Organizational managers are change management tools that are critical for implementing change within organization endeavoring to changing from one level to another in line with an organization’s strategic vision. Therefore their roles coupled with appropriate skills and experiences are critical to successful change over.
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Among the requirements for a manager to initiate and successfully transform an organization is a clear and unambiguous understanding of the current position of an organization, the reasons for initiating change, understand organizational environment in terms of the culture, organizational behavior, processes involved in the change process, and the relationship between employees, the organization, and management (Harris & Moran, 1987).
An organizations’ environment must be assessed before commencing change. Managers must ensure change plans are well designed and the implementation accurately done to give a satisfactory feedback when an evaluation is conducted of the new look organizations (Christensen & Donovan n.d).
Equipped with the skills highlighted above, an organizational manager plays various roles in the transformation process. Among these is creating the need for urgent change within an organization. Urgency should be characterized by reality and relevance. When organizational employees see the need for change and associated relevance, the resistance to change is minimized and workforce energy is efficiently optimized in bringing about change.
Hall and Hall (1990) argue that managers should understand that change can be emotional and may impact adversely on organizational employees. In addition to that, organizational executives understand that change cannot be imitated single handedly or through management orders, therefore they understand the value of team work.
The next role of a manager bringing about change is to create a team to effect the changes. When people work as a team, the synergistic model indicates that better organizational transformations can be achieved in a short period. In addition to that, team work enhances employee productivity and oneness of purpose in initiating change. The created team should incorporate people of various experiences and skills to ensure successful transformations.
The next role is establishing a clear vision that clearly communicates to both management, organizational stakeholders, and employees the next level the organization will be transformed to. Each stakeholder is interested in the gains that could be made at personal and organizational levels. Stakeholders would like to understand if the transformation is worth their involvements and accruing benefits. In addition to that, employee should be made to focus their energies towards achieving organizational success in the transformation process.
Another role is communication. A well experienced and sanguine manager wanting to see the transformation process a success communicates the organization’s strategy in a language that stirs employee and stakeholder involvement in the change process.
The manager establishes efficient communication networks through which feedback can be received and employee attitude and stakeholder behavior can be monitored and evaluated. Managers with unrivaled keenness of understanding know well that communication is a component that drives change to higher levels of success or bring about resistance to change.
Empowering action is one of the critical roles of a manager. When change has been identified as the way for an organization, various obstacles may hinder the change management process. Managers need to design plans and strategies for removing any could be an obstacle in the change process to empower action by organizational employees. Obstacles can be removed by rewarding change and progress and at times using other contingency measures that may be deemed appropriate.
A manager adept at initiating and driving organizational change creates a aims and objectives that are achievable in the short term. These short term goals should be manageable not to overwhelm employees and the management in initiating and implementing change. These may also be referred to as short term wins.
Besides the above roles, a manager should not let up on the drive to bring about change. Rather, the executive should encourage persistence and continuous change progress in the change process.
Once change has been introduced into organizations, managers should make change stay. Employees and stakeholders may develop the tendency to revert to old ways if the newly implemented change does not augur well with them. In addition to that, benefits may not be realized immediately.
Therefore, a manager should continuously reinforce values and a culture in the new look organization by inculcating new behavior in the organization. To achieve these, a manager may give promotions, conduct new recruitments, and provide new leaders among a host of other strategies (Murphy & Conrad, 1994).
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Handling staff resistance
Since time immemorial, change has always come with resistance. Organizations meet staff resistance at various levels. However, it is a critical role for the manager to efficiently handle such resistance and transform an organization to a different level.
Resistance may be due to fear of losing certain benefits, positions, jobs, status quo, conflicts, disruption, peer pressure, mistrust, and other related positions. In such an environment, managers should incorporate the element of a “learning manager”. A learning manager draws from the experience of other organizations and incorporates the best techniques and experience in handling staff in the transformation process.
To effectively handle employee resistance to change, managers should educate staff in clear and unambiguous terms on what to expect in this stage, prepare employees to confront the upcoming situation with realty, and educate them to realize that change is inevitable and the organization is bound to take on a new look.
In addition to that, managers who value their staff use various techniques to prepare the staff emotionally confront the new environment. A well prepared does not fight change but embraces as a tool that has come at its own time (Christensen & Donovan, n.d).
The change Process
A number of terms used in the change process include assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation are defined hereunder.
Assessment: Is the act of evaluating the nature, quality, or significance of the proposed change in terms of an organization’s strategic vision.
Planning: The process of scheduling change process goals, defining task requirements for achieving these goals in line with an organization’s change strategy.
Implementation: It is an institutionalized stepwise metric for monitoring the bringing about organizational changes in a defined way. Well implemented change remains consistent with organizational objectives and strategic vision.
Evaluation: Is a measure used to determine the employee performance and organizational success in implementing change. Evaluations provide accurate information that is used as a benchmark in appraising the change process.
Therefore successful implementation of the change process is a collective effort by managers, employees, and stakeholders which should be conducted with a keenness of purpose to attract all stakeholder involvement in the process to effectively bring about the desired change in line with an organization’s strategic vision.
Christensen C. M. and Donovan T. (n.d). The process of strategy development and Implementation.
Hall, E. T. & Hall, M. R. (1990). Hidden Differences: Doing Business with the Japanese, New York: Doubleday Anchor Books.
Harris, P. R. & Moran, R. T. (1987). Managing Cultural Differences, Houston: Gulf Publishing Company.
Murphy, S. E & Conrad, L. (1994). The Role of Team Leaders in a TQM Environment. Human Resource Professional 7 (4). 15-19.