For a company that specializes in scanning and document digitization, the rapid evolution of technology is a simple reality. Even long-term employees nearing the age of retirement embraced the use of technology decades ago—in both their work and private lives.
Of course, not everyone belongs in this camp. One wonderful employee in particular spent nearly their entire career pursuing analog work streams. Their focus was the microfilm cameras—and the large, specialized drawings and documents that didn’t translate well onto scanners and other more modern solutions.
This operator flat out refused to learn about computers, even when the company offered to pay for a series of courses. In fact, the term technophobe was woefully inadequate to express the object horror that somehow technical inaptitude would lead to the downfall of expensive equipment.
Various work options were tried: high-speed document scanners, large format scanners, book scanners—all met with failure. At this point, management was becoming increasingly concerned about finding the employee a long-term role since the tech kept changing in just about every department.
Finally, one inspired supervisor suggested quality image control. The task was relatively simple. All that was required was navigating to a specified folder and opening the first image by clicking it. Then the employee simply had to advance through all the images in the work folder, making notes of any missing, abnormal or skewed images that required re-scanning. The logic was an image is an image, whether it’s on microfilm or a high-resolution screen. Moreover, the work was very similar to what the employee had performed for years, inspecting microfilm on a light table.
Ultimately, it proved to be the great fit, and Micro Com gained one of its greatest quality controllers in the history of operations. Over time, the employee’s fear of computers subsided considerably—they’re even approaching new technically oriented tasks with cautious optimism.
The moral of the story is that bridging a change sometimes requires small steps—but it can lead to new directions and positive outcomes for all concerned.