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In business life, change is inevitable, but it does not come easily since it is always a painful and unnatural process. However, after a successful implementation, change is the best thing since it causes behavioral shifts and an increase in profit for a business. For a change to occur within an organization, various factors need to be considered. The first one is the necessary resources that are required for the initiation of the process itself. The workforce must also be readily available to assist in the change process. Then, a work plan must be developed and it should correspond to the organizational goal and structure (Bormann, 2015). Change in an organization is a comprehensive and complicated process that might meet all kind of resistance from employees.
Type of Change
There are various types of changes in an organization. The most common of them is organization-wide, which involves changing the structure of the organization. The difference is expected to change the behavior of the employees, make them more creative, innovative and understand the type of the environment they work in. The projected change is long-term, which means that the outcomes of this process might be seen after an extended period. At the same time, change has different stages that have to be passed according to the culture of the organization.
The first step is to define the change that is supposed to correspond to the goals of the organization. At this level, the management compares the intended change with the organizational goals and objectives. This step is crucial since it will guarantee that it will take the business in the right direction in all aspects of development, including its financial status. The step will help polish the corporate goal. The manager will know the current situation of the organization. For example, in an organization, the current state can be an annual reduction in sales, which might force the management to review certain aspects and cause the need for change (Burke, 2014). The current situation in the business will spur the process of setting new objectives that will help in achieving the organizational goal.
The second step is to determine the roles that each employee will play in an organization. Each section or department must pick one person who will decide which change to adopt. During this step, an outline of the procedure is required, and it is to be followed precisely when handling changes within an organization. Further, it is of importance to hold a group meeting to discuss and choose principal players who will manage various roles within the organization. The team is supposed to address multiple issues, for instance, they have to look at the impact of the change at multiple organizational levels (March, Schhulz, & Zhou, 2000). Such a discussion will help in pointing the implications of the change for the administration and structure of business.
After looking at the impact of the change on the organization, the manager should develop and introduce a communication strategy. This strategy is meant to inform all stakeholders about the areas that need change and their impact after a given period. The manager should find the most effective means of communication that will unite all stakeholders of the organization. The management should also provide employees with a chance to discuss the change and give feedback on how it can be implemented in the best possible way. Communication strategy is quite important since it makes all stakeholders a part of the change (Burke, 2014). Additionally, it is obvious that when the employees participate in decision-making, they will have a positive attitude to the change during its implementation stage. The communication channel should include other aspects such as key messages, the methods of communication, and the timelines for one to convey the message. The management can call a meeting, and they discuss the current status of the organization and challenges, experienced in the process of attaining organizational goals. At the end, they state what is needed to be done to solve the situation. A proper communication method is critical since it fosters unity and reduces chances of resistance to change within an organization. This stage will also give the manager an opportunity to identify the enemies of progress and design tactics of dealing with possible resistance.
After conveying the messages to all employees, the next step is to provide training to those of them who will be affected by changes in the organization. The purpose of this training is to equip them with requisite skills, needed to initiate the change process. The method of providing training to employees can be formal and informal. For example, they can be assessed with the help of benchmarking, provided with online classes. or attend conferences where they will undergo the process of organizational change. Most importantly, this training will assist them in understanding the problem better and teaching them how it can be solved within a given period. (Burke, 2014). For example, salespeople can be advised on the best methods of convincing buyers and modern practices of advertisement and branding. Investing in workers’ training is sometimes very expensive to the organization. Less costly programs, such as conferences and online readings, should be encouraged to reduce the cost of training.
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After the training process, the next step it is to reinforce the company’s support structure. This structure is essential since it helps the organization adjust to the new system practically. Counselling programs for employees should be encouraged since this will help them work better in the new system of business organization. Moreover, this helps employees adjust to the new routine with different roles and responsibilities. Change brings both mental and psychological torture; it creates loneliness, lack of motivation, and unstable social relationship. Therefore, Human Resource managers should be more accommodative, giving employees time to adapt to the new system (Burke, 2014).
The next phase is the implementation stage, and it mostly involves putting into practice the outlined policies of the organization. This step requires every employee to perform their work more diligently, aiming at achieving their objectives. For example, people in production process should work to meet daily targets. On the other hand, those who work in the sales department should also make sure that goods reach marketplaces on time. Advertising must upsurge the company market share.
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The last phase is to measure or evaluate the change process. The set objective should be accurate and quantifiable. The system should measure the change process after a given period. The corresponding mechanism should be in a position to determine whether the business progresses or there is stagnation as the result of initiated change. It is also essential to evaluate compliance and ensure that all resources are properly utilized. The feedback system will provide crucial information on the nature of the change plan (Burke, 2014). Errors that occur in the production and selling process can be identified at this level in a bid to curb a significant loss in the long run.
How to Deal with Resistance
Employees and all human beings in general are resistant to change. However, diverse strategies can be used to deal with resistance to change in a given organization. First, it is important to make people, who are opposed to change, participate in this process actively. If employees are engaged more in decision-making, they are less likely to resist changes in their organization. The system of management should be more democratic, thus providing people with an opportunity to air their views, opinions, and even reasons why they are against the designed change. Another step to reduce their resistance is to ensure that their welfare is well-taken care of. This includes things such as adequate remuneration, allowances, incentives, and promotions. When employees know that their welfare will not deteriorate with the change in their organization, they will not resist it.
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The gap between the management and employees should be reduced, hence encouraging a good relationship and communication process. The former should interact with the latter at work level, thus making them feel at home. The management should be understanding, humane, and promote better working conditions. It is also crucial to know the foundation of opposition. Some of the resistance practices are caused by the incitement by some members of the organization. At the same time, issues might arise due to lack of information or even fear of job loss. Knowing the cause will enhance knowledge on how to deal with resistance as it occurs (Belker, McCormick, & Topchik, 2012). Getting resistance from employees is normal, but it requires experience and courage on the management part to face this issue and solve it. Therefore, it is advisable to deal with resistance formally and professionally to avoid fights and overreaction.
Management is a challenging responsibility that requires understanding and experience in handling various issues. Many people fear change, but when it is well managed and planned, it only benefits an organization. Change requires planning, patience, courage, and right attitude towards work. Fear of change can be controlled if all stakeholders in the organization work together for the well-being of the company. Communication is vital in solving challenges such as resistance. Proper communication channels should be established to air policies from one department to the next. Finally, Human Resource managers should be more accommodative by giving all employees time to adapt to the new system.
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