Organizational Change & its implementations16th March 2021
Organizational change refers to the actions in which a company or business alters a major component of its organization, such as its culture, the underlying technologies or infrastructure it uses to operate, or its internal processes. Organizational change management is the method of leveraging change to bring about a successful resolution, and it typically includes three major phases:
Change is the alteration of status quo or making things different than before. Change is the disturbance of equilibrium presently prevailing. It is any alternation that occurs in the overall work environment of an organisation.
Organisational change refers to the process of growth, decline and transformation within the organisation. Though one thinks that organisations are enduring structures in a changing society. However, the truth is that organisations are changing all the time. Organisational change takes different forms.
Organisations may change their strategy or purpose, introduce new products or services, change the way they produce and sell, change their technology, enter new markets, close down departments or plants, hire new employees, acquire other organisations become acquired by other organisations and what not.
Adaptive changes are small, incremental changes organizations adopt to address needs that evolve over time. Typically, these changes are minor modifications and adjustments that managers fine-tune and implement to execute upon business strategies. Throughout the process, leadership may add, subtract, or refine processes.
Transformational changes have a larger scale and scope than adaptive changes. They can often involve a simultaneous shift in mission and strategy, company or team structure, people and organizational performance, or business processes. Because of their scale, these changes often take a substantial amount of time and energy to enact. Though it’s not always the case, transformational changes are often pursued in response to external forces, such as the emergence of a disruptive new competitor or issues impacting a company’s supply chain.
To achieve this, managers must have a wide array of skills, such as:
- The ability to communicate clearly and effectively this includes actively listening to their team and colleagues
- A highly developed level of emotional intelligence
- Strong organizational skills
- An eye for detail
- Problem-solving and decision-making skills
- Delegating without micromanaging
Steps to Implementing Change
- Management Support for Change
Employees develop a comfort level when they see management supporting the process. It is critical that management shows support for changes and demonstrates that support when communicating and interacting with staff.
- Case for Change
No one wants to change for change’s sake, so it is important to create a case for change. A case for change can come from different sources. It can be a result of data collected on defect rates, customer satisfaction surveys, employee satisfaction surveys, customer comment cards, business goals as a result of a strategic planning session, or budget pressures.
- Employee Involvement
All change efforts should involve employees at some level. Organizational change, whether large or small, needs to be explained and communicated, specifically changes that affect how employees perform their jobs.
Whether it is changing a work process, improving customer satisfaction, or finding ways to reduce costs, employees have experiences that can benefit the change planning and implementation process.
- Communicating the Change
Communicating change should be structured and systematic. Employees are at the mercy of management to inform them of changes. When there is poor communication and the rumor mill starts spreading rumors about change, it can create resistance to the change.
Once a change is planned, it is important to have good communication about the roll-out and implementation of the change. A timeline should be made for the implementation and changes should be made in the order of its impact on the process and the employees who manage that process.
Whenever a change is made it is always good to follow-up after implementation and assess how the change is working and if the change delivered the results that were intended. Sometimes changes exceed target expectations but there are occasions that changes just don’t work as planned.
- Removing Barriers
Sometimes employees encounter barriers when implementing changes. Barriers can be with other employees, other departments, inadequate training, lacking equipment, or supply needs. Sometimes management also needs to deal with resistant or difficult employees. It is management’s responsibility to ensure that employees can implement change without obstacles and resistance.
It is important to celebrate successes along the way as changes are made. Celebrating the small changes and building momentum for bigger changes are what makes employees want to participate in the process.