Question the Status Quo


“Well that’s the way we’ve always done it” is the common phrase we’ve all heard that can paralyze an organization.  However, what has worked and was “tried and true” in the past doesn’t mean it’s the best solution for today.  When no one challenges the status quo, the organization can get stagnant.

Making positive contributions to the workplace can make your job more enjoyable and increase work satisfaction.  Not counting all the benefits to the organization!  Pacific Coast Warehouse encourages associates to challenge the status quo.  Some ways that have worked well internally to present a potential new approach is:

  1. Do your homework.  People ask WHY are we doing it this way?  There may be a reason that they are unaware of why the process has occurred the way it has.  Take time to understand, listen and evaluate before suggesting a new approach.  Be part of the solution to a new improvement.
  2. While gathering information, also gather allies to your ideas.  People who are open to looking at things differently.  Those individuals can also provide valuable information that can optimize the new process and ensure the changes bring benefits to the organization.
  3. Have the courage.  It’s difficult to put yourself out there in front of your peers and management.  It may seem that others are more qualified but many don’t do the job day in and day out like you do.  You have a perspective that they never will.
  4. Keep calm in the storm.  While you may get resistance to change from some, don’t let it de-rail you.  Prioritize your ideas and continue to provide firm reasoning.  Many times people need to “rest in the idea” and think about it before they can jump in.  Stay calm and persistent.

Some of our best ideas that have been implemented at PCWC have come from the associate who works the task every day.  They may even start changing the process without even realizing it because it makes them more efficient and productive.  Watch your high producers.  Have they tweaked the processes that you have documented?  Use that information to reassess the workflow and change for others.  Be open to changes and create an environment that allows the team to challenge – it’s satisfying to see what can happen!

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