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What is organizational change? Why is organizational change important? How can organizational change benefit my organization? According to Cawsey, Desza, & Ingols, change is planned alterations of the organizational mission, vision, values, culture, strategy, goals, structure, processes or systems, technology, and people in an organization, which will impact the effectiveness of the organization (2016). Change is important because it is “a new approach to deal with everything which would give a positive and successful outcome” (Pillai, 2016, para. 1). Another reason it is important is because it helps organizations build their competitive edge as well as help increase the rate of customers and clients (Richards, 2018).
Basically, organizational change is useful for increasing success in the organization. It is also needed to solve issues or situations in the workforce that have negative effects on the success of an organization. For that reason, I believe organizational change can benefit my organization in many ways. Currently, we used a compliance process that was created when the organization first opened.
The compliance process is how summer files get edited, signed, and completed, so they can be boxed and stored in a storage. However, the compliance process has had more negative effects on the organization than positive ones. There have been many errors during the compliance process throughout the years and those errors caused employees to spend more time than what was planned on the compliance process. I believe it is time for a new compliance process and should be used by next summer in 2019. I will create an effective action plan that will help my change initiative be smooth and successful.
I will also make sure that my change initiative encourages positive results.
After summer school is over, the summer team must complete students’ files. They do that by printing out work samples which is copies of work students did during summer school and printing out AWRS which lists all the lessons that were required for each unit to be earned and completed. The summer team also must print out two transcripts, one to put in the files and the other to mail to the students’ school of residence. Then the summer team must send out DLL’S (attendance sheets) via docu-sign, so that the students can sign it and then the summer team can input them in their files. After the files are filled with: the master agreement, the work samples, the DLL’S, the AWRS, and transcripts, summer teachers are required to sign the AWRS, DLL’S, and the master agreement. Due to fact that we are a virtual school, we hire teachers from different locations during the summer such as San Diego, Fresno, and Sacramento.
We also have teachers that are employed at other schools come work for our organization during their summer break. Two people from the summer team and the principal must travel to these locations to get the signatures form the teachers. The teachers who are located closed by are sent an invitation via email to come to our office to sign their files when they are not working at their schools. When all these steps are completed, the files are then audit and edit by the whole summer team. There be errors on the AWRS because some people in the summer team did not write the correct notations. Teachers’ signatures be missing from paperwork because files accidently get skipped during the sign process. Wrong dates are put on the AWR as well as the DLL’S because teachers sign so many files and accidently signed another date. For example, I had a file that was supposed to be signed 8/2/2018, instead it was signed 8/21/2018. To fix these errors, we must print out the paperwork again and put the write notations on them, we must mail the paperwork to the teachers, so they can sign them, and then we must audit not only the fixed file but also all the other files that are in the same bin as the fixed file. The current compliance process is so confusing and causes so many errors.
It is also stresses employees out and then they get the idea of making up their own process which they believe will not cause errors. However, errors have been created by various employees doing the process their way. There should be only a few or no errors during a compliance process and every employee should follow the same process to avoid different results. A new compliance process will do exactly that; reduce errors, provide security, and same results.
‘Many leaders know what they need to achieve, but they just don’t know how to get there” (Cawsey, Desza, & Ingols, 2016, p. 41). Although, I know that a new compliance process is needed, it is important that I create an action plan that will help the journey of my change initiative be successful and worry free. I believe the best method to use for my change initiative is the Kotter’s eight-stage process. Kotter’s eight-stage process consist of the following stages: Establish a sense of urgency. Create a guiding coalition. Develop a vision and strategy. Communicate. Empower employees. Generate short-term wins. Consolidate gains and produce more change. Anchor new approaches. In stage one, “leaders need to illustrate the threats to the system and move enough organizational members from a sense of invulnerability to vulnerability” (Cawsey et al., 2016, p. 47).
Stage two requires gathering executives, managers, supervisors and any other people in higher up positions and making sure they are aligned and know that change is needed. Stage three focuses on a vision and strategy that explains what steps need to be made to reach and accomplish the ultimate goal. Stage four supports stage three because it makes sure that the vision is communicated. Stage five is about getting “large numbers of employees to embrace the vision and then organizational structures, human resources systems, and a myriad of other internal organizational mechanisms need to support, rather than block, the change” (Cawsey et al., 2016, p. 47). Stage six main goal is to keep employees motivated by pointing out short-term goals that were accomplished or will be accomplish because of the change initiative. In contrast, step seven main goal is motivating leaders to keep moving forward with the change and do whatever it takes to complete the change successfully.
The last stage also known as the eighth stage “makes sure that the change is embedded in the organization’s cultural norms and values” (Cawsey et al., 2016, p. 47). All these stages are beneficial to a change agent who wants to have a positive outcome from his/her change initiative; therefore, it is very important that I follow every stage for my change initiative to be effective.
To start off the process for my change initiative, I will show employees how much errors the current compliance process creates. I will also show them how much time is spent on the current compliance process. This will prove that a new compliance process needs to be created and used immediately. After employees are aware of the urgency of my change initiative, I will then conduct a meeting with the executives, managers, and supervisors. During the meeting, I will encourage everyone to be on board with why the change is needed. I will also make sure that all of them feel the same way about the change initiative as I do. Once the executives, managers, and supervisors are aligned and aware that change is needed, I will then create a strong, meaningful, and creative vision. For example, “The compliance process is supposed to reduce errors not create new ones. I will create a compliance process that will not only lessen errors but that will also satisfy employees, teachers, students, and parents”.
I will ensure that this vision is communicated to ever employee in the organization with the following communication styles: personal conversations, meetings, events, flyers, and emails. After each employee is informed of the vision multiple times, I will make sure they embrace the vision by providing a video training on how to do the new compliance process. They will see how the new compliance process will be easier, take up less time, and be organize. I will then move on to highlighting the short-term goals that will be influence by my change initiative. Everyone knows that having no errors after a work assignment is challenging and is less likely to happen the first time or every time. For that reason, the first short-term goal is to have no more than 10 errors. The second short-term goal is to provide hands on training to all employees on the compliance process and make sure everyone only uses that compliance process. The third short-term goal is to have teachers’ signatures completed and correct in one month. This will then lead to the last short-term goal which is to only spend two months on auditing, boxing, and storing the files.
When it is noticeable that employees are kept motivated by the short-term goals, I will then make sure that leaders who support my change initiative as well as I are motivated to make the change initiative a part of the organization’s DNA. Employees will be rewarded for accomplishing short-term goals. Meetings will be held to discuss how much the change initiative has affect the organization positively. The meetings will also be an opportunity for employees to express their thoughts, opinions, and suggestions. I will also send out surveys to parents, students, and teachers to find out their feelings towards the new tasks they must do to support the new compliance process. The positive results from the change initiative will be rewarded and acknowledge. In contrast, the negative results from the change initiative will be used to figure out ways to avoid them in the future. Leaders and I will then be inspired to make it to the finish line of the change initiative.
The completion of all these steps will encourage me to move forward to the final step, anchor new approaches. Employees will understand how the new compliance process will not just satisfied the organization’s needs but also students’ and parent’s needs. My organization values putting students first and making their parents proud. It is our job to help students received their high school diploma and prepared them for secondary school. Auditing transcripts is a step in the compliance process, if transcripts are not audit effectively students are affected by it negatively. For example, last summer a student was withdrawn with the wrong number of units. I was able to catch this error because the AWR did not match with the transcript. However, the error was not caught until after a transcript was sent to the student and his school.
The student was then enrolled in a completed summer class for the fall session at his school. His mother called us multiple times and express how her son was discourage because he felt he did not passed the class. His feelings caused his mother to be upset and not want him to come to our summer school anymore as well as recommend it to others. The new compliance process will be an important factor for my organization’s values and I will make sure employees know that by explaining and proving how it impacts the students.
Once my change initiative is effective, I expect 4 results. The first result I expect is that no errors are made. The new compliance process will use docu-sign to get teachers’ signatures. Docu-sign will automatically input the date that needs to be signed, so that teachers will not put the wrong date. Teachers will only have to sign their name on the first paperwork then it automatically input the same signature on the rest of the paperwork. Units completed for a class will no longer be inputted manually by teachers and principals, instead the system I will be using for the compliance process will calculate and input the correct number of units. The system I will be using will also include the notations on the AWR, so that the summer team will not have to write them on over 4,000 files. These steps in my compliance process will get me the result of no errors.
Another result I expect is to spend less time on the compliance process. The compliance process starts in September of a year and should be finished by January of the next year. My new compliance process will not focus on doing a task each week. Each task will be completed for one file in one day. For example, if an employee is assigned a bin of students who last name starts with S-Z, he/she will make sure that bin is completed and ready to be box within a week. He/she will pull out the first file in the bin and go into the system and print out all the paperwork that needs to go in the file. He/she will also make sure that all the paperwork is signed and notated correctly. Once all the tasks are completed for that file, the employee will then move on to the next file and do the same thing. The employee’s job will be to do this process for every file in a bin. If every bin is done this way, the compliance process can be completed before the Christmas break.
The third result I expect is that employees are happy and satisfied with the new compliance process. The new compliance process might work for me but might not work for others. I will reach out to employees to find out how the new compliance process is going and if there are any obstacles they faced. I will also listen to suggestions and ideas employees may have to improve the new compliance process. Taking the time to hear employees’ thoughts, feelings, and opinions will help me have a finalized compliance process that makes everyone happy.
The last result I expect is that teachers, parents, and students are satisfied and affected positively by the new compliance process. The new compliance process will require teachers to sign their paperwork electronically. It will also require parents and students to download their transcripts and audit them. They will then have to sign a docu-sign acknowledging that everything is correct on their transcripts and can be mail to their school of residence. I think teachers not having to sit down and sign files one by one for hours will make them happy. Students and parents will also be happy because they will know the right transcript is sent out and students will be enrolled in the right classes. The will also have the correct transcript to apply to colleges.
My change initiative will be beneficial to the entire organization. It focuses on making a better compliance process and pleasing everyone who is affected by the compliance process. I want the success of my change initiative to be proof that I am an effective change agent who will go above and beyond to enhance the organization. Organizational change is how an organization grows and it is necessary, so that the organization has a successful growth.
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