Implementing Change

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Implementing Change
Inevitable in all organizations is change and the success or failure of that change can be a result of how well the manager implements and manages any changes. According to Leban and Stone (2008, “What is change management,” para. 5) “successful change requires a critical mass of people who are committed, are willing to change, and will sustain their new behavior to align with the needs of the change.” With this paper I will discuss a manager’s role and responsibility in implementing change, how a manager can successfully handle staff resistance to change, and define each step of the change process. A manager’s role and responsibility

om Terez’s (1990) article A Manager’s Guidelines for Implementing Successful Operational Changes lists nine steps for a manager to follow when implementing changes. These steps outline the various aspects managers are responsible for during changes within a department. Preparing for the implementation, the manager’s responsibility is to analyze the environment in which the change will occur. This includes analyzing employee morale, employee engagement, and potential resistance to the change. Step two is to expose details of the change and answer all questions the employees may have. Allowing employees to question reasons for and details of the change will help them understand the organization has nothing to hide. Motivating employees during change is another important task of the manager. This motivation can be in the form of involving the employees in the change or using incentives to motivate them. Including the employees in the planning and implementation of change allows them to maintain ownership and be more willing to accept the change. Another role of the manager is challenging the employees to accept the change, embrace it, and ensure the change will be a long-term success. Positive reinforcement is one tool the manager can use to meet this challenge. Positive reinforcement ideas the manager can use include bonuses, tokens of appreciation, and time off once the change is complete (Terez, 1990). The fifth area the manager is responsible for is ensuring all leaders in the organization have the same commitment to the change. If the leaders in the organization are resistant to change, the employees will follow their lead and resist the change also. To help prevent this resistance, leaders should voice their support for the change before, during, and after implementation. Another responsibility of the manager is to “demonstrate how the change preserves or enhances the state of fairness for employees” (Terez, 1990, pg. 20, para 3). What this means is the manager is responsible for ensuring the change does not create an unfair working environment for the employees. This entails providing up-to-date education and training to the employees the change affects. Another role of the manager is selecting a representative group of employees to give employee opinion and input. Involving employees in the change is important but too much involvement can cause chaos or a failure of implementation. Creating a realistic implementation schedule and continually reviewing it is also the manager’s responsibility. Failing to stay on schedule can mean failure for the project. One last role or responsibility for the manager is to monitor continually any changes to see if the employees revert to their old ways. If the manager observes this, he or she can immediately guide the employees back to the new way (Terez, 1990). Dealing with resistance

“Change affects people’s ability to feel comfortable, capable, and confident because it means that they must learn new systems, work in new ways, and accept new responsibilities” (Craine, 2007, pg. 44, para. 3). Employees resist change for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons are fear of the unknown, deprivation of information, not understanding the reasons for the change, and just not wanting to change old habit. Managers can handle employee...
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