Several strategies, elements and tools can be employed in managing change within an organization successfully without compromising other stable factors such as employee’s hierarchical positions. For instance, stakeholder’s resistance can bring about the delay in implementing positive change in an organization that may result in threatening set goals. According to Furst & Cable (2008), factors that may lead to resistance to change involve misunderstanding amongst employees and personnel at different management levels, diverse assessment of the state of affairs (which may arise from disagreements on the advantages and disadvantages of the said process), and finally, self-interest.
Change agents sit at a better position in influencing undecided or members within the organization who may resist change. For example, an accountant who is unsure of the position he or she may hold after the restructuring. Change agents can take the opportunity to explain to the member the position he or she will be in after the change takes effect. The main purpose why change agents are important in influencing organizational restructuring is because, they would form part of the newly changed organization and they sit at a better position in roping in other members without much effort (Self & Schraeder, 2009).
The use of “buy-in” within a department makes restricting easy at it enables other members to understand how the given change would benefit them at a personal level. These are people who the top management takes in and explains to them the benefits of change both to the organization and individually. For instance, in the finance department, the top most finance office should be made to understand fully the importance of the change to the organization and at a personal level. Tavakoli (2010) argue that once convinced, it reduces opposition from other members of the department to resist the necessary change.
Transparency forms a very critical tool in explaining, illustrating, and showing exactly how the change will be and how it will take effect. Additionally, it would help clear the air on its implications, its nature, and full particulars. Transparency helps in reducing the level of anxiety, stress, and any potential threat to the intended change. For instance, employees may develop the fear that the intended change may lead to layoffs, demotions, and change of pay scales. Through support and facilitation, the top management helps the employee’s ways of dealing with their unfounded fear and anxiety through the transitional period. Transparency also involves the provision of specialized training, holidays, and counseling (Jones, 2010).
Through coercion, the top management can also explicitly and implicitly arm twist and force employees into accepting transition. For example, managers can make it openly make it clear that any form of resistance to the changes intended may lead to loss of jobs, promotion, and or firing. Even though employees would go along with the intended change, it may not yield positive results since they would develop a feeling that they have been duped into a situation of uncertainty. However, combined with other elements such as by use of agents and or “buy-ins”, the resisting employees would soon gradually adopt to the new system without much reluctance for fear of the unknown, which may include sacking or demotions.
Through and by use of coercion, the top management and employees can enter into a mutual agreement on the nature of the transition in which for instance, an accountant can be promised a better pay or promotion if the change takes effect successfully (Jones, 2010). Additionally, the mutual agreement can also play a significant part, for example, if successfully implemented, the employees can be accorded a once in a lifetime treatment by the organization. This would go a long way in ensuring that the employees and junior staff help the organization during the transitional. This would come in the hope that if all goes well, the employees would receive rewards through a given mutual agreement. The mutual agreement helps employees team up with the top management for the benefit of the organization. At the same time, ensuring that their positions as employees within the organization are safeguarded (Self & Schraeder, 2009). Through the participation and involvement, employees are more in a position to buy easily into the idea instead of resisting it. It thus brings down the level of resistance while at the same time improves the general feeling of comfort amongst the employees on the impending and upcoming changes.
Additionally, through mutual agreement, the management would encourage shared diagnosis in which employee’s views, opinions, shared concerns, and ideas are brought forth in implementing the change. It helps as it enables employees to develop confidence in the organization through and by seeing their ideas form part of the changes (Lunenburg, 2010). Shared diagnosis further helps employees change their mindset on given particulars or issues within the organization. It thus brings about the change in employee attitude, behavior, and if repeated over a given period, will bring about organizational change through and by the intended transition.
Furst, S. A., & Cable, D. M. (2008). Employee resistance to organizational change: managerial influence tactics and leader-member exchange. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(2), 453.
Jones, G. R. (2010). Organizational theory, design, and change. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Lunenburg, F. C. (2010, September). Forces for and resistance to organizational change. In National Forum of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal 27(4), pp. 1-10).
Self, D. R., & Schraeder, M. (2009). Enhancing the success of organizational change: Matching readiness strategies with sources of resistance. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 30(2), 167-182.
Tavakoli, M. (2010). A positive approach to stress, resistance, and organizational change. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 5, 1794-1798.