Positive or negative, change can be challenging to manage because employees need to be on board and be obliged to make necessary changes as well as adjust his or her work habits. When implementing change, a manager may run into numerous obstacles from resistance from the staff to morale issues. This is primarily caused by a lack of understanding by the employees and a fear of how the change will affect him or her directly. Implementing change within an organization can be extremely difficult without a manager who understands d his or her role and responsibilities. This could be the deciding factor of whether or not the organization will succeed or fail when instituting change to the establishment (Mihai, 2009). It is the manager’s responsibility to understand how to address and put the change into action along with properly overseeing resistance from the staff. A manager must effectively assess, plan, implement, and evaluate the change he or she intends to put into practice to abet the staff in adjusting to modification.
To implement successful changes, the manager must undertake an active role in the change process. When implementing a change to an organization, managers must act as a catalyst to ensure the modification process runs smoothly for one phase to another until the modifications become permanent. The managers responsible for the implementation must demonstrate interpersonal skills, motivate employees, be flexible, confident, and possess the ability to develop ideas. It is crucial for those in a managerial position to possess these characteristics. Although managers are not often the precipitator of change, he or she is responsible for leading the change throughout the organization (Ratini, 2011).
Many individuals mistakenly forget that there are three distinct categories that must be addressed when implementing change, change in people, change in the process, and change in equipment. When the three parts are lumped together change may be difficult to put into effect. A manager in charge of implementing change must not forget to keep the categories compartmentalized to avoid needless aggravation and stress (Jackson, 2008).
The first category, change in people, is how the employee relate to one another and how the newly implemented change is going to affect the functions of the organization. When implementing a change, it is crucial that the manager communicates to all staff members why the change is necessary. According to Jackson (2008), the explanation must be detailed enough to encourage a personal investment on the part of your staff for the success of the change. If staff do not feel a real need for change, or have not made a commitment to its implementation it will not only take longer to make the change, but also the change will not be long term and sustainable (para. 5). A common mistake managers and other leaders make when implementing a change, is he or she assumes that because he or she can see the objective and picture clearly, that the rest of the staff can as well.
In order for managers to implement change successfully, he or she must take into consideration what the staff can and cannot apprehend. All employees must have a common understanding about the changes that will be implemented as well as how it will be beneficial to him or her. If he or she realizes personal benefits not only to them, but also to his or her work environment as well, he or she will respond positively to the change. If the change is going to affect people and how he or she communicates with one another, the involvement of the staff is crucial for effectively implementing change (Jackson, 2008).
The second category that must be addressed when implementing change is in the organization’s processes. This category deals with how the organizations analyze forms and processes to make necessary changes to meet the demands of a growing business. As a manager, he or she must understand that only those who use the process on a day-to-day basis will understand the need for change. He or she must involve the staff that will be affected by the change and listen to his or her feedback (Jackson, 2008).
Equipment is one portion of implementing change that must be addressed unremittingly. Equipment is the most indispensable element of an organization and will prove to be extremely expensive if not managed regularly. Outdated equipment or equipment that cannot be updated can cause an organization to shut down if something were to go wrong, hindering the business as well as costing the organization large sums of money (Jackson, 2008).
People tend to oppose change, despite that the change is beneficial and will result in improvements for those affected. Staff resistance to change creates hindrances for those in managerial positions. Resistance to change is inevitable. Management must respond to it in an adept manner so it does not accelerate further into a severe problem. To effectively manage resistance to change, a manager must understand why the employee‘s initial reaction was to reject the proposal before it accelerates further and causes subpar job performance (Baker, 1989). Often time when a staff resists change, he or she is resisting coercion rather than change itself. Providing information is the most powerful approach a manager can take to assuage anxiety related to change.
A manager can alleviate any fear of change by answering questions, acknowledging uncertainties, addressing rumors, and leading by example. Ratini (2011) states, “Managers can remove fears of the unknown by hosting question and answer sessions with those affected by the change. Including affected parties in discussion and planning as much as possible helps garner support for impending change” (para. 4). Managers must also address how the change will protect or improve fairness throughout the company. He or she must explain to the staff how the change will positively affect employees and provide adequate training correlated with the change to allay anxieties from the staff. If a manager does not address these concerns, employees may consider the changes to be unfair and harmful. Demonstrating empathy toward those affect by the change will allow him or her to willingly assent to the change (Ratini, 2011).
Implementing change consists of four steps, assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Each stage requires specific knowledge and skills in order to be properly carried out. In the assessment phase of implementing change, it is important to ask the question “why?” In this phase the problems and issues that may hinder the implementation of change are identified. The assessment phase is followed by the planning phase in which managers will consider the feasibility of the project; develop an action plan, and set goals and objectives. Managers will determine resources required along with the use of the resources and identify figures that will assist in monitoring and evaluating the project. The implementation phase is the period where the project is carried out.
Continual monitoring of the newly implemented changes must take place in order to observe if the project is headed down the correct track and is not only meeting the objectives set, but also utilizing the resources as planned. During this phase it is also vital to reassess any risk the project may have had. According to the Humanitarian Forum (2009), “During the evaluation phase the project is measured against its objectives, both to see if objectives have been met, but also to see how this was done and what the impact of the project is” (para. 5). Effectiveness, efficiency, and impact analysis are examined during the evaluation phase.
Successful change implementation requires the support of not only management level but also all employees throughout an organization. It is the responsibility of the manager to determine which area of the organization requires attention and act as a facilitator to ensure all tasks are carried out smoothly. Managers encounter various hindrances, including staff resistance and other obstacles. With proper leadership, a confident manager can address any deterrents.
The change process is consists of four steps, assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The change process allows managers to identify problems, collect information, consider the feasibility of the project, set goals and objectives, develop a plan, monitor the project, and examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the project. If change is implemented properly, managers can create solutions crucial to the organization success and help attain the organizational goal.
Baker, S. (1989). Managing Resistance to Change. Retrieved from https://ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/7649/librarytrendsv38i1h_opt.pdf?sequence=1 Jackson, E. (2008). Implementing Change Management in Your Business. Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?Implementing-Change-Management-in-Your-Business&id=1104611 Mihai, L. (2009). Tips for Managing Change. Retrieved from http://suite101.com/article/tips-for-managing-change-a127659 Ratini, B. (2011). The Managers Role in Implementing Change. Retrieved from http://execclub.org/?p=488 The Humanitarian Forum. (2009). Managing The Project Cycle. Retrieved from http://www.humanitarianforum.org/resources.php/en/727/managing-the-project-cycle