Change Transition

Change Transition

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Change Transition

Introduction

            In an increasingly complex business society, organizational change has been viewed as inevitable and beneficial. It is considered as the process through which companies change their strategies, structures, and operational methods to adapt to the business setting. While it might occur at distinct points in time depending on the nature of the organization, it may also be considered continuous. However, the transitional phase of change is characterized by some challenges, particularly that of resistance among employees. In such cases, managers and leaders are required to display vital skills and capabilities that will assist in reducing and countering the effects of resistance.

Q1 Discuss the role of the manager/leader in preparing and assessing the organization for movement through the transition phase of change. Use references and actual anecdotes where possible.

Managers and leaders play an essential role during employee and organizational transformation process as they provide a guideline in various ways. Change has become an inevitable aspect of organizational development considering the part played by technology and other business aspects. During such phases, managers and leaders may experience a myriad of challenges that may revolve around the employees and the organization in the form of unstable emotions and awareness (Cummings & Worley, 2005). The lack of appropriate skills and preparedness among managers and leaders may result in undesirable outcomes that may affect the nature and operations of the business. In this case, managers are required to take charge during the transition phase of change. Leaders are required to display their headship skills, particularly in understanding, recognizing and solving conflicting values and attitudes among employees. It forms an initial aspect of contact geared towards eliminating fear associated with the psychological effort required during the transition phase.

            Leaders and managers need to play the part of effective communicators. Communication is an essential part of any venture as it ensures that employees and organizational staff understand the objectives of change. Through communication leaders and managers are able to relay the vision and goals of the organization that might imply letting go of the old habits, characters and attitudes and adopting new approaches to meet the company vision. Managers and leaders should lead by example and become coaches for subordinates, which implies that they have a role in understanding the objectives of change as well as the challenges that may be experienced (Kubr, 1996). In this case, they will be able to avail necessary support regarding effort and resources that will relieve employees of the pressure associated with the transition phase.

Q2 Identify and discuss five reasons for resistance that are typically evident during this transition phase of change. Include examples and references to the readings.

  1. Fear of the unknown. A number of factors characterize the transition period of change. Such factors include resistance from employees and subordinates. Fear of the unknown is based on the past and present experiences. Once an organization experiences times when the future is unknown, employees and leaders may be optimistic towards responding to change. In some cases, resistance to the transition phase of change may be attributed to surprises leading to employee lack of preparedness.
  2. Lack of trust. Trust is an essential component during the transition phase as it ensures that leaders, managers, and employees value the opinions of each other. However, lack of trust by one entity may affect the transition phase of change, as it will impair adoption of new ventures. To operate successful businesses and drive change for improvement, the management and employee levels need to believe in the competence of each other (Kubr, 1996).
  3. Poor communication and engagement. Communication is an essential component during the transition to change. Poor communication and engagement lead to unwanted feelings and emotions among employees and leaders regarding their role in the change process. For instance, organizations that want to benefit more from technology need to be open and communicate its benefits and costs to the employees before the implementation phase (Kwiatkowski, 2017). However, the lack of communication is likely to lead to resistance as it will impede the change process and increase conflict among the involved parties.
  4. Lack of sufficient resources. Lack of resources often leads to resistance among employees as they envision a sense of failure during the transition phase of change. Change requires a myriad of resources such as workforce and finance. However, lack of such funds is likely to lead to optimism among employees regarding the chances of success (Senge et al., 1999). For instance, leaders who do not take part in the transition to change and provide guideline are likely to portray negative leadership approaches that appeal negatively to employees.
  5. Job loss. Employees are likely to resist change once they feel that their job security is threatened. The need for increased efficiency and productivity is expected to be pursued by organizations (Bridges, 1991). However, it may imply downsizing to manageable numbers, thus threatening employees’ futures. Consequently, they might resist such changes and prefer working more hours.

Q3 Describe the different areas you would assess to determine resistance. Discuss the feedback mechanisms that a manager would use to specifically identify the resistance levels of the employees.

Determining resistance implies understanding the approaches taken by employees and leaders against change. This means evaluating the three types of resistance found within organizations.

  1. Technical resistance. This form of resistance is based on conformed operations that are adopted by employees. In this case, workers follow specific operational procedures that have been established over the years. For this reason, leaders may assess the communication patterns employed by the workers to identify the scope of changes that have been made (Senge et al., 1999). Here, an assessment of the nature of interpersonal and intrapersonal communication adopted by the employees, particularly in regards to the elements of change. Adoption of new methods of communication that foster smooth transition might imply that employees are responding positively and accepting change.
  2. Political resistance. Political resistance often stems from the highest level of leadership or management and may impede the transition process of change. Political resistance has a higher capability of increasing positive change before it begins. Assessment of resistance may be achieved through an evaluation of the level of morale and motivation displayed by the employees (Hayes, 2002). Leaders are required to motivate employees to work faster and more effectively and achieve the overall change objective. Resistance to change may be seen in the sluggish, unwillingness and isolated need to take on new tasks.
  3. Cultural resistance. This form of resistance revolves around developed attitudes, values, and beliefs among employees. While assessing resistance, leaders may evaluate the level of attendance among employees. For instance, increased nonattendance implies that workers are not responding positively to change and require motivation (Hayes, 2002). One of the feedback mechanisms that a manager can use to identify cultural resistance is through observation. Scrutinizing the attendance of various employees reveals their attitude towards change schemes.

Q4 Describe five strategies that a manager could use to ensure that these resistance levels are minimized.

While the resistance levels prove to impede pursuit and transition during change, managers may establish distinct approaches to reduce their effect. The strategies include:

  1. Establishing a transition plan that ensures resources are availed when necessary. Resource availability minimizes the level of resistance by providing that employees have what they need and use it to achieve change objectives. Among the resources that may be availed, to reduce the level of resistance includes training, financial aid, time, and support (Cummings & Worley, 2005). These actions are likely to change the attitudes and behaviors displayed by employees towards change.
  2. Overcoming opposition. Threats to change are a common thing in most organizational settings. However, it is possible for managers to engage the opposition, learn why they are resistant to change, and effectively eliminate the issue. Having the opposition on board will encourage them to become change advocates and rally others to accommodate it in the future (Benn, Edwards, & Williams, 2014).
  3. Identifying a transition manager. Delegation forms a significant part of the minimization process as it ensures that tasks are allocated based on the need and totality regarding change is achieved. Skilled and experienced transition managers provide their expertise in relation to identifying, analyzing, and mitigating any change impediments. They ensure that communication between employees and managers remains constant and effective to foster change.
  4. Establishing clear objectives. Minimizing resistance levels warrants the need to establish clear and concise objectives that will guide the attitudes and values of the employees. Once employees understand what is required, they are likely to change their attitudes and accept the outcomes (Benn, Edwards, & Williams, 2014). Relaying a vision of change is likely to ensure that employees understand their role in the overall process.
  5. Ensuring that employees are engaged in the change process. While communicating to employees that the change is assisting them to accept its pursuit, engaging them is likely to increase their acceptance rate and encourage them to work together. It builds stronger relationships between the employers and employees considering its proactive nature (Kwiatkowski, 2017). It is also essential in expanding their knowledge and enhancing their experience regarding change within the organization.

Q5 Describe three success factors that would indicate that the strategies are effective in reducing the resistance levels of the employees.

  1. Employee participation in the elements of change. Employee participation may be viewed as direct or indirect geared towards meeting the objectives of variation. Based on the strategies imposed to actualize change, employees who show an increased affinity towards learning and adoption of the required culture envision success of the measures taken to reduce resistance. For instance, participation in training efforts, as well as communication improvement, relays positive outcomes among the employees. Additionally, it increases the level of commitment and accountability that employees possess.
  2. Application of learned skills. During the learning process, employees are exposed to some concepts. Such concepts need to be implemented during the transition phase of change to be beneficial to the organization. Once employees use the methods, experiences, and skills that they have acquired, it is possible to conclude that success has been achieved in reducing the effects of resistance. Additionally, it provides an opportunity where people with different attitudes, skills, and values can work together and eliminate the need for resistance (Kwiatkowski, 2017). It is possible to transform employees who resist change through an application of learned skills.
  3. Maintained and improved feedback regarding the change. Successful reduction of the resistance levels of the employees may be identified through maintenance or improvements in relaying information about change. While some successful change ventures may be approached silently and with subtlety, observation of employee patterns and skills is likely to communicate success (Al-Haddad & Kotnour, 2015). Observation and communication are highly effective in determining the success of resistance reduction. This involves maintaining constant dialogue and interaction on the impediments and action factors that might elevate the reduction effect.

Summary

            Transition management is part of the organizational change process and requires apt and systematic approach if managers are to reduce the effects thereof. This assignment has been instrumental in highlighting some of the roles of managers in dealing with resistance among employees (Al-Haddad & Kotnour, 2015). Its practical application is likely to yield positive results while spearheading towards organizational change.

References

Al-Haddad, S., & Kotnour, T. (2015). Integrating the organizational change literature: A model for successful change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 28(2), 234-262.

Benn, S., Edwards, M., & Williams, T. (2014). Organizational change for corporate sustainability. New York, NY: Routledge.

Bridges, W. (1991). Managing Transitions: Making the Most of the Change. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Cummings, T. G., Worley, C. G. (2005). Organization, development, and change. Mason, OH: South-Western.

Hayes, J. (2002). The theory and practice of change management. New York, NY: Palgrave.

Kubr, M. (1996). Management consulting: A guide to the progression. Geneva: International Labor Office.

Kwiatkowski, C. (2017). Effective communication as a major key to successful organizational change. Journal of Quality and Environmental Studies7(2), 22-29.

Senge, P. A. Kleiner, C. Roberts, R. Ross, G. Roth, & B. Smith. (1999). The Dance of Change: The Challenges of Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations (pp. 241-250). New York, NY: Currency/Doubleday.

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