Managing Change in the Workplace
Change is a common aspect of organizations that seek to achieve progress and growth. It is not only beneficial to the future of an enterprise; it is also a necessary process if the entityis not attaining desirable results. The change may involve departmental shuffling, but it could also affect the entire organization in such events as mergers and acquisitions. In spite of the benefits that could be drawn fromcorporate change, resistance to transformation is a common phenomenon in the modern day workplace environment.The oppositionoccurs particularly in situations when the change affects the scope of work conducted by workers. It is pertinent that organizations have a proper change management system in place to alienate such situations. If resistance to change is unpreventable, then corporations should put in place an appropriate strategy of response to such resistance to ensure that the change process is flawless and beneficial to their future.
Q1. What are the challenges in gaining commitment during a change implementation process?
One of the main challenges in implementing a change process is lack of communication. If the information about the change is not conveyed properly, it is likely for employees to react negatively to the prospect of change. Such a receptionis most likely to occur if some of the stakeholders, especially the top management of an organization as well as the board of governors are aware of the need for change but they do not communicate with low ranking employees (Chen& Wang, 2007). In turn, the low-ranking personnel is likely to react negatively to the prospect of change. By failing to welcome the developments proposed or initialized by the top management,workers in the lower levels of an organization are in turn likely to hamper the progress initialized at the top level. Another challenge in gaining commitment is lack of proper preparation. It is through preparation that all personnel involved with acompany are offered the training that they need. If training is not done, or it is not done efficiently, it is unlikely that employees will commit to change. Without the proper knowledge on how to go about their new duties, employees will likely fail to commit the level of dedication needed to make the change strategy effective. Finally, lack of consensus on the plan for amendment is also likely to hamper commitment to the change. Lack of consensus occurs when some of the stakeholders within an organization are not in agreement with the change strategy. If the stakeholders do not engage in discussions, or the deliberations are not fruitful, then it is unlikely that everyone will commit to the plan for transformation. It is also for this reason that different leadership styles have different implications on employee commitment to change. While transformational leadership is positively associated with commitment to change, transactional leadership is negatively allied with the level of dedication employees give to change processes (Gelaidan & Ahmad, 2013). It is thus recommended that employees are given a chance to contribute opinions on the desirability of change.
Q2. Describe the feedback mechanisms you would use to determine employee commitment. In this description, outline how you would obtain input from the employees and how you would verify the commitment from the employees.
An effective mechanism for determining employee commitment to change is the job performance system, as suggested by Brannick and Levine (2002). The method requires that a manager or supervisor works with the employees and is directly involved in the tasks and responsibilities of the workplace. Therefore, the leader can understand the scope of the job that workers are tasked to do. He or shecan also analyze the attitude of his subordinates while gauging their quality and quantity output. The manager/supervisor makes a record of his observations while also reporting on his output. After a predetermined period, the results are analyzed. Thus a detailed report of the level of output given by employees is produced. These results can then be compared with the expected output. Undoubtedly, the supervisor/manager may be able to analyze employee commitmentwith firsthand experience of the task.
Other methods for determining employee commitment include interviews and the use of questionnaires.The former provide employees with the chance to offer feedback by answering questions and making their opinions clear through an active interaction between them and leaders (Chawla &Kevin Kelloway, 2004). In analyzing commitment to change, interviews provide a proper avenue for employees to issue their genuine feedback and perspectives on the appropriateness of the change process. In the course of the interview, interviewers have the perfect opportunity to analyze employees’ attitudes towards the change process. The latter is also effective in determining employees’ commitment to change. When it comes toquestionnaires, managers are provided the opportunity to ask specific questions to employees that would determine their commitment to change. While questionnaires may not be as effective as interviews, considering that they do not provide supervisors the chance to analyze the respondents’ body language and seek clarifications regarding responses, they are still an effective means for obtaining feedback on the level of commitment to change.
Q3. Explain five indicators that would illustrate that the employees are committed and enthusiastic about the change.
A wide range of indicators can illustrate workers’ commitment and enthusiasm in the face change. These indicators could reflect emotional, mental, and physical readiness and are likely reflect through behavioral tendencies (Herscovitch& Meyer, 2002). Some pointers for commitment and enthusiasm about change include:
- Eagerness to indicate emotional readiness for change, which may be demonstrated by willingness to give up on the past and embrace the future.
- Talking positively about the change and the possibilities it brings to the organization.
- Pursuing change and supporting developments associable with change, despite acknowledging that they are fearful of change.
- Behavioral tendencies like making eye contact when talking about the change.
- Optimism which is demonstrated by the absence of such attributes as anxiety, moodiness, blame, and anger.
Q4. Once commitment is evident, explain how you, as the change agent, would sustain the momentum of the change. In this explanation, outline at least five different ways of sustaining this momentum.
Once the commitment is evident, it is the responsibility of the change agent to sustain the momentum for change. The best way to sustain the momentum for change is to commit to the goals and objectives that necessitate the change, so it is necessary to assure employees that the change process will be sustained and that it will be beneficial to both them and the organization (Meyer &Herscovitch, 2001). As the change agent, I would employ several strategies to sustain momentum for change. One of them would include communicating why the change is necessary,where the organization is coming from and a vivid idea of where the change intends to take the corporation. I would also need to address and the need to stick to the plan that wouldtake the organization to where it ought to be,anticipating challenges to the change process, and acknowledging and celebrating progress and successes along the way.
Although communication on the importance of change would be communicated before the change process is executed, it would be necessary to keep reminding employees of the relevance of the change. Doing so will ensure that they do not lose sight of the vision of the organization. Other than reminding workers the essence of change, I would also adequately illustrate of where the enterprise is coming from and where it is headed. By giving employees an idea of where I envision the company to be in the future, I wouldencourage them to pursue the developments needed to realize this vision. That way, I would sustain the momentum for committing to change. I would also encourage employees to stick to the plan laid out while anticipating any form of resistance to the change. By celebrating successes along the way, I would make employees feel appreciated for the role they play in pursuing the change.
Q5.If you, as a change agent, are unable to sustain momentum, describe at least five different interventions to sustain momentum.
If the agent for change is unable to sustain momentum, it is relevant that he/she takes precautionary measures early on to ensure that the intervention strategies chosen are effective. As a change agent, one of the intervention strategies I would use would be to attempt to win employees back to a commitment to the vision using different means strategies. Some of them would be creating milestones for goal achievement, using the transformational leadership style to buy personnel into my ideas,creating team-building initiatives,introducing a reward program for individuals who contribute positively to the change process and inviting motivational speakers who have participated in a change process before.
Creating milestones would help employees to realize a sense of achievement every time they reach a certain milestone, and it would encourage them to pursue the next milestone, which would be a good step towards the goal of the transformation process. Using the transformational leadership method would help me to utilize the means associable with the leadership style to encourage employees to see the beauty of the vision. Team-building activities would be relevant in creating a culture of teamwork, which would work well for the realization of the organization’s vision. A reward program, on the other hand, would give demoralized employees a reason to contribute in the change process. Finally, motivational speakers would help the employees to have an even more vivid idea on the importance for change (Herzberg, 1968).
Despite that change processes are a necessary part of the lifecycle of organizations, it is not uncommon for employees to be resistant them. It is necessary that an organization puts measures in place to make employees receptive to changeto mitigate the consequences of this resistance. The most critical strategy entails communicating promptly and convincing a very worker to be part of the idea for change. It is also important that the organization follows up with the right ideas to keep teams of employees committed to the agendas. Among other strategies, change agents ought to use the transformational style of leadership in pursuing change.
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