A Good Manager in the Face of Organizational Change Essay
A Good Manager in the Face of Organizational Change
Every business needs a good manager – may it be a small family business or a large multinational corporation. There is no magic formula for being a good and effective manager – it is a continuing process and becoming one entails knowledge, skills and ability. It is not just a title but also a role that has to be performed and performed well. It is a product of working with and being around all classes of people – management team, clients, co-workers and others – and emanating the lessons learned in order to be better.
Changes in management team, changes in the company’s directions, changes in priorities, even the simple changes of supervisors, transfer to other department, or the hiring of a new team member – these are but some of the changes that a staff may have to deal with in the workplace.
These are also the major factors that affect any employee’s performance and confidence, which make apparent the need for a good and capable manager – one that can help communicate and successfully enforce management’s plans to the rest of the employees. As a manager, he should explain the reasons for the change and the processes involved. One possible consequence of any organizational change is the decrease in employee’s morale and motivation, which could lead to a decrease in the employee’s performance. This is but one of the many issues that a good manager has to handle.
What is A Manager?
A manager is the person who plans, leads and controls the activities of the organization. He balances the demands and requirements of the organization while at the same time, meets the employees’ expectations. A manager works hard to achieve the goals of the company without disregarding employees’ welfare. A manager is often seen as the liaison between the management and the workforce.
Among the many responsibilities of a manager is dealing with employees and addressing their issues and concerns. Thus, a manager must also learn to acknowledge and admit employee concerns. These issues could be an employee’s poor performance, sloppy work, negative work attitude or low confidence in the company.
In other words, it is the manager’s role to assess and evaluate the employee’s performance. Not only does a manager address employee concerns, he also ensures that the organization’s goals and objectives are met. He plans, monitors and takes the lead towards the realization of business goals. A manager delegates and coordinates work to his members, for which he must also be accountable.
What Makes A Good Manager?
Bill Gates recently wrote an article about the attributes of a good manager. One of the traits he mentioned is the need for a manager to be a good communicator. He must be able to convey management’s plans and directions well and ensure that employees understand where the company hopes to be. Bill Gates also wrote that a good manager needs relationships, not only with the executives but most especially with his employees. He must encourage people to be open and give feedback about what they think about the business and the role the manager and the employees themselves play in it.
With the varying requirements expected of a manager, it is therefore necessary for one to possess analytical skills, people skills and business skills for him to deliver and perform his functions well. It is also essential for a manager to be resourceful in finding appropriate courses of action to any problem that may arise. Not only do his people depend on him for guidance, management has also entrusted him with this responsibility.
Aside from these, he must also be able to exemplify and act-out what he expects from his staff. A good manager sets and more importantly, lives up to the standards. Moreover, being the liaison between management and employees, it is imperative that a manager knows the needs of his people, and what keeps them satisfied and fulfilled in their jobs. Striving to maintain a healthy level of employee morale is no easy task but one that a manager must also focus on.
A good manager then should also be approachable as the position may require mediating between management and the workforce. Building good camaraderie requires that a manager be patient and sincere in his efforts. A very stressful role – thus having a good sense of humor never hurts. A good manager has the ability to develop employee skills and improve their morale. He must know how to motivate and obtain loyalty, which is necessary in today’s ever-changing organizations.
Heraclitus once said that nothing is permanent but change. This could not be truer in today’s organizations especially with the rapid emergence of an international and global economy. Any organization must learn to thrive and be flexible to meet the ever-changing demands in order to survive. Change has become such an everyday occurrence and an integral part of any company’s life; so much so that employees who are not receptive to such changes can weigh down management’s efforts for growth.
Numerous studies have been done on why people, most often than not, resist even the most well-conceived plans of change. Especially in an organization, resistance and skepticism are the most common employee reactions. The negative responses may be because of the possibility of loss, fear of the unknown and disruption of what has become a habit.
One common reason of resistance to change is that an individual feels the possibility of a loss – loss of something he values that may result from change. Most often, changes in an organization are structural – they affect job status, lead to additional responsibilities and impose new reporting structures. Restructuring may also require physical relocation and in worse scenario, job termination. With all of these possibilities, imaginary or real they may be, it is but a natural instinct for an employee to reject change. Another reason for resisting change is fear. It is an inherent trait in humans to fear the unknown, the uncertain.
Any uncertain situation is never welcome and an individual will avoid having to face such situations as much as possible. With any organizational change, an employee may fear that he may not be capable to meet the demands in the future. He resists because he feels that he does not have the competencies needed for him to function in the new structure. He becomes afraid thus, the negative response even to the most well-meaning plans of change.
One other reason why people reject change is that they have become accustomed to and feel more comfortable with the current practice. It has become a force of habit. Many people think things are already fine and do not see the need for change or believe that it is the solution to whatever problem is at hand. Employees may also resist change because they have to learn something new. In many cases, people are reluctant to leave the familiar behind especially if it entails learning something new and presents the risks of failing.
A Good Manager in the Face of Organizational Change
At one point, I also had to face and deal with an organizational change. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company I was with decided to concentrate on his other affairs and relinquish his post. His successor, though no less brilliant, is in many ways very different on how things are done and how objectives are met. Their priorities and ways in achieving the company’s vision were very much opposing. This move greatly affected our team since we report and were directly under the CEO’s office.
Our team had to take on new responsibilities, transfer some functions to another team and report to a new management team – changing almost everything our team has been used to. The recent movement in the company’s management forced every member of the team to learn to adjust fast but still maintain the same level of efficiency and effectiveness. It is an understatement to say that everyone was on a very high stress level. Most were uncertain of their future and status in the company and wondered whether they will keep their job or would have to be laid-off. It was a very good thing that our manager knew how to handle those changes and helped made things easier to deal with.
In the context of organizational change, in order to facilitate a smooth implementation, it is very important that a good manager anticipate and plan well his approach to the possibility of a negative reception. A good manager has to properly communicate the details of the change and make the employees see the need to do things differently. A good manager must inspire and challenge his team to embrace such changes, since a positive and supportive environment yields a more productive and a more committed workforce.
Recognizing a staff’s contributions to the organization is fundamental and very important in inspiring employees. Keeping the employee motivated entails various skills, as there are various personalities involved. No one formula can ever be arrived at as to how to motivate employees especially in a dynamically- changing organization, but developing an honest and open relationship is a start.
Giving regular, positive, and constructive criticism can also help create an encouraging environment and help boost an employees’ sense of being valued. There are some companies that provide monetary rewards or incentives as a way of showing their appreciation to their personnel. However, this could be very costly and the rewards may quickly be forgotten. This is why this practice must be exercised prudently and must not be the only way of motivating employees. Financial incentives may seem to be the most notable form of motivation but may also cause disadvantages to the company in the long-term.
The need for an efficient and effective manager is one issue that all organizations face. Managers not only play a vital part in the realization of the company’s goals but also influence the employees, hence, becoming an even more critical part in the business.
Every organization must change in order to improve and cope with increasing industry competition. However, whether the factors prompting such moves may be external or internal, every organization must be able to address any consequence that may arise.
Needless to say, employees also play an equally vital role in any organization. Thus, in the context of organizational change, one of the most central, albeit complex consequences is the employees’ response. Being the workforce that keeps the organization alive, it is very important for a good manager to acknowledge the employees’ significance and value; and to show that they are an integral part of the company.
Ultimately, any company has much to gain by empowering and recognizing the value of its members. This is why efforts must be taken by a good manager to foster loyalty and keep them motivated in the face of change.
In conclusion, let us keep in mind the words of Charles Darwin – “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”