Change in normally brought about by globalization and advancing technology, as the organizations try to fit in the competing market by attaining a market share and a competitive advantage. However, change may not be appreciated by employees, as some view it as a threat to their jobs due to the expectations that accompany change.
Employees find it hard to adapt to change especially when change is forced on them other than discussed with them. In addition, employees may resist change if it has unrealistic expectations and is threatening to their jobs.
However, for change to be acceptable, it has to be healthy and has employees interest at heart, otherwise change may contribute to decrease in employee’s morale and performance (Houdmont and Leka, 2010 pp 125). Job demand should be realistic; otherwise, it may be a source of stress to the employees, which may also contribute to absenteeism.
If your organization were planning a major change, such as a merger, what steps would be necessary to manage the transition?
Change in an organization should be aimed at improving the organization’s performance and it should not be aimed at meeting a manager’s personal interests. According to Piederit (2000, pp 795), sometimes, opposition to change may be aimed at protecting the organization’s interests.
When implementing change, for instance a merger, the managers should be able to communicate with the employees about this change before it is implemented. This way, employees will not acquire negative ideas about the change; instead, they will get to understand the importance of a merger to the organization.
The management should engage the staff in the implementation; hence, they would be in a position to manage change. In addition, effective communication is important between the management and the staff regarding the change in mergers.
A well-elaborated plan should be created, which should involve the employees, as they will be affected by this change. Even if the management may not consider the employees’ opinions in the final decision-making, it is important that the employees feel that their views are considered, hence avoiding resistance.
The management should also support employees with full support in regard to their opinions by ensuring that effective communication exists in both teams. In most cases, employees fear change due to its uncertainties, however, the managers may give room for employees’ views and establish forums in which employees can learn more on the proposed change.
In this case, the management should be able to provide the employees with relevant information on the importance of mergers and how they will impact on the organization and the staff.
According to Kerfoot (2005 pp 271), “effective change must be built on the foundation that is already in the organization; diffusion of changes are only effective when the seeds of change are planted in people throughout the organization.” Employees have to own the change first, hence adapting to it and being able to operate under a new change.
In case an organization decides to merge with another organization for a profit making purpose, it should inform employees about the plan and the benefits to it. It is obvious that employees may fear the uncertainties of being part of another company or even leadership; however, if this idea is communicated well to the employees and they are allowed to air their views, it will be an easy task.
Piederit (2000, pp 786) proposes multi-dimensional attitudes as responses to organizational changes in employees, which portray both emotions and feelings that could either be negative or positive regarding the proposed change.
Change in an organization proves to be necessary due to the technology advances and it may be of use to the organization; however, change is not always welcomed with open arms especially by employees, as they fear the uncertainties associated with it.
It is however the duty of management to implement change effectively by also engaging employees in the implementation process, ensuring effective communication of the proposed change, and informing employees on the impacts of the change, for instance, rewards may be inclusive in the new change. Therefore, employees may learn to appreciate and embrace change, as it is also beneficial to them.
Houdmont, J. and Leka, S. (2010). Contemporary Occupational Health Psychology: Global Perspectives on Research and Practice. NJ: John Wiley and Sons Publisher.
Kerfoot, K. (2005). Leadership; the jonny apple seeds of organizational change. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=11&hid=19&sid=24717937-c672-4fa4-be3c-d561eb5e39f7%40sessionmgr12.
Piderit, S. (2007). Rethinking resistance and recognizing ambivalence: a multidimensional view of attitudes toward an organizational change. NY: Academy of management publisher.