What is the manager’s role and responsibility in implementing change within the department?
A manager is an important and crucial person when the handling of other staff is concerned but especially with regards to the managing of change which remains perhaps the singularly most important part of any single organization. The manager’s role is not only singular but is absolutely crucial if any change is to be brought about in this respect. First of all the manager should begin by assessing the situation in the workplace he controls and how his staff are looking at the change process. This may mean that the manager will have to take certain unpopular decisions to move change through and this may also mean that staff can be antagonized and felt to be left out. However it is also important that the manager builds up a team which will accept change for what it is and will not dilly dally in this respect when faced with some individuals who are resistant to the said change (Fillicetti 2007).
Making teams work depends precisely on how well the teams are constructed in the first place.
Managers often find themselves dealing with the vagaries of poor team construction later on when teams are in the midst of attempting to do their work. But these leaders often find out that failing to construct the team well and doing the preliminary work necessary to success ends up costing time and energy in attempting to manage these teams.
Good leaders know that careful thought to the formation, integration, and structuring of teams is important to the ultimate effectiveness of working teams. These leaders are concerned about ensuring appropriate rules of engagement and setting up the frames for behavior far in advance of expecting teams to perform. Establishing the framework for the team becomes a critical first step and should engage the full attentions of the potential team leader.
b) How should a manager successfully handle staff resistance to change?
Resistance to change is an issue which will always crop up at some point and which is part and parcel of the manager’s life when he/she has to deal with all this conflict. Principally the manager should attempt to understand why there is resistance to change and what can be done to address the problem. Naturally it is crucial to first understand the personality and culture of those who are offering this resistance to change and who perhaps are feeling short changed in a situation where their skills are not being used to the full .
After this assessment is made, the manager should do his/her utmost to explain what sort of change is required to make the company operate properly and in the presentation for what is ahead, the employees are to be treated as partners and not just as individuals who simply have to go along with what is being proposed. Intrinsically this may mean that some employees would want a more forward approach than others but that may also be a good thing as this would balance out those who will still be offering resistance to change. However it is also important to ensure that everyone is eventually on board for the change project as if there is a spanner in the works then the situation may appear to be spiraling out of control with the resultant conflicts and problems which must obviously ensue (Kotter 2011).
If every person in the enterprise attempting to contribute to the relationship is not valued to the extent of the contribution, partnership cannot be lasting. Equity is simply the measure of value attached to the contribution of each member in a relationship. Equity recognizes the essential need for every element and role in an organization to be clearly enumerated so that its value and contribution to the work and the outcomes of the organization are apparent to all.
In many organizations equity and value are often poorly understood. Creating a goodness-of-fit between individual roles and the purpose and productivity of an organization is critical to its long term viability and success. Every member of an organization should know the value of all members in the organization. Productivity should simply be the measure of this value. This means that when bringing about change, the manager simply has to ensure that everyone’s true worth is valued and even if there are some elements who may appear to be resistant, their opinions should be brought on board and a mature discussion should ensue to ensure that everyone understands their position accordingly.
Define each step of the change process: assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation.
Change is obviously a lengthy and at times complex process with various stages involved. Initially one needs to assess how change can be brought about through a lengthy and detailed appraisal of what needs to be done. This is crucial to ensure that everything which needs to be done is understood accordingly before the planning process is undertaken. Planning is also a crucial part of proceedings as this stage will ensure the possibility that all the stages of change will be implemented according to a proper plan. This may include the identification of certain problems which have to be faced, hurdles to be overcome as well as other issues which come after the actual change process is implemented (Anderson & Anderson 2001).
The most important aspect of any change process is the actual implementation of it. Here one must not be too forceful but a certain element of determination is obviously required to ensure that all goes according to plan and that everything is successful in the long run. By this time, resistance to change would have been intrinsically addressed and the obstacles would have been removed. It is important that no problems are encountered during the implementation stage as this would mean that change would not be properly made and the long term effects of this would mean that the project could be ultimately unsuccessful (Whelehan 1995).
Finally there is the evaluation process which is also important in the sense that a project is assessed by its success in achieving what it was actually set out for. The initial pitfalls and how these were overcome are an important part of the evaluation process as this will mean that change would have been worthwhile in the long run. Although nothing is perfect and problems will still remain, the evaluation process is important to ensure that if there are any problems in the future, these might be overcome with a different approach. All stages are important facets of the change process which is in itself a procedure which has to be undergone from time to time for the eventual success of the company.
Filicetti, John (August 20, 2007) "Project Management Dictionary". PM Hut. Retrieved 16 November 2009..
Kotter, J (2011).; Change Management vs. Change Leadership -- What's the Difference? Forbes online. Retrieved 12/21/11 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2011/07/12/change-management-vs-change-leadership-whats-the-difference/ .
Anderson, D. & Anderson, L.A (2001). Beyond Change Management: Advanced Strategies for Today’s Transformational Leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer. Retrieved 12/21/11 fromhttp://books.google.com/books?id=WbpH7p5qQ88C&printsec=frontcover&dq=beyond+change+management&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kEfzTpewMYKpiQLGz5S8Dg&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=beyond%20change%20management&f=false
Whelehan, S (1995). Capturing a Moving Target: Change Management. Consultant News: Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wikipediaCM/cm-consultantnews