Managers are entrusted with a leadership role for an organization with an aim to set out objectives and create the right environment and effective techniques to meet those objectives. There are supposed to come up with creative ideas on the change needed in the organization and how that change should be implemented with minimal difficulties while at the same time reaping maximum benefits from the change. A manager’s role and responsibility in implementing change One major step towards achieving this is of course through having a very clear sense of goals.
When the management is equipped with a clear sense of goals and objectives, then it will be possible for an organization or an institution to have a new direction. The manager is important at this stage. He or she is responsible for coming up with specific objectives and determining what direction the institution is supposed to take. It is imperative that the leader or in this case the manager learn to be patient because in many cases change demands patience. As a manager, one should be well informed on his or her team so as to have a good knowledge on which members can be best used. Banutu & Banutu 2003)
The task of management in times of implementing change demands good communication skills. One of the manager’s main tasks is relaying ideas, mission, goals, and objectives of the institution to the subordinates. It is therefore important that the manager is skilled in communication so as to effectively hammer the point home. Good communication skills are two way. The manager should also be a good observer and listener so as to understand any information or feedback that may be coming from the team members.
Managers should also act as role models to their team by for instance setting an example of sacrifice. To make the process of change easier, the manager’s behavior should provide a model for motivation. He or she should be ready to listen to team members, respect them, delegate some powers to them, and assist them. Such characters and actions go a long way in motivating the team and elevating their interest to the task at hand. Team members are not only inspired with a mission but also motivated to initiate novelty and new ways of thinking.
For a change process to be successful, the manager is supposed to build trust among group members and ensure that they think and work as a unit as opposed to working as individuals. The manager should be able to nurture intimacy among members, demonstrate self confidence, integrity, and honesty. He or she should be able to connect real life personal experiences with transformational requirements or behaviors of the institution. The manager should have a strong sense of involvement with the team and its activities. This way, the influence process becomes easier and more effective.
It is imperative the manager fully understands the task ahead and relays that to the subordinates. This attribute should be coupled with high level commitment to the institution. Integrity and consistency are paramount in the change process if the laid down objectives are to be realized. (Banutu & Banutu 2003) Handling staff resistance to change One of the most common characteristics in the change process is resistance towards change by members of the organization. Though resistance to change is mainly viewed negatively, it can have positive outcomes too.
For instance, staff resistance can lead to a functional conflict. This sought of conflict stimulates a healthy debate among members and the leadership as well. Such a debate sheds light on the various faces of change and ultimately leads to a better decision in the end. Staff resistance though could act as a major obstacle to an organization’s pursuit to achieve change and progress. If the staff is adamant to change its mindset to fit and adapt with changing times, then the organization will experience difficulties adapting and achieving progress.
Managers are supposed to come up with ways to deal with staff resistance and ensure that the staff is collaborative instead of the other way round. (Kelly 1992) Communicating with staff members is a significant step in dealing with resistance. The leadership should take its time in demonstrating the logic of change to the staff and get rid of any chances of misinformation or misunderstanding. As indicated earlier, involvement of the staff in decision making is a beneficial tactic in ensuring that staff members not only implement change but also feel as being a part of it.
This reduces the level of resistance, increases the change quality of the staff, and achieves commitment from the staff. The manager can also provide individuals who can handle and manage change activities or act as one. The manager or the change agents can offer facilitation and support to staff members so the idea of change and its actual implementation can be easier and more understandable. (Holton 2003) Another method through which managers can avert potential resistance is through negotiation with the staff. The management can offer the staff something like a reward in exchange of lessened resistance.
The manager should however be wary of blackmail because some staff members may take advantage of this and demand rewards in any event of a change process. When ‘clean’ strategies fail or deemed unreliable to avert staff resistance, the manager can use cooptation and manipulation techniques so as to achieve his or her ends. Making facts look appealing more than they really are and hatching force rumors can get the staff to accept change and actually look forward to its implementation. The personalities leading the resistance can be bought off by the manager by offering them important positions in the change process.
They are made to feel as if they engaged in opposing change but in actual sense the plan goes unhitched. The last trick on the book is the use of coercion. The manager gives direct threats to the staff members and applies direct force. Other measures include transfer of members, demotion, poor letter recommendation, or outright firing. It is important that the staff understands they are not indispensable as the change that the organization is seeking is more important than an individual career. (Bass & Avolio 1994) Steps of the change process
The management with the collaboration and active participation of the staff should engage themselves in assessing the organization’s goals and objectives. There should be an extensive understanding of why the organization is taking the change path and how well equipped it is to actually implement its objectives. In the event that the management feels time is not ripe for a particular change process to be initiated, then it can be shelved until the right time comes. The management should put all facts on the table and analyze them before it starts to implement them.
All possible scenarios to the process should be considered. In the planning process, it is important that the manager ensures that staff members fully comprehend the plan ahead of them. It is also important that staff members are to a certain level involved in the process. The reasons for using participation, as discussed earlier, is to gain the collaboration of the staff and reduce chances of resistance. Carrying out the actual change process calls for dedication from everyone involved. Any challenges such as staff resistance should be dealt with swiftly.
During the evaluation, the management should go back to the aims and objectives outlined during the planning process. External evaluators should be invited so as to avoid any chances of bias. (Banutu & Banutu 2003) Conclusion Only one thing is certain in any place and that is change. Organizations, just as human beings, are in a process of change. It is up to the management to ensure that this is change is to the positive. The modern world is characterized by cutthroat competition and there is no room for being stagnant.
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