The process of change in an organization is very important as it defines the future of the organization. More important is the role of managers and various individuals that are involved in the change process. This study therefore looks that the roles of managers and individuals in an organization during the change process. This will go in hand with identification of the types of change agents that are important in managing change.
Roles of managers
Managers provide the leadership role in change management process that ensemble the following elements; coaching, communication, sponsorship, training, and resistance management. Starting from the coaching aspect, managers act as the supervisors of other members in the organization. Successful coaching as a facet in change management requires good relationship and trust between the employees the managers. It is through coaching that a manager can easily influence the behavior and activities of the employees. Perry (2007) in his studies categorized coaching roles into two main groups that entailed individual and group coaching activities. At the individual level, the manager provides iterative advice to a single employee using different sessions that may be scheduled at different intervals. In this case, the manager works together with the employee to identify his or her areas of weaknesses.
The other category of coaching is called group coaching initiative that involves the manager working with many employees in during the change process. Group coaching is very effective in building teams and group dynamics within the organization. However, this approach should be handled with a lot care as some employees are poor participants in group initiatives.
Coaching needs necessitates proper communication between the manager and individuals in the change management process. Communication is the most vital element in change management process that provides the needed avenue for change to take place. Lack of proper communication in during change management process automatically leads to the failure of a project. Managers have the sole responsibility of communicating the elements of change, the goals and objectives of the new project and ensure attainment of appropriate feedback. They ensure that they have all the facts that pertain to the change process and provide awareness to the individual in the organization (Sullivan, & Decker, 2009).
Managers also provide training to the individuals in the organization during the change process. Training ensures that the individuals acquire the necessary skills needed for the change. They organize the training sessions for the individuals and design the content of the training manual. Training enables the individuals to adopt and adapt to the changes in the organization. Terez (2010). posits, training helps an organization to reduce the level of resistance to change as the employees can easily master the new tactics through training. The other role that goes hand in hand with training is sponsorship. This entails provision of support and motivation during the change process, for instance an organization through the manager can arrange for sponsored education of the employees to enable them acquire new skills. This is very important for employees who are likely to become redundant as a result of the change (Perry, 2007).
The individuals in an organization are the major agents of change that play an important role in implementing the decisions of the manager into action. They provide the human resource that is needed during change management process. The individuals have the responsibility of communicating the change to the employees and other stakeholders of the organization. they collaborate and cooperate with the managers to ensure effective implementation of the change process. They also create a positive working atmosphere in an organization by embracing the change.
An analysis of the two types of change agents in most organization reveal that most managers are opportunistic change enablers who identify business opportunities that can bring change to the organization change enablers are very supportive and innovative people. They influence individuals in an organization to accept change. The other category of change agent is imitator visionary change agent who works on a copy paste initiative by imitating what other managers are doing. Such a manager is a good agent of change but lacks the element of creativity and innovation, he or she relies on what other leaders have done. Imitator visionary change agents follows what other managers are doing he is therefore more of a follower than a leader.
Managers can reduce resistance during the change process by alleviating change-related anxiety and ensure provision of adequate of information to the individuals. They should be at the forefront in communicating the change process and provide all the necessary facts of the change. Managers can also ask the individuals to support the change process by ensuring that they understand the needs of the change. This includes one on one discussion with the individuals on how change will benefit them and entire organization. The other approach of reducing resistance among the individuals is through training. Trained employees in an organization are better placed to handle the change process than untrained ones (Sullivan, & Decker, 2009).
Perry, W. E. (2007). A manager’s guide to supporting organizational change: 10 lessons learned. Journal of the Quality Assurance Institute, 21(2), 13-16.
Sullivan, E. J., & Decker, P. J. (2009). Effective leadership and management in nursing (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Terez, T. (2010). A manager’s guidelines for implementing successful operational changes. Industrial Management, 32(4), 18-21.