In today’s ever-changing environment, success demands to keep a competitive advantage. To achieve this, effective managers recognize change as essential to the survival of an organization. Therefore, it is important to consider the impact of change on organization members and their reactions to it. Change is necessary and it must be implemented at the right time by using right techniques.
Diagnosing the need for change
A competent manager scans the internal and external environment and collects data on organizational trends. A careful watch is maintained on values, goals, and activities to ensure they fit with customers’ demands and needs. If there is a deficiency or gap, an effective manager works to remedy the situation. Needless to say, to manage change effectively, one must be aware of the need for change. This can be identified by analyzing the internal factors such as the performance level of the workforce as well as the external factors such as the activities of competitors.
Managing resistance to change
It takes much managerial planning and skill to achieve innovation and change. Employees and sometimes even employers often show resistance to chance. Sometimes, a change is opposed even when it appears to be in the best interests of those affected.
One approach to beat resistance has been offered by Kurt Lewin, who divides the process into three steps. The first step is unfreezing, it means developing initial awareness of a change needed. The second change focuses on learning new behaviors. The third step, ‘refreezing’, centers on reinforcing new behaviors, usually positive results, feelings of accomplishments and rewards from others. His approach helps managers recognize that an unfreezing period is needed before individuals change willingly. Furthermore, refreezing is important to reinforce and maintain changes. Managers can overcome resistance by employees through education and communication. This means giving enough information and ensuring the change is clearly communicated. Participation and involvement is another way to overcome resistance to change. Resistance is less pronounced when those affected by change participate in planning and implementing it. Facilitation and support can overcome resistance. Managerial encouragement, training and providing proper equipment and material to the members of the workforce can help reduce resistance.