Managing Change in the Workplace

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Managing change in the workplace

To begin the critical analysis of how a change of event in the work place reflects upon, not only the management of the change process but also the impact that change can have upon the organisation and the quality of the service provided. Firstly it may be worth nothing the definition of ‘change’ is quoted in Webster’s English Dictionary as ….

“Change (transitive verb) to make different, to alter; to transform; to exchange; to put fresh clothes on. (2006 p73)

As a manager of a setting one’s personal experience would tell that there are many different types of ‘change’ that can arise in a private day nursery, one example has recently occurred where two qualified members of the team, who both worked together in the baby room, terminated their contract of employment within weeks of each other. This became a problem as it only gave the company four weeks to: advertise the position, interview candidates and compare them to the person specification required for the job, then upon occupying the positions the new recruits needed to learn the everyday practices and bond with the children and of course the parents, who maybe understandably concerned with the issue. Therefore the process of change has to be organised to make the transition a smooth one.

However as people we exist within contradiction. On the one hand, we need stability and security to perform well but on the other hand we can become stagnant, complacent and uncreative when we shy away from change or even when we find we simply cannot cope with it. It seems that we are more interested in the process of change and what the implications of change actually are. As there is no way of predicting when change will happen, as a manager it is better to be equipped to deal with it when it does. Any manager will tell you that in the nursery world staff turnover can be high. Therefore being better equipped will also create an environment where change is a natural and exciting 'organic' process. (Cole 2006 p.111)

Consequently a manager needs to begin looking at the limitations they unconsciously place upon themselves. The greater our own understanding of how we are affected by change and how we react to it, the better prepared we will be to deal with it - whether that change is by our own choice or someone else's. (Mabey and Mayon-White, 1993 p8)

Before looking at change management, it is important to mention that some people thrive on change. They can not stay in one job, in one relationship or in one country for very long. They need to shake up their own status quo. They sometimes create change just for the sake of it (Cannon. 1994 p 246)

This on the other hand can cause problems to other people within the setting; people are pattern-making mechanisms. In general, our systems are more comfortable with pattern and routine than with change. Once a pattern is established, the left side of our brains (the logical, analytical, pattern-making sphere) will quite happily keep marching along that path. (Veccio1988 p 34)

Any type of change that occurs asks us to change a point of view and adopt a way of seeing the world that is at odds with the way we are used to seeing it, thus causing us to tap into our insecurities. We can develop a feeling of unsure-ness, a sense of not quite knowing what the is ‘right’ thing to do. There is no longer a predictable, reliable pattern to follow, and where children are concerned, parents have to deal with these insecurities and worries immediately, simply being a voice for their children.

One of the challenges with ‘Change Management’ is to maintain the current business operations while the changes are being implemented. A framework needs to be created and maintained within a positive environment, this will help people accept the changes leaving them prepared and committed to assist with implementing them. Employees need to feel empowered rather than feeling they are...
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