The topic of today’s presentation: organizational changes. Organizational changes are various kinds of transformations in the organization as a whole or its constituent units. It should be remembered that in practice, changes can both contribute to the organization’s development and hinder this – slow down the development. For example, introducing a new bureaucratic procedure in the organization’s management system can become a brake on the passage of information and, consequently, delay decision-making, reducing the responsiveness to the current situation.
On the other hand, the rapid development of technology makes it possible to accelerate most organizational processes. However, such changes require high costs and competencies for the implementation of such changes. This presentation lists the main positive and negative aspects of the dynamics of change and the approaches that managers use to help employees accept change.
Any changes should have a goal that should make the company and its employees better. Improvement goals, in 100% of cases, require specific changes. It is not uncommon to take a step back to take two steps forward. Expansion of the company and employees’ professional growth are mutually consistent processes that are possible only within the framework of getting out of the usual rut. Therefore, the first factor in the positive impact of organizational change is the possibility of growth.
Further, change develops the adaptability of both the company and the employees. It should be noted that the modern world is constantly changing. This fact concerns technological, economic, political, and social aspects, which are inherently dynamic even in a small society. The example of a pandemic shows that adapting to new conditions is a vital ability of any business. Companies focused on offline sales were forced to master online marketing technologies and delivery logistics (Maskály et al., 2). By focusing on constant change, companies are developing their flexibility in the market, allowing for better segmentation and a more individually oriented approach to offerings (Foss, 1). Adaptability is a vital employee skill in any company.
Finally, with a history of organizational change, companies can develop professional intuition to solve problems proactively. Timely reaction to various external changes makes it possible to develop the function of forecasting other threats. Also, any changes should be made with a preliminary study of one or another aspect. Better insight, generated by such a PESTLE or SWOT analysis, will allow managers and employees to navigate the internal processes of the company better, making the most of its strengths. Thus, the third benefit is the development of proactivity. As a result, one can note a penchant for innovation, new business opportunities, and an increase in staff’s professional skills.
However, not every change has overwhelmingly positive consequences. Any change carries a feeling of the unknown, and as a result, fear and uncertainty. These two emotions can lead to conflicts even at the planning stage of change. Conflicts disrupt the working atmosphere within the team, worsen the work process and lead to missed deadlines and schedules. Structural disagreements are a necessary part of any dialogue, so they often cannot be avoided, and there is no need to try to avoid them. A conflict is, first of all, an opportunity for all interested parties to express their opinion. In planning for change, this is a critical factor that should not be overlooked.
Consequently, as a particular aspect, planning can also become a potential difficulty in matters of change. The structure of almost any organization includes many departments, each of which is more or less closely related to the other. Well-planned changes in one such department can lead to poor results in another. Consequently, the leader must take into account all possible disagreements at each stage of the negotiation. Multiple points of view will give a better look at the problem causing the change and a better solution.
Given the nature of the unknown, any changes, failures and depressions of the most varied nature are possible. If a company switches to new software, employees can make mistakes even after training due to a large amount of new information. Failure is also inevitable, no matter how thoughtful and ideal the plan is. Consequently, there may be resistance from employees or managers who will argue that the old way was better.
This fact is a consequence of the security habit that the old way of things guarantees. However, as mentioned above, in most cases, changes are necessary for the company to remain competitive in the market and for employees to develop in order to improve their career conditions. New procedures most often bring results over a long period, and this approach with a view of the future is the most correct in building an organizational structure.
Finally, a lack of employee engagement and satisfaction can lead to negative consequences of change. The adoption of a new organizational philosophy must consider all the values that guided employees when hiring. The primary purpose and mission of the company should be consistent with and meet the employees’ goals, which ensures motivation. Without consent and appropriate communications, it will be tough to make any change.
Negotiations and agreements are a relatively simple way to avoid strong resistance and should be undertaken in advance during the planning stage. An approach can become too costly if it aims to achieve agreement only through negotiation. It must be applied if an employee or a group of subordinates can lose something from new changes. A clear explanation consistent with the company’s global goals can prevent a problem, but this method should not be limited.
Emotional experiences such as fear or insecurity are best dealt with with help and support. No other approach solves adaptation problems to new conditions since it does not involve a conflict situation. However, depending on the individual characteristics of each individual, the approach can be costly, time-consuming, and still fail.
There are more complex, less ethical, but powerful practices that involve manipulation and co-optation. This approach can be a relatively quick and inexpensive solution to resistance problems, but it can also create new problems if an employee discovers manipulation. This approach is not recommended for use due to the contradiction of professional ethics, which can jeopardize the entire company’s reputation.
Explicit and implicit coercion is used when fast change is needed and when change initiators have significant power. Certainly, it is more often recommended to use the opportunity to encourage employees to embrace the new company philosophy. This method is the fastest and most effective but risky in terms of solid resistance.
Change in the modern world is a necessary process for any organization. One way or another, companies change under the influence of external factors and internal challenges, consistent with their values and goals. Leaders and managers are encouraged to support employees who find these changes difficult. The most effective methods always risk making things worse, so a long-term value orientation can bear fruit with a solid foundation for success.
- Foss, N. J. (2020). The impact of the Covid‐19 pandemic on firms’ organizational designs. Journal of Management Studies. Web.
- Maskály, J., Ivković, S. K., & Neyroud, P. (2021). Policing the COVID-19 Pandemic: Exploratory Study of the Types of Organizational Changes and Police Activities Across the Globe. International Criminal Justice Review. Web.