Change is inevitable within an organization. The management has to work mechanisms of implementing change so that it brings the intended positive aspects. There is a variety of challenges that the organization will encounter, and only a solid plan will work through them. A manager will employ a variety of strategies that will involve the whole team in a build up to the change. We must recognize that change is very difficult, but not changing is fatal to an organization that operates within the modern timeline. The way the change is handled makes the biggest difference between its failure and success (Fogg, 1999, pg. 12). The manager will have a task of effectively driving change through the organization`s system. Caution must also be accorded to small changes such as implementing a new system. More strategic plans are required for changes such as takeovers or mergers. An example of a company that has undergone organizational change within the UK is Marks & Spencer (Forsyth, 2012, pg. 35). The company changed its entire system to follow up a new business model.
As humans, we tend to remain adverse to changes since people are resistant and skeptical to anything that alters their status quo. It is effective to understand that not all changes are positive. Performing things in a different way does not mean that the things are done better. With this in mind, change and its implementation must be carried out carefully, collaboratively, and taking into account its sensitivity. There are many triggers for organizational change. As societies evolve, new trends in demand are created through the new products and services required. A business that will continue to thrive is those that will readily respond to the triggers of change. These factors that can necessitate a change in the business may include the following. Competitors create the biggest drive for change. The entrance of any form of competition into the market will cause the company to change the marketing strategy they adopted and have been using. An example is when a small retail store that dominated presence in a town has to change its image because a renowned chain store has opened nearby. It will have to change most of its operational mechanisms to capture the clients while retaining the present customers. The small retail marketer may not be able to compete in prices. Hence, they may change their marketing to more advertisement oriented. The adverts will position it in a better place as a service oriented and friendly local alternative.
Innovations in technology may force a business to adopt the new changes. Employees may encounter technology shock (Boonstra, 2004, pg. 17). There are those that have not worked with computers or complex software in their jobs. A business may benefit primarily from implementing technology changes. The benefits may include time saving and increased operational efficiency. A good example is a shift to online e-mail ticketing. It has increased productivity, and the company has a chance to give better services to the customers. The changes have met little consumer resistance.
The desire for growth may lead a business to seek changes. Enterprises that wish to attain a level of growth may consider the option of implement changes. They will change their current operational methods. A good example is Subway Sandwich Company. It started as a subtle business under a very different name. It had struggled for many years before it considered the need for change. Subsequent changes in 1974 led to big changes, as it converted to selling franchises. The need to improve business processes may lead to change. An enterprise may require implementing a modern production process. This will be geared at eliminating waste and increasing efficiency.
Change may occur due to new government regulations. Changes in the laws can impact on the performance of the business. The management, therefore, has to work out strategies that will fit in to make the best out of new rules. New safety procedures can, for example, force the company to change its production process. Businesses working on food products may have to implement new quality systems.
The biggest enabler of organizational change is transparency and effective communication. During the entire process of planning and implementing change, the managers have to communicate reasons that necessitate the change. They will tell the employees on details of the process needed to achieve results of the proposed change (Dawson, 2003, pg. 51). An example is if the management wishes to implement procedures that will improve workforce production. They have to communicate why the change in systems is necessary. When the staff gets to understand the need for the proposed amendments, they have a higher chance of accepting its implementation. This will significantly reduce resistance that would reduce results anticipated from the change.
Practical education and implementation will enhance change process. The management should organize a training program for the entire workforce in a bid to ensure they learn their roles in new changes. They will be mentally prepared for arising changes and will effectively understand the proposed system. Changes will encounter less resistance, and the efficiency of transition will significantly improve (Parkinson, 2011, pg. 13). Training is necessary to help workers familiarize with these changes and hence better adapt to them.
Managers of a real change program must involve all employees (Quade and Brown, 2002, pg. 29). They can be asked to make suggestions on the proposed amendments, to ensure that it is coherent with major concerns. The manager should monitor the entire change process to ensure it is effective. This will involve checking out historical data and subsequently examining how the workers respond to change. The management will monitor how these changes affect the overall production process. This will help the manager to eliminate the modified processes that have no positive results, as they had been previously anticipated. The management will fine-tune the changes to make sure they lead to the desired outcomes.
The management should carry out personal counseling before effecting significant changes within the workplace (Denison, 2001, pg. 12). Employees who are majorly affected by the change may feel uncomfortable about the resultant changes. The managers can thus organize a program through the human resource, which will counsel them on the imminent need that pushed for the change. They can then understand that it was very necessary, despite the impacts it had on their lifestyles. The counseling process will help them adapt to the changes.
The managers can organize means of celebrating success along the way in the change process. Celebrating the small changes amongst the involved personnel will build momentum for bigger and more strategic changes. This will make the workers feel that they are part of the process and will have a positive image towards the change. Whenever any changes are made, the management should make a regular follow-up. This will involve assessing how this change has worked, and the results that the entire process has delivered. There are situations where changes do not work as planned. The management must acknowledge the ineffectiveness of the process and subsequently make adjustments. This will aim at attaining the desired results.
Changes may encounter resistance and criticism from individuals who disregard the need for that change. Poor communication will lead to some of the workers not understanding what is entailed in the changes (Leban and Stone, 2008, pg. 29). Details may sometimes get skewed, and other parts of the company may receive inaccurate information. The management should ensure all details are well communicated, and all questions well answered. Poor communication forms the biggest barrier. Self-interest often interferes with the company`s ability to adapt to the change. A portion of the involved people wants to retain status quo in a bid to advance personal interests. Employees and managers, who base their arguments on self-interest, rather than the greater good of the organization, will eventually resist change.
Another contributor to resistance to changes is when some employees feel excluded (Palmer, Dunford and Akin 2009, pg. 18). The workers will make effort to resist sudden changes that they did not have input into. They feel excluded from the entire decision-making process and thus feel offended. Lack of trust will also create resistance. When the members of the organization feel that they cannot trust each other on the central decisions, it is difficult for them to accept organizational changes. Training scarcity leads to more resistance from employees. Changes that necessitate new skills from workers will receive strong resistance (Gee, 2011, pg. 45). This can be prevented through training and appropriate education.
The management that takes into consideration all these factors will implement a good change. The desired results will be achieved, and any necessary adjustments can be easily made. Successful implementation of the changes within the organization will lead to an increased strategic advantage over competitors. The company will meet its objectives while still responding to global needs in the changing times.
Boonstra, J. J. 2004. Dynamics of organizational change and learning. West Essex, England: J. Wiley & Sons.
Dawson, P. 2003. Understanding organizational change: The contemporary experience of people at work. London: Sage Publications.
Denison, D. R. 2001. Managing organizational change in transition economies. Mahwah, NJ: L. Erlbaum.
Fogg, C. D. 1999. Implementing your strategic plan: How to turn "intent" into effective action for sustainable change. New York: AMACOM.
Forsyth, P. 2012. Managing change. London: Kogan Page.
Gee, V., & Gee, S. 2011. Business improve: Experiential learning exercises to train employees to handle every situation with success. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Leban, B., & Stone, R. 2008. Managing organizational change. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Palmer, I.,Dunford, R., & Akin, G. 2009. Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach. Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Parkinson, A. 2011. Change and the individual: Expectations and triggers. London: Henry Stewart Talks.
Quade, K., & Brown, R. M. 2002. The conscious consultant: Mastering change from the inside out. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.