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Change Management and Communication Plan Essay


It has been decided that Riordan Manufacturing will implement an official customer management system. This system will be used by everyone in the organization. The main goal of the team is to help with the planning and implementation of the new system in order for a smooth transition.

Current Formal and Informal Structure

Riordan Manufacturing has a current formal power structure of clearly lay out chain of command that is broken down into specialize departments such as V.P. Operations, Dir. Plant Ops., Pontiac, Dir. Plant Ops.: Albany and V.P. International. Riordan’s organizational charts show how the structure of the organization is broken down by department and who reports to whom. The current informal structure is Employee files. These file are kept by individual managers because there is no centralize location to file them.

Managers at Riordan are also responsible for tracking FMLA absences and any requests for accommodation under the ADA whereas usually this is ran out of the human resource departments. To facilitate coordination, each managerial position is given a place in the chain of command, and each manager is given a degree of authority in order to meet his or her responsibilities (Robbins & Judge, , 2011).

For example, under the executive chart the President/CEO has an assistant and two others that report to him; Senior VP-R&D, Kenneth Collins and the Chief Operating Officer, Huge McCauley. The Senior VP directs the R&D departments; Materials Engineers, Packaging Engineers, Development Engineers, Administrative Assistants, and Research Program Managers. Huge McCauley directs departments heads such as V.P. Transportation, V.P. Sales & Marketing, Chief Financial Officer, Dir. of Acct. & Finance and Dir. of HR.

These departments then report their developments within their own department to the Senior VP-R&D or to Chief Operating Officer who then gives a report back to the CEO. This is the formal structure of Riordan’s Chain of Command which each employee must follow to ensure an effective organization. The current formal power structure will help Riordan with accomplishing their planned changes. Any new information about the change plan would flow down to the employees by their operating manager.

Appropriate Organizational Structure for Change

The power or political structure of Riordan can affect employee behavior in positive or negative ways. Constructive power within businesses involves encouraging efficiency. This incorporates giving staff the authority to make decisions as well as rewarding employees for outstanding performance by appointing them to supervising roles. When department heads do not have high esteem of the employees under them, this is considered negative power. This style of leadership stimulates employees to perform by intimidating them with losing their jobs and other repercussions. Employees who are trained to pilot the government of an organization tend to be dynamic than the ones who are kept out of the loop. To promote efficiency, organizations must cultivate a political structure that is easy for employees to understand.

Instituting clear chains of command and policies can makes it simpler for staff to find needed answers and consequently spend more time on quality work. Businesses that develop environments of unconstructiveness and inconsistency suffer as a result. If employees are allowed to take part in unethical or dishonest conduct to get ahead and preferential treatment trumps the value of hard work, an organization may face decreases in efficiency which will result in a higher turnover rates.

Potential Effects of Structure on Employee Behavior

A clear and concise chain of command is important in any business. This structure will allow the employees of the organization to maintain an understanding and appreciation for the chain of command, the structure of the system, as well as the organization. Without the chain of command, the system would fail. Judging from the employee consensus, the team has managed to hold a sense of interest from the employee basis. They also believe that the team is sincere in its concern for the employees of the business. A negative reaction in the population of employees was that there was a definite lack of communication.

Due to the fact that the employees are also affected by the changes occurring with the implementation of this system, communication will be a crucial point between leaders, managers, and team members. We have also decided that another crucial key point will be the opinion and feedback of the employee population. In order to implement this system with the highest success rate possible, we need to know from an outside view, how it is working before there are issues with the customers. This will also make the employees feel as though they have a meaningful contribution to the task.

Characteristics and Potential Influence on Employee Behavior

Team orientation and culture are the bases of the cultural characteristics in regards to Riordan Manufacturing. These characteristics consist of the idea that work functions around team. This is a strong asset in a business. Individual mind-sets will only slow the business down. Team orientation is necessary because each team member represents a small portion of a larger picture. Each of them attains a common knowledge of the task and goals that need to be achieved. Another strong point of a team base is the fact that they can rely on each other for help, both with the system implementation and other issues.

A potential breakthrough for the organization could be a stronger ability to use the employees by embracing them and their core values. We could gain an appreciation for their hard work and dedication to the company. Pay raises could compensate the employees for this dedication, along with bonuses and incentives. Incentives, whatever they may be, are a good way to celebrate the way that culture can influence employees so that they may embrace its importance and meaning.

Potential Sources of Resistance and Strategies to Manage Effectively

Resistance to change is an expected reaction of human nature. We are not accustomed to change, as it is possible to lead to failure; however, there are also ways to manage the resistance within the company. Individually, selective information processing has a high potential for resistance. Despite the fact that most bases will be covered in the way of information distribution throughout the employees, managers, and leaders, it is highly likely that there will be confusion and a lack of communication. This has brought about the decision to make any distributed information passed along on a selective basis. Rules have been made and guidelines have been set in order to maintain order throughout the business; however, the employees have grown accustomed to these rules and guidelines.

Changes on a grand scale will likely have an adverse effect on the employees. It will challenge their normal activity and behavior causing the employees to react in a way that takes away from the severity of the changes. To simplify the consequences of this scenario, employees will adopt the popular selective hearing. They will hear what they want to hear and react in such a way that makes sense to them in regards to the “old norm”. Organizationally, the biggest threat will possibly be structural inertia. Due to the fact that the business has set a plan and method of conducting business successfully, the organization is likely to attain an attitude that constitutes the saying, “if it is not broken, do not fix it”. This would obviously be reasoning for resistance to change.

Change Implementation Strategy

As far as the implementation of the new system goes, the next 12 months will be crucial. A plan will help to dictate the direction in which the plan will take the business. Providing a detailed step-by-step instruction manual, so to speak, will be the best chance for the success of the implementation. It may take a bit longer, but implementing the plan only one step at a time will make for a smoother transaction from one norm to the next. This will also allow for feedback of the employees without aggravation, which will also allow time for necessary adjustments.

Evaluate the Success or Failure of the Change

At first, the employees will likely be confused by the change. It will take time to adjust to the new norm before an evaluation of the success can be determined. Training will be of great importance. Having a pre-knowledge of the upcoming events will prepare the employees for the inevitable. We know that the change is coming and so should they. The customer base is the best way to know for sure if the plan is effective. Most businesses only exist as a service to a customer; therefore, training the employees on the right and wrong reactions to the customers and the service that they receive will be the primary goal for Riordan Manufacturing. This will give the customers a sense that the company is making the necessary changes to better serve them.

Communication Plan

There are a few different channels that can be used to communicate the change. The most important channel is through face to face interaction. It is the best way to be able to see if a person understands what you are telling them. It also gives them an opportunity to ask questions if they don’t understand. By doing face to face interaction, it gives us an opportunity to read their body language and comprehend if they are on the same page as we are. Another good channel to use to communicate is email. It is a good way to send out a message to all the appropriate people at one time. While it doesn’t allow us to be able to see people’s reactions, it does allow them to read it and print it out so that they can remember it easier. Putting up flyers around the building is another way to get people informed in case that they don’t see their emails or someone forgets to tell them. On the flyers it is imperative to put on them to come see the managers with any questions.

This is the least personal way to communicate this but still an effective way to communicate our message. There are potential barriers that could cause our message not to get relayed. We could forget to tell some people about the change that is occurring. A way to make sure we do this is to come up with a checklist to acknowledge every time that we tell someone to ensure that the message is delivered. Another barrier would be that the email does not get sent through. Sometimes computers do not work properly so there is always potential for a failure of the email being sent. One thing that we can do is to make sure that we copy the email to ourselves so that we know that the email is sent out.

Also we need to make sure that we read over the email to ensure that everything was worded properly and the email is easy to understand. The final barrier that could be encountered is to make sure that we do not put too much information in our message so that there is an overload. We need to be clear and concise and be to point. Our message needs to be as efficient as it possibly can be so that our readers or hearers understand it completely.

The Message

Expressly, change agents bear the significant responsibility of managing change activities within the organization. Furthermore, change agents are visionaries, which identify early on that modifications to the organization are necessary to strengthen the organization, subsequently allowing the organization to remain relevant in terms of commerce generation. What is more is change agents can be internal (employees) or external (out-side consultants), managers, or non-managers. Though change agents play a critical role within the organization, organizational members do not always embrace them. Indeed, organizational change is met with individual sources (routine, security, financial factors, fear of the unknown, and discriminating information processing). In addition, the following organizational sources (structural inactivity, regulated focus of change, group inactivity, threat of proficiency, and threat to establish influential relationships). Clearly, change within the organization is a delicate endeavor. As a result, the selection of the best communication channel becomes underscored.

Though the use of electronic mail has been in operation for decades the ability of Email allows for clear, well thought out directives in writing which means the message should not be convoluted. The message sender must consider his or her audience carefully. According to “Mind Tools” (2012), “your message is delivered to individual members of your audience. No doubt, you have in mind the actions or reactions you hope your message will get from this audience. Keep in mind, though, that each of these individuals enters into the communication process with ideas and feelings that will undoubtedly influence their understanding of your message, and their response,” (Introduction to Communication Skills). For example, an Email message regarding changes within an organization, To the following essential groups/teams Organizational Shareholders, Human Resources, Accounting & Finance, Research & Development, Customer Service, Manufacturing, and finally our Sales Force.

Specifically for our organization to sustain the success, which we have become accustomed to the following universal changes within the organization, are schedule to take affect shortly. Furthermore, all aforementioned groups and teams will benefit from these critical modifications. Since consumer markets have become global, the outsourcing of certain manufacturing responsibilities will allow our organization to increase profits while at the same time realign teams by promoting selected manufacturing team members to the research and development department. Moreover, this revision promises to increase organizational profits. In addition, the intention to recruit members of our sales force as permanent in-house consultants offers an optimistic outlook, as they are extremely knowledgeable regarding customer needs.

Though these planned adjustments will certainly change, the way we run our organization let us embrace these challenges, and respond expeditiously to hit the ground in a full sprint. Indeed an optimistic response will help us maintain profitability and navigate the ever-changing global market place. References Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2011). Organizational Behavior (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. University of Phoenix. (2012). Riordan Manufacturing. Retrieved from http://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/CIST/VOP/Business/Riordan/index.asp

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