Leadership and Change Element

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Introduction

The selected change is a promotion that was not well received by staffers of the organization. It is critical to note that many organizations face challenges when it comes to managing any type of change. One of the key things to consider is the fact that for change to be accepted, and for the process to be implemented successfully, it has to start several weeks (and at times months or years) before the activity. It is critical to note the importance of being prepared both in regards to the work environment and the expectations of the staff. The change that arises from a promotion at work revolves around the relationship between the candidate who has been promoted and his or her colleagues.

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Change Process

As mentioned, the selected change involves a change in role from a senior officer to a manager. It is important to note that the change process affected the relationship with both junior and senior colleagues of the promoted individual. For instance, the individual became more aligned with the company vision, mission, goals, and objectives as a manager. This made him acknowledge the efforts of the managerial team more than before (Mair, Mayer, and Lutz, 2015; Kegan and Lahey, 2016). Further, his relationship with fellow managers became easier compared to when he was a senior officer. Gill (2012) attributes this to the fact that individuals tend to relate better with other people when they are in the same position as the other individual. Interestingly, whereas the individual’s relationship with other managers thrived, his affiliation with senior and junior officers became strained. Northouse (2012) argues that often when one colleague is promoted over others, a rift can happen due to changed expectations. Arguably, this premise can be used to analyze the changed relationship with fellow officers after the promotion.

It can be argued that the individual used his leadership qualities to resolve the growing tension between himself and the colleagues he was not expected to supervise. Hughes (2010) agrees that good leadership has to communicate the change effectively to resolve concerns. In line with this, the specified change was communicated initially by human resources. To make the transition smoother, the candidate also had a full day session with the people he would be supervising to plan the best way forward despite the change in roles.

Critically, there are numerous drivers of change that can be highlighted. First, as stated, human resources initiated the process and were the first department to also communicate the same (Schildt and Perkmann, 2017; Bushe and Marshak, 2015). Smets et al. (2015) explain that key performance indicators are also a significant driver of change in organizations. There are two things that one has to consider when debating the importance of key performance indicators in change management. In the selected experience, the KPIs of an individual and that of the department or division he or she is to lead are critical. Judge et al. (2015) note that employees who surpass their KPIs are often rewarded through promotions. On the other hand, they are also often given challenging departments in an attempt to inject new ideas to achieve the departmental KPIs.

Importantly, the change was implemented in three phases. The first phase was the communication of the promotion to all staff, which was done via email. Yasir and Mohamad (2016) explain that a neutral way of announcing a new employee or a promotion is considered best due to the ability to control the reaction. It can be argued that the process was successful as it communicated to all employees and provided a brief on the qualifications that made me the best candidate to take up the job. The process that followed was an orientation to the role. This phase only involved the candidate, the human resource manager, one departmental manager, and the employee’s supervisor. At this step, the promoted staffer was informed of what he would be in charge of and what the expectations for his role were as based on the job description. This process was also successful as the promoted employee was able to also make his KPIs with his supervisor. The last phase was the candidate’s interaction and communication with the staff who would report directly to him. Imran et al. (2016) note that this is a critical phase in ensuring the proper uptake of the change process.

Lessons Learnt

One lesson learned about the change process was the importance of documentation. Critically, the human resource department is tasked with documentation of the promotion process (Palumbo and Manna, 2019). This was not captured well and made it difficult to analyze the whole procedure. Yukl (2006) notes that one factor that has to be considered during any type of change process is the proper documentation of the process as part of the organization’s lessons learned. As explained earlier, some of the main challenges faced by the promoted staffer involved the change process itself. For example, the tense relationship between the candidate and his colleagues would have been documented to ensure proper measures are taken next time to avoid similar hardships. On the same note, the issue of documentation is not only relevant in the determination of flaws in the process but also highlights some of the things that went well.

A second key lesson learned was the importance of proper communication during the change process. Hayes (2014) notes that employees will often reject the change if it was not communicated well. It is critical to note that the issue of promotion has to be based on company ideals. The process should be as transparent as possible with significant accountability. Chughtai, Byrne, and Flood (2015) note that promotions that are mired with controversy and biasness are often not well accepted by the staff. Therefore, communication about the promoted staffer should not only aim to inform of the change but also explain the process that was taken and why the candidate was better than others. Vaishnavi, Suresh, and Dutta (2019) argue that proper communication allows employees to understand the change process and also become motivated to perform better (in the event of a promotion).

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Recommendations

One recommendation, therefore, that can be suggested is the creation of a need for change before the process begins. Hussain et al. (2016) argue that such documents can be pegged on Lewin’s change management model. Hussain et al. (2016) and Yasir et al. (2016) define this change theory as a theory that enhances the perception that change is needed. One can argue that using the concepts supported by the theory, the organization should have started the process by influencing the perception of employees on the need for a promotion. One can argue that this can be done through a reward system that is well known by all employees in the company. The suggested recommendation also supports a work environment that is always ready for change. This will not only create a great workplace but also ensure staff is always ready for change. Debatably, the organization should also hire a change management agent to help in the development of such a work environment.

A second recommendation is the documentation of change processes to get both successes and limitations. Rajan and Ganesan (2017) explain that Kotter’s theory on change should be applied in all organizations. The theory suggests that for change to be successful, 75% of the company has to buy into the process (Rajan and Ganesan, 2017; Kondakci, Zayim Kurtay, and Caliskan, 2019). The buy-in can be bought through transparent activities that select the best person to be promoted. Again, as stated previously, this should be part of the human resource manuals that identify grounds for promotion. The buy-in will make the transition easier both for the promoted staffer and the rest of the organization.

Conclusion

In conclusion, successful change processes take time. Organizations should prepare for any type of change through policies and proper documentation. The case of a promoted staffer who was not well accepted by his subordinates shows the importance of early preparation for change. Several theories can be used to support concerns of proper documentation and early preparation for the change in a workplace. For instance, Lewin’s and Kotter’s theories can be successfully used by organizations to manage their change processes. Critically, although change is inevitable in any business setup, it has to be done correctly to achieve the desired results. Rejection of change can be costly and time-consuming for the company.

References

Bushe, G. R. and Marshak, R. J. (eds.) (2015) Dialogic organization development: The theory and practice of transformational change. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.

Gill, R. (2012) Theory and practice of leadership. 2nd edn. New York, NY: Sage Publications.

Chughtai, A., Byrne, M. and Flood, B. (2015) ‘Linking ethical leadership to employee well-being: the role of trust in supervisor’, Journal of Business Ethics, 128, pp. 653-663.

Hayes, J. (2014) The theory and practice of change management. 4th edn. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Hughes, M. (2010) Change management a critical perspective. 2nd edn. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Hussain, T. S. et al. (2018) ‘Kurt Lewin’s change model: A critical review of the role of leadership and employee involvement in organizational change’, Journal of Innovation & Knowledge, 3(3), pp. 123-127.

Imran, M. K. et al. (2016) ‘What’s organization knowledge management strategy for successful change implementation?’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 29(7), pp. 1097-1117.

Judge, W. Q. et al. (2015) ‘Configurations of capacity for change in entrepreneurial threshold firms: imprinting and strategic choice perspectives’, Journal of Management Studies, 52(4), pp. 506-530.

Kegan, R. and Lahey, L. L. (2016) An everyone culture: becoming a deliberately developmental organization. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Kondakci, Y., Zayim Kurtay, M. and Caliskan, O. (2019) ‘Antecedents of continuous change in educational organizations’, International Journal of Educational Management, 33(6), pp. 1366-1380.

Mair, J., Mayer, J. and Lutz, E. (2015) ‘Navigating institutional plurality: organizational governance in hybrid organizations’, Organization Studies, 36, pp. 713-739.

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Northouse, P. G. (2012) Leadership theory and practice. 7th edn. New York, NY: Sage Publications.

Palumbo, R. and Manna, R. (2019) ‘Making educational organizations able to change: a literature review’, International Journal of Educational Management, 33(4), pp. 734-752.

Rajan, R. and Ganesan, R. (2017) ‘A critical analysis of John P. Kotter’s change management framework’, Asian Journal of Research in Business Economics and Management, 7(7), pp. 181-203.

Schildt, H. and Perkmann, M. (2017) ‘Organizational settlements: theorizing how organizations respond to institutional complexity’, Journal of Management Inquiry, 26(2), pp. 139-145.

Smets, M. et al. (2015) ‘Reinsurance trading in Lloyd’s of London: balancing conflicting-yet-complementary logics in practice’, Academy of Management Journal, 58, pp. 932-970.

Vaishnavi, V., Suresh, M. and Dutta, P. (2019) ‘A study on the influence of factors associated with organizational readiness for change in healthcare organizations using TISM’, Benchmarking: An International Journal, 26(4), pp. 1290-1313.

Yasir, M. and Mohamad, N. A. (2016) ‘Ethics and morality: comparing ethical leadership with servant, authentic and transformational leadership styles’, International Review of Management and Marketing, 6, pp. 310-316.

Yasir M, et al. (2016) Leadership styles in relation to employees’ trust and organizational change capacity: evidence from non-profit organizations. New York, NY: SAGE

Yukl, G. (2006) Leadership in organizations. 6th edn. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

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