The organization named SARHS is expected to deploy organizational change within the next two years. This multi-national enterprise provides high-quality products to its many customers across Europe, headquartered in Switzerland. The company’s 24/7 initiatives require numerous employees to cover every competitive edge offered by SARHS, with a specific focus on the organization’s environmental impact. The company recurrently introduces the so-called ‘green slots’ where employees receive short sessions on how to maintain sustainability and create environment-friendly value. Monthly meetings across the organization’s departments also include such ‘green slots’ where the stakeholders discuss sustainability and the need for eco-friendly updates. The problem for the company is that it has already undergone several restructuring activities during the last three years, including a shift from a functional to a matrix structure.
As per the information from SARHS managers, these reorganizations caused issues related to authority and responsibility, creating additional pressure on the internal operations and the company’s budget. The decision to reduce operating costs by closing one production site and opening another one approximately 100 miles away was met with a lack of enthusiasm and support. Even though the new office was expected to become even more eco-friendly, the majority of employees could not anticipate change because they were worried about relocation. The management unit clearly stated that the number of production and office staff would be reduced by 5-8%, meaning that every team member should support change initiatives to make the latest change plan feasible. The following sections of the paper will address each important factor that restrains change and provide several recommendations intended to help the SARHS team.
Important Factors to Consider
Extents of Purpose
There are several essential extents of purpose that are usually discussed when it comes to organizational change and all the planning, improving, and structuring activities. SARHS might benefit from taking on the adaptable methods because it would give the organization a chance to enhance its supportive processes and make employees more interested in the proposed change. The company could also reach out to the community and share its improvement ideas with the local groups of individuals to see how their eco-friendly initiatives are either approved or dismayed by the community or important stakeholders (Holten and Brenner, 2015). SARHS might have to develop a strategic direction for its change initiatives to clarify values, set essential goals, deploy the vision, and create the desired future for the company. If the organization gains insight into individual behaviors and leadership incentives of its employees, it will be able to introduce more supportive processes that are both personalized per employee needs and line up against the organization’s objectives.
Type of Organization
SARHS is an organization that operates in the area of healthcare, which also poses an important question of how the team could achieve operational advantages and the company’s ‘green’ goals while supporting the team. As a system that has to undergo a major change, the organization might expect to become a distinct supplier in the region owing to its eco-friendly initiatives and ideas. There are discernable restrictions that may avert employees from supporting the change initiatives because there are many additional levels to the proposed change. The majority of organizational functions and relationships with suppliers and customers will be affected, having the management team revise its change plans dynamically (Smollan, 2015). On the other hand, the company will be most likely to succeed in the case where the management would also gain more insight into how different local entities function and create value for participants-citizens (for instance, media, government, or associations).
SARHS has to implement specific initiatives to make sure that each of its facilities operates in the same way, with no delays and challenges related to change management. The process of change management at SARHS would involve a large number of participants because all organizational systems would be aimed to complete organizational change. On the other hand, SARHS would not be able to ignore the feedback from every particular employee, which means that events of such size require the active participation of the whole team throughout the change process (Sune and Gibb, 2015). As a large international company, SARHS would have to invest in technology utilization to overcome the implications related to the practical and strategic sides of the business. The management does not know yet what the potential costs of change are, so it may be important to calculate the impact of this event before implementation.
Duration of Change
In addition to the burden related to the change process itself, the team will also have to deal with the duration of change. Despite the willingness to communicate the latest change initiatives to employees in a timely manner, the management of SARHS would be required to determine the essential processes it would need to perform due to the time required to complete certain tasks is always a factor. The management should be aware of the sense of urgency among team members to set up the most appropriate pace for the team and help every team member assimilate within the framework of the proposed change (Imran et al., 2016). The incidence of ‘green slots’ should also be considered because more frequent gatherings would increase the company’s chances to prepare for change and make sure that specific follow-up activities are set up to support employees and retain them. The initiative is rather complex due to the presence of employee resistance.
People Management Issues
New Roles and Responsibilities
The biggest problem related to people management in SARHS is the necessity to restate essential roles and responsibilities after the change is implemented. Knowing that the organization expects employee shortage, it may also be safe to say that employee definitions will be redefined as well (Hoover and Harder, 2015). This is going to happen because the company’s position in the market depends on professional employees who can preserve economic stability and apply their knowledge in a timely manner. Under the condition where an organizational change is proposed, new roles and responsibilities may be refuted by employees whose workload would increase drastically (Cordella and Tempini, 2015). Even though SARHS seems to try to extend its operations, the management will be required to face employee shortage and the need to downsize while also forcing workers to take on additional errands. The reorganization is most definitely going to influence people management across SARHS because it will take a lot of time to adjust the personnel to renewed roles and responsibilities.
Increased Resistance to Change
Another problem with people management that cannot be ignored when discussing the change process at SARHS is the increased level of stress that employees are going to experience after getting involved in the third serious organizational change within the last several years. Most likely, employee resistance is going to deteriorate organizational communication and maintain a stressful organizational environment with a limited number of options. The inability to preserve consistent communication with the team would cause additional issues for the organization, forcing the managerial unit to gather additional feedback to see how employee-company relationships could be improved (Ming-Chu and Meng-Hsiu, 2015). The lack of consistency in organizational changes proposed by SARHS could create confusion and generate even more resistance among the workforce. The company should not ignore all the stress and anxiety linked to constant organizational changes because its overall success depends on the well-being of its staff.
One more issue that may interfere with successful organizational change at SARHS is the presence of inadequate periods for change implementation. The existing experience shows that change management is a time-consuming initiative that requires the administration to implement adjustments rather quickly while making sure that no serious issues are affecting the change process (Rafferty and Jimmieson, 2017). Nonetheless, the majority of employees seem to be reluctant to change (especially due to the upsurge in needs and responsibilities), which makes it harder to implement changes at a reasonable pace. SARHS employees are most likely to remain uncomfortable with the changes proposed by the management. There have to be additional activities helping the management ensure that the team is on the same page with the administration (Will, 2015). These activities may include (but never be limited to) communicating change time frames, monitoring change results, and collecting and processing feedback.
Absence of Support Systems and Training Programs
The last people management issue that is going to be reviewed within the framework of the current paper is the lack of proper training programs and support systems at SARHS. Change implementation requires a decent level of knowledge and a thorough understanding of what has to be achieved, meaning that employees remain responsible for their professional development with no support from the management. In this case, a support system with additional training initiatives would help significantly, allowing employees to decrease the burden of additional responsibilities (Hornstein, 2015). A potential training program implemented at SARHS with the intention to mitigate the negative effect of multiple previous change initiatives would require the management to assign additional supervisors to the task, making it harder for the team to reduce the workload (Byron et al., 2015). The lack of training sessions and interpersonal support would lead to a situation where the existing level of employee knowledge would be insufficient to support organizational change.
Development of a Coaching Plan
Based on the current information, it may be recommended to develop a thorough coaching plan. The rationale behind this initiative is that the management would have a chance to communicate messages more efficiently and impact employees in a positive way. The latter will be possible because a coaching plan would transform employees’ responses to change and filter their negativity, weeding out the positive aspects of reducing the carbon footprint of SARHS and moving to a different facility. With the help of an additional coaching plan, the organization would give employees recognition and retain the most valuable talent.
Positive reinforcement opportunities linked to the coaching plan will be supported by the proper allocation of management resources and activities. This would build commitment among employees and help them realize that the idea of reducing the company’s carbon footprint is a long-term initiative where the results of implementation cannot be assessed immediately (Rosha and Lace, 2016). The company will have to communicate essential ideas to its frontline employees who would later serve as change leaders intended to share information with all the other employees at lower levels. By building up the commitment to change among employees, the managerial unit at SARHS is going to maintain long-term adoption of the proposed change.
Development of a Training Plan
An all-inclusive training plan would help the team develop skills and capabilities that could not be developed with the help of the coaching plan discussed above. Paired with effective communication, employee training would become a holistic approach to setting up organizational activities intended to raise employee awareness and promote the idea of reducing the carbon footprint. Nonetheless, the team would have to do more than just introduce employees to training sessions. The idea would be to help employees recognize the gaps in their knowledge and skills to motivate them to stay with the organization.
Instead of conflicts, this would help the management generate a partnership where employees who are being trained and the change management team would communicate effectively and provide each other with timely feedback regarding the change initiatives. This partnership would help the managerial unit at SARHS develop a greater understanding of change among employees and provide them with multiple reasons to stay with the organization (Aydin and Gormus, 2015). The benefit of this approach is that training is going to bring out the best in employees and help them achieve personal benefits while also helping the organization.
Development of a Flexible Resistance Management Plan
Knowing that resistance to change is one of the most important issues that affect SARHS, it may be critical to address this problem with the help of a resistance management plan. This plan will be intended to develop natural positive reactions and mitigate the influence of resistance on employee performance and attitudes toward the organization. Communication and training will not be enough to cover the majority of employees’ concerns regarding their future with the company, so it will be necessary to perceive resistance as an essential element of organizational success.
The plan should begin with the identification of the most likely sources of resistance, such as the unwillingness to move out, the fear of being fired, and the challenge of adhering to renewed guidelines. The organization should listen closely to all the feedback provided by employees (including its negative manifestations) to prepare SARHS for an organizational change in the most efficient way (Aarons et al., 2015). On a bigger scale, the proposed resistance management plan would increase employee awareness and motivate workers to reduce their resistance. The important point that has to be taken into consideration is that resistance is only a consequence and not the root of organizational issues.
Factors Intended to Build Change Capability
Consistent Analysis of Change and Its Impact on Stakeholders
Throughout all stages of developing change, the team should analyze the impact that it could have on stakeholders and employees. This is necessary to predict any challenges related to efficient management and create a scenario where all stakeholder groups would be impacted in positive ways. The SARHS team should build engagement among employees with the help of smaller steps toward significant changes. Even though the existing resistance among employees is evident, it may be critical to foresee the challenges associated with change management from the managerial point of view in order to prevent resistance from stakeholders.
The overall influence of risks concerning change management is so high due to the inability of organizations similar to SARHS to mitigate the impact of employee resistance. In this case, stakeholders would be put under additional pressure as well because internal conflicts would affect the company’s efficiency in a negative way. These adjustments are necessary because the management would have to explain the decision to move to a different facility to its customers as well (Appelbaum et al., 2017). So as not to generate misunderstanding and confusion, the team should analyze the potential effects of change during each implementation step to determine the existing gaps and opportunities for improvement.
Communication Strategy Analysis
Communication is another area that requires specific attention from the management because change efforts are most likely to fail when there is no effective communication between the employer and employees. To mitigate these challenges, SARHS would have to facilitate the change process by ensuring that every statement is supported with evidence and represents employee values and aspirations, at least partially. A thorough analysis of communication strategies would also help the managerial unit define future communication strategies and introduce real-life examples where necessary to facilitate the dialog between the organization and the employees who resist the most.
The organization should attempt to engage employees in awareness-increasing activities to make sure that the chosen communication strategy is both comprehensive and comprehensible enough for the team. Based on their previous experience, the management team should take into consideration what helped the team display positive attitudes in the past and form the new communication strategies based on the preceding experience (Naveed et al., 2017). Another idea is to receive all possible feedback from employees to see how the current change could be adjusted to the needs of employees without transforming the initial objective of the proposed change.
Training Plan Analysis
Another important element of the change management plan that has to be addressed is the training plan proposed by the managerial team. To make the best use of it, the team will have to analyze the existing recommendations for employees and come up with the list of skills that have to be possessed by employees who nurture organizational change. Accordingly, the company will show commitment to both its employees and organizational objectives. The inherent value behind the analysis of SARHS’ training plan activities is the enforcement of positive attitudes and the creation of a change-inducing workplace.
A recurrent analysis of the training plan will be required to help the organization get in line with the ever-changing employee needs and discover the areas where the most resistant workers could have knowledge gaps. In addition, the team would provide stakeholders with timely updates regarding the implementation of change and analyze the potential challenges that could affect the team in both the short- and long term (Robertson et al., 2015). The most important part of the analysis should be the consideration of how the workforce would benefit from training, as their presence within the organization and the willingness to contribute are superior to any other goals that the organization might have.
Based on the fact that SARHS is one of the most well-known suppliers in the healthcare industry, its initiatives should be as comprehensive as possible to allow for employee retention. This would help them significantly in developing a positive workplace where employees would not be as worried about business relocation and constant organizational changes. A thorough focus on coaching and training is an essential element of future organizational change because it would create opportunities for the organization to fill in employee knowledge and skill gaps. To build a sustainable and eco-friendly organization, the managerial team would have to communicate its objectives clearly and ensure that employee benefits stand at the forefront of their strategy because otherwise, the majority of employees would become entirely reluctant to change and give up on SARHS initiatives.
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