Last updated June 2016
Change is any alteration in the work environment. Every individual and organisation experiences it (Plunkett & Attner, 1994). Change is sometimes very difficult to manage. Therefore, enough time and effort need to be put in place to manage it. Considering change a process may be useful.
How to implement a change?
In order to implement a program of change, a manager must be aware of why people resist change, why alteration efforts fail, and what techniques can be used to successfully modify behaviour (Plunkett & Attner, 1994).
People resist a programme of change for many reasons. Loss of money, loss of jobs, increased challenges within the job, and learning new things are some of the reasons why some people may resist it.
Having identified the reasons of resistance, managers should identify why a programme of change may fail. There may be many reasons as to why it may fail. For example, faulty thinking, lack of adequate resources, lack of people’s commitment to the proposed change, and poor time are to name but a few. Since there are many reasons of failure, managers need to explore a wide variety of techniques to implement a change.
Techniques to implement a change
There are some techniques which can be used to deal with any resistance to change. Participation of the people concerned, open communication, advance warning, and reassurance may be very useful in implementing a change.
It is important to involve people in the implementation process. Asking employees’ feedback, support and commitment is very useful before a change is initiated. If they are involved in the process, they will feel valued and committed to it.
Change should not be like a thunder storm. People need to be given advance warning before a change is implemented. Any sudden change may create confusion among the members of staff in an organisation. Therefore, open communication and advance warning are required to implement a change.
And finally, people need to be reassured. Their concerns need to be addressed appropriately. They need to feel that the proposed change is for greater good. Only then, they will be willing and committed to contribute to the implementation of the change.
No doubt that, implementing a change may sometimes be very difficult. Therefore, managers need to have an appropriate plan in place before any programme of change is initiated . Understanding some of the academic models e.g. Force Field Analysis and Kotter’s 8 step model are very useful in this regard.
Plunkett, W. & Attner, R. (1994) Introduction to Management. 5th edition, USA: International Thomson Publishing
Johnson, G., Scholes, K. and Whittington, R. (2006) Exploring Corporate Strategy: Text and Cases, 7th Edition, UK: Prentice Hall
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He is a graduate of Leeds Metropolitan University and London South Bank University.