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Implementing Change

In today’s competitive environment the only thing that is constant is change. So it’s quite sensible that an organization has to willingly accept this and adapt to it (Partridge, 2007). Our environment teaches us a lot of things it ultimately causes a change in our behavior. Due to external or internal reasons, businesses experience changes at all moments of their existence. Change can be accounted to reasons such as innovation, expansion, economic transformation, diversification etc. Actually changes take place to grab an opportunity or to be freed of a threat. (Caluwe and Vermaak , 2002)

During the process of change the manger has to demonstrate great leadership ability. The employees will resist change and it’s up to the manager to make them feel more comfortable with this whole new concept. The manager has to openly communicate with the employees and explain the need for the change and what benefits the change would bring to the organization and to them. The manager should listen to the employee’s suggestions with an open mind and try to implement their requests in the change process. Moreover the employees should be well versed with the organizations new vision with regards to the change implemented and not

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only should they know it but they should also believe in the new vision. The management should also make it a point to make continuous change embedded in the organization culture. The employees should know that they have to adapt to change and that it’s not just a one time thing. The managers should also identify the barriers that are stopping from the effective implementation of change and then they should eliminate it. Employees should also be provided with training so that they know how to effectively take advantage of the new process and techniques introduced.

It is human nature to resist change as there is a great deal of insecurity and uncertainty is associated with change. But adapting to changes is mandatory for the sake of the company’s vision. Hence initially the organization should educate all of its employees and gain assurance from their side that what the company is doing is for the betterment of the whole organization.

There are two types of ways the managers can handle change in an organization: Firstly there is the proactive change in which the employer continuously strives to come up with unique and prospecting ideas to make amendments to the workplace and the way the work is carried out. While the other is the reactive change in which the employer reacts to a change when it sees an opportunity or threat lined up for the company in the future.  Following the proactive change process organizations can come up with different and new ideas earlier than its competitors, hence gaining competitive advantage which is an asset to any business. By following the proactive change process employees can learn how to encounter and deal with change effectively.

The fundamental nature of true change by management is not to enforce changes on the employees but to present employees with conditions and circumstances and let them decide on their own which steps should be taken for the betterment of the organization. They should then be given the chance to implement those recommendations and suggestions which they have come up with. (Caluwe and Vermaak , 2002) Although this is a really fine technique to manage change but managers may feel resistant to this method, hence managers who are good at empowering their employees and are comfortable with listening to the lower level employees should be appointed for the job.

Self managed and cross functional team working is used as a main method of putting change into practice. These teams ignore the organizational hierarchy and work cooperatively together. Building project teams is the main way of carrying out change management; in this method people truly learn how to handle change by bringing it to the organization themselves. By employing these methodologies the employees will feel more comfortable with change.

The employer should also promote formal and informal learning in the organization as this would lead to less resistance to change. Learning is a continuous process and it has been proven that about 70% of the things employee learns is through informal ways. In informal learning the process undergone to learn isn’t what a corporate deliberately designs for its employees. Accidental learning is also a part of informal learning in this process an individual learns something he doesn’t expect to (Wallace, 2007). Whereas formal learning is when the corporation makes a deliberate attempt on its behalf to add some training methodologies that would help equip employees with expertise to attain the organizations targets

Usually formal learning is done when a major change is to be introduced. This has to be systematically implemented so that all the employees are comfortable with the change. As it is know, people tend to resist change this is usually their last option, so until and unless they see this as the last resort they won’t adopt the element of deviating. Hence the aim of organizations is to show that change is the last alternative their employee have.

The basic constituent that determines goals is emotion. So in order to establish change one has to develop a strong emotional appeal followed by rational thinking to back up your intuition. In the case of informal learning the employees already have the set goals in their minds but in the informal learning not only does the employee have to work with the learners to establish these goals but also drive these goals into meeting the organizations targets. In the informal learning process there is a plan which is in the focus area.

Hence, in the informal learning the learner has the basic idea and is progressing about with it, establishing a steady goal. (Cross, 2006) While the formal learning focuses on clearly defining the purpose of the goal and then aligning it to the organizations aim and then when this is done you have to create a game plan that will help you attain the target. In formal learning you have to create a transparent mental picture in the mind of the employees so he is completely aware of the purpose of the change.

In the change process there are four steps. The first step is assessment where the idea of change is considered. It is in this stage that the company feels the need for the change to take place for the betterment of the organization. After the company decided that change is a must they need to do the planning of how the change will take place. It is in this part that the company decides how they will go about it like how they will prepare the employees for change, how will they deal with resistance, who would be the change agent of the company, etc. After every thing is planned the company will implement what they have thought off. Definitely things won’t be as smooth as it was in the planning stage but they will have to tackle the obstacles that come along the way. In the end the company has to evaluate how they went about the change and to which extent they have attained their desired purpose. If they feel a deficiency in any respect they will take measures to counter them like employee training, disciplining, etc.

In conclusion I would like to say that firms adapt to changes to remain different but the fact is that nowadays alterations itself are unique. In today’s world changes are so doubtful and the pace of it has increased so rapidly that it has become a challenge for the organizations to deal with managing change effectively. To successfully implement changes it is critical for the organization to involve its employees and giving them an opportunity to voice their opinions.

References:

Caluwe, Leon De , & Vermaak , Hans (2002). Learning to Change: A guide for   Organizational Change Agents .Sage Publications, Inc;.

Cross, Jay (2006). Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Natural Pathways That Inspire Innovation and Performance . Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated:

Day, Nancy (1998). “Informal Learning Gets Results.” Workforce.

Partridge , Lesley (2007). Managing Change: Learning Made Simple. Kindle Edition .

Wallace, , G. (2007). The Research Evidence Against Informal Learning.

 

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