updated technologies. Employers want to hire individuals who are eager to embrace new ideas and are willing to learn new skills, not those resistant to change who will cost them a loss in profits by refusing to adapt.