Approaches for Implementing an Organizational Change Effort, Coursework Example
Implementing change is not easy especially when it involves unpopular solutions such as cost-cutting measures. But at the same time, change cannot be implemented in an organization without the support of subordinates. For a change to achieve its objectives, a productive working relationship and trust should exist between the management and the subordinates. This is why communication is extremely important because it helps the subordinates understand why change is occurring and what organizational objectives may be achieved through organizational change. The management should also explain to the employees how change initiatives such as cost-cutting measures will also personally benefit the employees and secure their long-term future by ensuring the survival of the organization. If the management can convince the employees that it is in their own interests to support cost-cutting measures, the employees may be more committed to the cost-cutting measures because now they could see a direct relationship between self-interests and organizational interests.
The management should not make all change-related decisions by itself but instead should invite employees to provide suggestions and/or feedback. Research shows that involving employees at all levels of management doesn’t only increase employees’ satisfaction with their work but also make them more committed and dedicated to the goals set by the management (Heathfield). Employees are closer to the action because they are directly involved in every day operations and it is possible that they may provide useful suggestions to cut costs and eliminate unnecessary tasks. Once employees realize that costs can be reduced even without painful sacrifices, they will be motivated to take a more constructive approach towards cost-cutting instead of viewing it as a threat. The company could also award a portion of the savings realized through cost reductions to the employees as performance bonus which will further motivate employees to improve organizational productive efficiency.
As a leader, I will take numerous steps to promote change without sacrificing important working relationships within the organization. Change only succeeds when it is not only initiated by the management but also embraced by the subordinates. People do not like change because of the accompanying uncertainty. It is convenient to continue doing the things they are used to and change also means changing working style, going through training, and/or assuming additional responsibility. Thus, in order to gain employees’ trust, one should be honest with them. First of all, I will make sure that the employees know why change has been occurring. Employees are more likely to support management decisions when they understand the rationale behind them. I would explain to my subordinates that change will improve the competitive position of the organization. I will also introduced performance-based compensation plans in which a major portion of the employees’ compensation will be tied to their individual performances as well as the overall organizational profitability. I will do this so that the employees’ benefits are also aligned in with the organizational benefits. When employees will see that change will improve profitability and will also improve their own earnings, they will be more enthusiastic due to greater stake in the success of the organization.
An effective leader can anticipate the concerns his subordinates. I understand some employees may be concerned regarding their ability to adjust to the new environment which is why I will assure them that the company will provide paid training where necessary and the employees will be provided continuous support should they have any questions or require assistance. When the subordinates will realize that the leadership understands their concerns and stand ready to provide resources, they will become relaxed and less worried about the potential implications of change on their job performance.
I will also make sure to praise my subordinates whenever possible for their role in bringing change to the organization so that they realize their contribution and hard work is not going unnoticed. This will also improve trust and respect between the leadership and the subordinates. Employees enjoy closer working relationship with supervisors who do make the effort to praise their subordinates’ work and contributions (Kacmar, Witt, Zivnuska, & Gully, 2003). Praise improves employees’ morale as well as their self-image.
I will also engage in open and two-way communication with subordinates and keep them updated on the progress. This will send the message to the employees that the management has been closely monitoring the progress and considers subordinates as important stakeholders in the company’s future. I will also laid out a plan as to how the change will occur and what the organization hopes to achieve in both the short and long terms. I will also let my subordinates know that the plans are not written in stone and can be revised when required by the circumstances. More than anything else, I would want my subordinates to believe that we are not just jumping upon the bandwagon of ‘change’ because everyone is doing so but instead we have carefully planned and believe that change will have real benefits for both the organization and its stakeholders.
I will also demonstrate commitment to change at the management level through practical examples that change has been occurring throughout the whole organization and management will be no exception. This will create an environment of fairness and equity and further strengthen the relationship between the management and the subordinates.
Heathfield, S. M. (n.d.). Employee Involvement. Retrieved May 24, 2011, from http://humanresources.about.com/od/glossarye/a/employee_inv.htm
Kacmar, K. M., Witt, L. A., Zivnuska, S., & Gully, S. M. (2003). The Interactive Effect of Leader–Member Exchange and Communication Frequency on Performance Ratings. Journal of Applied Psychology, pp. 764-772.
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