I am working in an engineering organization where overhauling of parts and new parts are manufactured. This organization has history of more than 50 years with ISO certification and each process has authentic traceability and Original equipment manufacturer approval. Each overhauling setup has mandatory requirement of well trained and experienced manpower, my organization is also having technicians with more than 30 years experience in the same setup.
Over the years new technical manpower is enrolled as the setup has broaden time to time. Presently around 10 % employees in supervision capacity are available with experience of 30 to 40 years in some key work centers having full control and grip on technical processes. These employees having very good respect & demand virtue of their experience and provide guidance & expert opionon for on going technical issues.
I have now five years experience in this organization and seriously want to execute our processes by utilizing latest techniques.. for example implementation of online parts flow system and to review our ongoing processes to accelerate our production.
On my already taken few attempts towards this approach I got serious reservations from these experienced employees and ultimately I could not succeed in implementing desired reviews. Another feeling I have got that these employees has created monopoly in the system and they did not want to transfer all technical knowledge to newcomers to ensure their job security.
I want know which appropriate steps I should take to proceed on following issues.
How to convince this experienced lot to review our on going processes to increase pace of production.
How I can overcome with the monopoly of these employees as presently they are indispensable for effective operations of organization.
How can I trained the employees of same caliber to ensure replacement of them for implementation of decisions in future
( 6 months ago )
You might have already tried some of this but I wanted to offer a few points to consider:
Your colleagues may have very good reasons to be doing what they are doing; after all, they are working on the process for the last few decades. It is important to ask lots of questions and to be respectful. Adopting a beginner's mentality may lead to a better understanding of their hesitation and may also make them understand that you just want to optimize the process (instead of making them redundant).
Try to document their answers for your understanding. You can create a tree-like structure using several levels of "why" (why are we using this process?) and "how" (how can we achieve the same effect?).
They might be thinking that you are trying to replace them or that you want to eliminate a process they are responsible for. In this case, you have to resolve this conflict before you get their approval (e.g. by proposing something of interest for them in the new process, like a new role or a bonus, etc).
When you are trying to make change happen, it is important to involve the stakeholders very early in the designing process. This could be done through a workshop, a common brainstorming session, etc. By architecting the new system together, they are going to be more interested, more involved and committed to the change. You will be building something together and you will understand their expectations.
It is probably better to start with small changes with solid results in collaboration with a few like-minded people. This way you can prove that your change has potential and gain traction.
Your best bet is probably to befriend these people and try to learn from their experience. If they are so well-established in the company and are not afraid of getting fired, you probably have little power over them.
I would strongly advise searching online for the terms "change management" and "leading without authority" (even though you do have authority in this case); you can find a lot of relevant resources online that will help you. Kotter's 8-step model is something you should read about. Good luck with your project.