In today’s society companies are finding that it is more demanding that they make changes in certain departments or in the entire company. May managers are faced with the question, “How do I make successful changes? ” Another issue company’s face is the resistance to changes by employees. How can a company reduce the resistance from employees? What role do human resources play in managing change? Change is a part of moving forward in the company and keeping the company successful in years to follow.
To make successful changes managers, employees, and human resources need to work together in making those changes. In companies there are factors that create a need for change. Some changes are motivated from external forces, such as competition or updating technology. Other changes are motivated by internal forces, such as employee attitudes, new equipment, and redesigning of jobs. When implementing changes the person who implements those changes are called a change agent. A change agent can be a manager or a non-manager. Mangers make smaller, less drastic changes and are more cautious about the outcome.
Non-managers tend to make larger, more drastic changes because they do not have to deal with the repercussion of the change (Robbins, DeCenzo, & Coulter, 2011). Once the manager or non-manager implements the changes or changes that need to take place they have to make sure that the plan is followed by employees to have the biggest chance of success. When implementing the change from regular medical record to electronic medical record the first thing that needs to happen is, the change agent needs to accept the change and communicate the importance to the employees.
The electronic medical records will be more successful if the change agent recognizes the impact on staff and adopts an open policy if one is not already in place. Committing to an open environment will establish trust and open-door policies. Open-door policies allow feedback and allow for employees and change agents to give and receive feedback with less defensive approaches. Employees need to feel comfortable when change is being implemented, providing training and allowing them to be a part of the change process are ways to help them feel comfortable.
Allowing employees to help with the change making decisions will help them to accept the change. Employees that work with the customer may also have better insight on how to better provide for the customers. Providing the employees with training on why and how the change to electronic medical records will be implemented and making sure they know what is going on will help keep the employee more comfortable about the process. Letting employees know that some failure is okay will help ease them when failure comes.
Changing agents need to look at failure as a positive learning experience and encouraging them to think the same way. Taking these steps and recognizing the employees efforts along the way can have a huge effect on if the employee feels positive about the change or not. If these practices are not implemented then employees may resist the change (Richards, 2012). Some common reasons why employees resist change are because they are afraid of the uncertainty, they may fear that the change will not work, change interrupts habit, and they may lose personal benefits or have personal losses due to the change.
If an employee is not trained or allowed to give feedback they may resist changes due to uncertainty. Employees need to be trained on the reasons for the changing to the electronic system as well as how to use the system. Training employees may ease them out of their habit of the old way and into accepting the change and creating a new habit around this change. When a change in implemented in a company the employees resist the change due to the fear of the loss of status, money, or benefits they were getting from the old system.
Employees should be told what changes will affect them personally and be allowed to give feedback on ways to minimize loses. All changes should be expressed in positive ways to help employees deal with their fears. Open-door policies and encouraging feedback will help with minimizing employees’ fears and resistance to change. Being proactive and allowing the employees give ideas for the change, along with supporting employees during and after the change will help resistance of employees be minimized (Robbins, DeCenzo, & Coulter, 2011). Human Resources (HR’s) also play a role in managing change.
HR’s can act as the change agent and overlook the whole change process. HR’s can be in charge of setting a strategy, facilitating, training, and monitoring employee engagement, input and feedback. If a company does not feel that they want HR’s be in charge of the whole change then they may ask them to play no role at all or to evaluate the change effort once the change is complete. HR’s may have a small role or a big role in the change process at a company. Many companies are starting to give HR’s bigger roles and allowing them to be part of the change (APQC, 2012).
Human Resources, manager, and even non-managers can implement change in a company. It is up to the person who is implementing the change to communicate, train, and support employees so that they feel comfortable with the change. Allowing HR’s and employees to be a part of the change can help everyone feel more at ease with the change. Failure should always be a learning experience and if a change agent gives employees a positive outlook and support while making the change then resistance will be minimized.
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