It was once said that the only constant is change which is true. This change can be a major change or a subtle one, either way change is still constant. The need for change can either be a voluntary or prompted by the organisation, these are also known as internal and external drivers. With internal the decision and outcome lies with the company however when it comes to external drivers these are out with the company’s control and they have no say over it.
Impact of change
The impact of change can have a huge effect on the company but also with the employees and one of the greatest challenges to companies is helping employees deal with this change. Any kind of change within an organisation can affect employees in different ways some may find the changes positive and approach it with enthusiasm but the majority will struggle with change and react negatively. These can vary from confusion, conflict, stress, fear of losing their job, lack of motivation, declined self-confidence and loss of trust between the employee and company.
need for change
As stated previously, there are many reasons for change within a company and V.Group has recently decided to rebrand the whole international company as well as globally restructure within the company too. The main internal driver for this was global influence as V. Group felt this would be an opportunity to help global partnerships recognise how vast and diverse V.Group is as previously each subsidiary company under the V.Group umbrella had its own individual logo however looking at it from a customer’s point of view they did not know each of these companies where part of the same group in turn globally ensuring its customers recognise their brand.
Another internal reason was to ensure processes, systems; IT and communication were all consistent throughout the whole company. As there are many offices worldwide, it was also another good reason to bring the company closer together as one and ensure everything was unified.
V.Group’s decision to restructure also had an internal driver. They saw a weakness in their processes and procedures which were not consistent throughout the whole group. In order to ensure a consistent and solid approach going forward, they have decided to allocate HR Consultants for four different regions of the world which would mean these consultants would be more accessible to the existing HR local reps and the consultants would make sure the local HR reps consistently follow the V.Group procedure throughout.
Apart from internal drivers there are also external drivers that can have an impact on a company which means the business has no control over. One external driver is Technological as V.Group’s need to ensure their customers and potential client are aware of all V.Group’s services therefore the most effective way to do this is through social media and the company’s website.
need for change
Within the Economic factor, changes to the economy can have an impact. We have employees all over world therefore when this declines it can make the company reflect and assess how many skilled or non-skilled employees there are and if they are truly needed. The Environmental factor could have an influence our company too and how it operates. Any climate change can have an impact on the ships we are managing on behalf of clients. If we have an agreement where we have promised a client we can manage and maintain a ship on their behalf but failed to provide this due to weather restrictions then this can affect the client / customer relationship.
change impacting the business
Change can affect businesses in different ways and there are many reasons. One change can be an organisational re-structure, where there may be many redundancies or more positively existing employees being given the opportunity to be promoted. Either way this can have an impact at all levels in the company. Another change can be, working policies and procedures where at present they might not reflect the company in the best light therefore it can damage the company’s reputation. Another change could be mergers and take-overs which can sometimes leave employees feeling uncertain about their future with the company, loss of trust and experience staff leaving.
With any change there are many factors involved within the process itself however communication has to be the key factor involved in the change process. Without this you cannot expect line managers or employees to support the change. With communication you need to ensure employees feel positive. It is also good practice the company adapts its style of communication depending on their audience and where they are in the change. Where one style might suit senior management, this might not be appropriate for administrators or cleaners. Communication can have a huge impact on the end result, it can also help to ensure targets are met, everything is kept in control and no employee disregards the change. Lack of communication could lead to frustration and lack of trust with employees.
An additional factor is positively selling the change and setting the direction the company is heading in. Within this you need to research and investigate potential threats or obstacles what could happen in the future and then communication this to employees to ensure their buy in.
Another key factor is mobilisation. Ensuring that before the change process begin there is enough resources to deliver. This can be down to current premises might be too small, training might be required on a new IT system or existing employees might need re-training. Training will not only help with mobilisation but it will also help employees feel motivated and feel valued by the company.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST
Change is viewed in many different ways and over the years there have been different models and theories on how it is best handled. Developed by Bullock and Batten in 1985 they provided a framework on how each phase should be tackled. Their three main phases are: Exploration Phase
When V.Group began their re-structure they followed these phases quite similarly. They initially reviewed and verified what change was needed, who it would affect and what exactly would be involved. In this step the V.Group executive board initially sat down and discussed at length why this change was needed and would it benefit the company long term. Once this was then agreed, they then agreed what actions would be needed and subsequently their consequences too. With this phase it was decided over the course of several month that key members of senior management would hold planning meetings to discuss various issues or present different ideas with a view of presenting this to the executive board once complete. Finally for the action phase, local meetings were held by each manager for their team to advise / present the new structure.
After reviewing V.Group’s approach to this, it could have been approached slightly differently and this might have helped the transition run smoother. Initially the executive board sat down to discuss the change however once this was done they could have also had various meetings with senior management to obtain a different view point but to also help prevent any behaviour responses like fear and lack of trust and ensure they felt included. Within the next stage key senior management could have kept other members of senior management up to date with progress.
It is understood that not every member of senior management throughout V.Group could be involved however to ensure other non-selected members were updated regularly would have helped with communication throughout. When they final phase was introduce, to present locally was the best approach however they could have also asked for feedback and reviews from employees. This would make them feel involved even at this late stage.
There are many behaviour responses in which employees can show when change occurs within an organisation. The main one being fear. This can be merely fair of the unknown as they are used working a certain way and fear the unknown. There might also be lower levels of employee morale due to lack of communication from management or no support or presence from their line manager. Another response is the Psychological Contract which can have a negative impact. Most employees work under a mutual respect ‘unwritten’ where they might come in early or work late to finish some work without being paid however a negative impact can mean these employees would decide as they are not being paid for it then they would not work it.
There are many ways HR can support employees on all levels during change. Within V.Group HR help employees by providing coaching on seeking new employment. HR can also be an advisor and give guidance to line managers or employees who need it. We can also provide support by listening, counselling, and supporting line managers. HR also provide administrative subtle support in background whether this be from providing a reference to a new employer to ensuring all their details are up to date and correct.