Nayism 44: “What do you mean by asking my employees to spend an hour doing online Six Sigma orientation? You must be dreaming if you think I can afford to have them away from their job for that amount of time.”

Will trying to get this naysayer on board be your next nightmare? How should you respond? Here’s what I say . . .

I understand your concern with having employees spend time away from their work station but the training is needed to provide them with a basic understanding of what our company is trying to accomplish through Six Sigma. After learning the basics, these employees may come up with ideas where Six Sigma may help improve their processes. In addition, their understanding and buy-in will help when they are asked to implement improvements resulting from Six Sigma projects. Identifying opportunities and implementing improvements is part of everyone’s job. It is only right that we help them gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful. Please consider providing them with this opportunity to learn. (smile)”

OK. If that doesn’t work, you might see yourself saying this . . . “One hour, one measly hour a year. I can’t believe you are making a freakin’ big deal about having your employees spend one hour a year on something that will help them and the company improve performance. The average employee spends more than one hour in the bathroom in a week if they go three times a day for five minutes. Maybe I should just install an on-line training monitor in the bathroom and train the entire workforce in a week.” At this point you wake up and realize that you could only really say this in your dreams. So you get up, go to work, face your newest nightmare and say (with a smile), “I understand your concern . . .”

Don’t get discouraged. Keep trying different approaches and one may end up being the key to helping this naysayer understand the benefits of getting their employees involved. Remember, it’s often the last key on the ring that opens the lock.

But just in case, get yourself a dreamcatcher!

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