before and after photos of an 5S improvement
5S Safety Initiative
May 21, 2024
smiling person holding up the book called "noise
Noise and Standard Work
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before and after photos of an 5S improvement
5S Safety Initiative
May 21, 2024
smiling person holding up the book called "noise
Noise and Standard Work
May 27, 2024
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The Power of Your Frustrations

a waste basked with scrunched up paper around it

Having lived in New Zealand for over 30 years, I am nearly a Kiwi. However, my Dutch accent betrays my heritage and some habits learned during childhood are hard to shake off. The Dutch are meticulous, thorough, and critical. Not quite German, but more so than most Kiwis.

Can-do Attitude

I love Kiwi’s practical, no nonsense, can-do attitude. When Kiwis get together they can get so much done in a short amount of time. What would take months of meetings in The Netherlands can be planned and executed in a few weeks here in New Zealand. This is empowering.

However, over the years in my work as a business improvement consultant, I have noticed a downside of this no-nonsense, can-do attitude. It is part of the same culture that when things don’t go well, Kiwis don’t allow themselves to get frustrated, instead keeping cool and getting the job done; often that means working harder, creating a workaround, or dealing with the same issues repeatedly. Kiwis just get on with it and don’t make a fuss.

If this same scenario happens over and over again, making a fuss is exactly what you should do. I do not mean throwing a tantrum and point-blank refusing to work but instead using the right forum, and providing facts and data, to point out what should change and why. This is an excellent way to improve your work and your productivity.

The Power of Your Frustrations

Frustrations at work point to inefficiencies in the system. No one enjoys having to search through a mess to find the right information, re-doing work to fix mistakes, or having to pause a job because they don’t have the right information or parts. Highlighting these inefficiencies in a non-judgmental manner will help you and your team to improve the work. The DMS (Daily Management System) is an excellent forum for this.

Ignoring your frustrations works occasionally, but when you get into the habit of sucking it up and working harder, and longer, in more and more difficult systems, your job satisfaction evaporates, you get exhausted, and no one is a winner. Utilise this power of your frustrations.

About the author: Liddy Bakker is a Director of Productivity People.