Implementing Change

Topics: Change management, Management, Implementation Pages: 7 (2432 words) Published: December 17, 2012
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...

References: Craine, K. (2007). Managing the Cycle of Change. Information Management Journal, 41(5), 44. Retrieved on January 6, 2010 from MasterFILE Premier.
Leban, B. & Stone, R. (2008). Managing Organizational Change. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Retrieved on January 6, 2010 from University of Phoenix eBooks.
Schermerhorn, J.R., Hunt, J.G., & Osborn, R.N. (2004). Core Concepts of Organizational Behavior. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Retrieved on January 6, 2010 from University of Phoenix eBooks.
Sullivan, E.J. & Decker, P.J. (2009). Effective Leadership and Management in Nursing, (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Retrieved on January 6, 2010 from University of Phoenix eBooks.
Terez, T. (1990). A Manager’s Guidelines for Implementing Successful Operational Changes. Industrial Management, 32(4), 18. Retrieved on January 6, 2010 from MasterFILE Premier.
Implementing change in any organization is extremely complicated, however having a manager know the role and responsibilities they are to meet could be the difference between success and a failure. The manager must know the distinct difference in the areas that are to be changed, and how to go about handling staff resistance. Using processes like assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation help management assist staff in adjusting to change and focus on the areas of importance. A manager’s role in implementing change with little disruption to the staff is the difference between a successful manager and failed organization.
The role a manager takes in any company when implementing change has to be aware of the three distinct categories that could be changed. First there is change in people; this is how people relate to each other and how implementing a change would affect how the organization functions more effectively. To do this the manager must relay to the staff why the change is necessary to the organization. “The explanation must be detailed enough to encourage a personal investment on the part of the staff for the success of change” (Ezine). A area of weakness in this management role to be aware of is, just because you as the manager sees the picture and the goal you are trying to achieve, does not mean everyone else can see it as well. In order to implement a successful change everyone must see and understand the same picture and how it will benefit not only the organization but themselves. People respond positively to change and with enthusiasm if it benefits them and they are included in the change process. The second area where change can occur in an organization is in the processes, this is the area that deals with the way things are done and handled in an organization. A manager should remember that no one knows the need to change a process better then the people who actually use them day to day. It’s important to involve the individuals that changing a process will affect and receive the feedback from them this will give a manager a sense of if the change has worked positively or has failed and a new approach is necessary. Lastly is the change of equipment, this is when as a manager and organization you and your staff stays up to date on the equipment that runs your organization. This is one area that should continuously be addressed and updated, for it proves to be the most expensive and critical to a successful organization. Having outdated equipment or equipment that cannot be updated could mean that an organization has to completely shut down if something goes wrong which would hinder business as well as be costly. Also not having the option to repair a part because it no longer exists could cause an organization to fail. So tending to equipment updates and replacing models regularly could save an organization an incredible amount of money and time. As a manager trying to implement change in any of the three categories it’s important to know which you would like to implement first. As long as all three categories are not lumped together, a manager can implement changes with minimal disruption and little staff resistance.
In every organization a manager encounters staff resistance, however knowing how to handle and produce a positive outcome determines how successful a manger an organization hired. Common staff resistance to change obstacles could include; a lack of understanding what is driving the change, employee morale issues, communication breakdowns, insufficient training, employee turnovers, or budget restraints. How a manager to reacts to this obstacles determines whether an organization overcomes them or fails. To address employee resistance the manager must address and explain the rationale behind the change, as well as incentives. Correcting employee morale issues, a manager has to address concerns, and anticipate employee’s fears, as well as establish a good working relationship with their employees so they feel comfortable voicing concerns. Handling communication breakdowns is a major component to any change. Address questions and having open communication as well as handling any conflicts right away make a difference during the implementation phase. A manager must know their responsibility in each area they are required, paying attention and coaching employees as well as providing feedback are key parts to a manager’s role in an organization. Providing employees with the confidence of positive change as well as an organization plan will prove to be a solution to staff resistance.
The change process is the same in any organization; each manager follows four different processes. The first process is assessment, it is “the act of systematically collecting information about an organization to determine its performance” (CLAS). When a manager is using the assessment process they are collection data and watching how employees and the company as a whole are performing. The manager is asking the question “How are we doing?” The assessment process should be done regularly and provide feedback on areas that are strong, need improvement or need change. Should the manager decide a change needs to occur; the next process would be planning. Planning is identifying the problem, determining what causes or contributes to the problem, and then finding a solution to the problem. A manager must look at all the information gathered, and find the best solution. The third step in the manage process is the Implementation phase. This is when the manager has found the solution and is now going to make a change to implement it into the daily agenda hopes it provides a positive result and solves the problem. The last step of the manager role is the evaluation process, after the manager has assessed the situation, identified the problem, found a solution, this process evaluates the solution found. It asked the questions of it is the solution working? Is it Successful? Could it be improved? This last process helps managers understand and share the results of a successful change. Having an example on how an implementation of change worked successfully, will give the manager a bases and reference guide to how to implement future changes.
Managers play a critical role in implementing changes to an organization, they distinguish between areas of change and determine the importance of which area needs the most attention. They encounter staff resistance and obstacles, however a successful manager address the resistance and obstacles with confident solutions and open communication. Successful organizations have managers that follow the change process and incorporate assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation into their daily agenda. Successful managers create productive working environments they anticipate challenges and obstacles; they create solutions, and implement successful changes to achieve their organizations goals.
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