Change management refers to the process of ensuring that everything is put in order in the organization in order to achieve change effectively. The government must put in place mechanisms for achieving change before the commencement of the organizational change. There are several principles that play a major role in determining the achievement of effective change management. The paper will discuss a change that took place in my workplace and relevant principles that impact change (Creasey & Hiatt, 2003).
Description of Experience
Personally, I have been involved in a change initiative in my workplace. The change entailed the computerization of the finance department in the company. Initially, the department used manual procedures in receiving, sending, maintaining, and keeping records. The process involved adjusting in the setting of the department. IT specialists assisted in the installation of computers in the department as well as the required accounting software and other programs. The change manager led the change in assistance by the finance officer. Employees in the finance department received communication about the change.
The finance officer had previously discussed the issue with all the affected employees. The main events that occurred before the implementation of the change involved analyzing the effectiveness of the change to the finance department as well as to the entire organization. Employees received adequate training on the use of accounting software and other programs applicable in the new system. The change manager passed the new system through a test program to ensure that it functioned according to expectation (Meyer & Stensaker, 2006).
Change Management Principles
There are several principles that affect the change management activities in the organization. The principles offer key insights upon which effective change management may be applied. Below is a description of these principles.
Senders and Receivers
This principle of change management sees change as the process that involves a sender and a receiver. In most cases, employees act as the receivers while the senders comprise of the management representatives such as the immediate supervisors and even the CEO. The sender and receiver concept is very important to the actions undertaken by change management teams (Creasey & Hiatt, 2003). The sender uses the best way possible in order to share the information related to change.
In most cases, the receivers have just received a fraction of the communication about a change, or even in worse situations, they may make up answers for questions not understood. Communication of change management is effective when employees are able to internalize the change messages as well as being able to begin the transition process (Creasey & Hiatt, 2003).
Based on the above principle, all the employees in the company received relevant information from the initiators of the change. The finance officer, together with the change manager, explained the importance of the change to the employees clearly.
Resistance and Comfort
The principle holds that individuals naturally resist change. Employees usually perceive change differently, and several factors may influence the amount of change they are able to sustain. Change can be blocked by fear of the unknown from employees. The resistance that arises in the organization when it is not well controlled or managed may negatively affect the business. The management must design programs for managing resistance during the change process. Therefore, change management must address the issues of employee resistance. The management must deal with the root cause of the resistance (Creasey & Hiatt, 2003).
Based on this principle, there was resistance amongst most of the employees in the department. Some employees had a fear of the unknown regarding their security in their jobs. The management had a well-structured program that encouraged employees to accept the changes. This helped in reducing the resistance.
Authority for Change
This is an important factor in the success of the change implementation process. Employees are less resistant in instances where there is a big change in authority. In this case, certain individuals assume the task of legitimizing change in the business. A strong authority determines the success of change (Van Dijk & Van Dick, 2009). Leaders of change must be active and vigilant throughout the change process. The top-level authority must communicate information relating to changes to the mid-level managers and supervisors as well as managing their resistance to change. The authority to change also communicates business reasons for the change to the employees (Van Dijk & Van Dick, 2009).
Based on the principle, the top-level management communicated the reasons for the changes to the finance department employees and to the entire organization. The change manager, together with the finance officer, communicated the business reasons behind the adoption of the change.
The firm’s value system influences the ease of implementing change. Employees receive information on how to be responsive to customers and accountable to the business results. Each firm’s value affects the ease with which the top-down change process is applied. Project managers and business managers must consider the shift in the value system on their ability to manage change. The issues of the employee, together with those of the entire business, must be well addressed. Change agents must develop individual change management models (Meyer & Stensaker, 2006).
Using this principle, it is evident that little was covered during the change process in our organization. Change management models targeting each individual employee were not developed.
Radical vs. Incremental Change
In the radical environment, change takes place within a short duration. The change results from a significant opportunity facing the business. The change entails the entire replacement of the existing programs. In contrast, incremental changes take place within a long period, and the changes are just improvements to existing business processes. While in incremental change, employees have sufficient time to adjust, in radical change, change management is often necessary (Creasey & Hiatt, 2003).
Using this principle, the change in the finance department was incremental, and employees were given sufficient time to prepare for change. Change management was also employed to ensure that the entire process was a success.
Change is a Process
The principle views change as a continuous process rather than a single and one-time concept. Change must be broken down into phases, thereby making it easy for change managers to adapt to their strategies and techniques. The change management managers must always remain active and vigilant in the change processes. Managers must customize their change management activities based on where they are in the change process (Van Dijk & Van Dick, 2009).
Based on this principle, the change managers effectively broke down the phases of computerizing the finance department. There was the installation of computers and relevant software and programs, the testing of programs, the training of employees, testing of the software’s on real data, correction of anomalies, and the actual implementation (Meyer & Stensaker, 2006).
In summary, change management is an essential process while undertaking changes in the organization. All the relevant parties to the changes must be well involved in order to aid in the success of the change. There are important principles that influence the success of the change management process. They include; change as a process, value systems, senders and receivers, resistance, and comfort.
Creasey, T. J., & Hiatt, J. M. (2003). Change management: The people side of change. Madison, Wis: Prosci Learning Center Publications.
Meyer, C., & Stensaker, I. (2006). Developing capacity for change. Journal of Change Management, 6 (2), 217-231.
Van Dijk, R., & Van, Dick, R. (2009). Navigating organizational change: Change leaders, employee resistance, and work-based identities. Journal of Change Management, 9 (2), 143-163.