Companies that are inventing new goals and objectives have a lot of organizational changes that they have to plan for. Managers should carefully plan when implementing the new changes as research supports the idea that stress can result from cognitive processes associated with change. This paper will present ways in which change agents can contribute to change resistance.
Explain how change agents can contribute to change resistance.
Change agents should be very careful when initiating change in the organization lest they become enemies of the same changes they are initiating. Change agents require a proactive approach and consultation with employees who are the most affected by change. Therefore change agents can contribute to change resistance if:
- They threaten security of their employees. If employees are intimidated by the change, especially fear of the unknown, they will vehemently resist any type of change the mangers may initiate. Managers ought to plan and carefully execute their change by informing workers who are the most affected by the change.
- They cause misunderstanding- change agents may be misunderstood while explaining reasons for change to employees and in turn employees resist the change. They should ensure that whatever they are explaining is crystal clear to employees and causes no misunderstanding.
- Failure to provide information or explain the need for change- change agents should plan carefully to pass the message across to the employees as they are the most affected by the change, failure to do so will result to employees resisting change as they fear for the unknown that the change will bring with it.
- Failure to build employee relations- research indicates that personnel react favorably in social situations and thus if change agents introduce changes without building good employee relations, then the employees will most likely resist any changes. Change agents should conduct social events t introduce change initiatives helping the managers sell the change processes and encourage a community minded approach.
- Failure to involve employees in the process- employees should be involved in various stages in implementing change.
Describe the ways in which organizations can use resistance to change as a change agent.
Organizations can effectively use resistance to change employees and leader as change agents themselves. The Theory of Constraints (TOC) and the Thinking Processes can also be used by:
- Remedial training- this will assist in equipping personnel to work with new technologies that may be introduced. This will help improve confidence I employees that they will be part of the change and thus feel less threatened.
- Building employee relations- by encouraging negotiation as part of the process. Workers will need to be encouraged to voice their concerns to help the organization work towards their common objectives and in this way help stem negative sentiments towards change.
- Building trust and security- if employees are assured of their security then they will root for the change and encourage others to follow suit as their jobs are not threatened.
- Involve resistant to change in the process (Frank Patrick's Focused Performance).
- Provide information- proposed change will create fear and anxiety if not well explained. It is therefore important that fear of the unknown is well explained to the people who resist change and convince them to convince others (Organizational Changes).
Describe the common mistakes managers make when trying to initiate a change
According to Kotter, people and specially managers make mistakes. Even successful change efforts result to some mistakes that include not following the below eight steps for leading change:
- Not creating urgency- if the whole organization wants change, then it will happen thus the need to develop urgency. Employees need to be motivated and managers should not underestimate how hard it is to drive people from what they are used to. Kotter suggests that at least a third of employees need to be convinced to effect change.
- Not forming a powerful coalition- change agents need to convince people that the change was necessary. Change leader agents should bring in a team of influential people n the company and talk to them as a team and convince them that they need to work as a team to build momentum in convincing other employees on the necessity of change.
- Not creating a strong vision for change- change should be accompanied by many great ideas and solutions that should be easily grasped and remembered by the people. Clear vision will make sense to people if they are clearly explained and understand what the change is for.
- Not communicating the vision for change- success will be determined by what change agents will do with the vision. The vision will only be blurred to people if it is not clearly and frequently explained. The vision need be explained at every opportunity and it is also important to walk the talk rather than just calling people to meetings and only outlining the changes.
- Failure to empowering others to act on the vision. Managers should realize that some people may be opposed to change and should not fail to act swiftly to check the ‘obstacles’. Executing the vision talked earlier will involve removing these obstacles and help the change move forward.
- Failing to create short-term wins. Managers should not fail to realize that nothing motivates more than success and therefore should achieve to give the company earlier victory in the change process. Staff will want to see some results from the change and managers should create short-term recognizable targets.
- Failure to consolidate improvements and sustain the momentum for change - according to Kotter, if victory is declared too earlier, then many change projects will fail. He argues that real change is a long-tem change and each success should be treated like an opportunity to build on what went wrong and use it to improve n the same.
- Failure to institutionalize the new approaches - it is important that for any changes to stick, they should be made the core of the business. The values behind the vision should reflect the organization’s corporate culture and it is important that managers continue supporting the change (Power projects Inc.).
Steps that are required to overcome problems in the change process
There are 6 tactics that have been suggested in dealing with resistance to change. They are:
- Education and communication-educating employees on the importance of change can help reduce resistance. Communicating full facts and clearing any misunderstanding to employees will help subdue resistance. This can be done by one-to-one communication, memos, reports or group discussions.
- Participation-before making the proposed changes, it is vital to ensure that those opposed and especially their leaders are made to be part of the decision making, it will make them hard to resist changes that they participated in.
- Facilitation and support- to reduce resistance, change agents can offer some incentives like a leave, training or transfers in order to reduce resistance. The disadvantage with this method is that it is expensive and time consuming with no guaranteed assurance of success.
- Negotiation-to lessen resistance, change agents can offer something of value to resistors of change. This is especially if resistance is from a powerful source that can be given a specific reward to meet their individual needs.
- Manipulation and cooptation- this is the converting of influence attempts. Facts can be twisted and distorting to make them more attractive while creating false rumors to get employees accept change. This may include the threat to close some plants or firing of some employees who are vocal on opposing changes.
- Coercion-this is the application of threats upon resistors. Also employees can be threatened with transfers, loss of promotions, negative performance evaluations to employees if they resist change (Management Method).
In conclusion, change in an organization is necessary and therefore it is important that challenges in implementing changes are fully institutionalized. Resistance to change can be overcome by effective teaching employees on reasons for change.