Change is a process of introducing new policies in an organization with the aim of either improving the working conditions of the employees or increasing the productivity of the firm. In various organizations, change is always resisted as employees view change as a tool to either reduce their freedom or create a situation that will affect their normal working routine. For a chance to be essential and applicable planning, consultation, and involvement of the group of people that are being affected by the change should be put in mind. When implementing change one should always bear in mind that change cannot be forced, if employees are forced to embrace change, then they will automatically resist the change even if the change was in good faith and aimed at improving their working conditions (Kendrick, T. 2007).
As Ray’s consultancy, the first thing I would do is to take him through the process of change. That is, I should explain to him first all challenges that he is possibly likely to meet, second the common barriers that make the change process a difficult procedure, and finally, the possible ways of implementing the change. Several challenges face organizations as they try to implement changes, fast of all everyone fears change. Therefore, one must try to maintain the energy and enthusiasm that employees have throughout the process of change. Employees tend to feel demoralized due to uncertainty about the future; some believe that change will make their work uncomfortable as they will be required to take new responsibilities. It becomes important to have a well-organized strategy for communicating the change process to the employees so that they can accept and feel that they are also part of the change and motivate them towards achieving it (Tobin, R. 2008).
Another challenge faced by managers when implementing change is to ensure that the organization adapts to change without going back to the old routines. Managers should ensure that all individuals are resilient enough to adapt to the changes affecting their working environment. This assists the organization and the employees to survive a hard time as they go through the change process. Giving priority to organizational resources and project is another form of a challenge that faces managers on their way to implementing change, as it is noted today many organizations have very few resources and numerous projects that these resources should be allocated to.
Managers must be able to identify those projects that need to be given priority to avoid employees getting saturated by several projects taking part at the same time (Kendrick, T. 2007). A very difficult challenge that is faced by managers when planning ways to effectively implement change is how to cultivate a cultural shift that will sustain and create a meaningful organizational change. Employees feel that what managers only do is to create the need for a change now and then, which to some extend is true because changing is not static it is dynamic and constant. Therefore, managers must create a momentum that will continue and should not be dropped at any point to ensure that change is sustained to a necessary survival.
According to Armstrong, J.S. (2009) the other issue that makes a change unsuccessful is the numerous barriers that exist either internally or externally. Managers should be able to identify barriers of change that at likely to face in their organization. Several barriers hinder and prevent change from ever taking place. It only becomes easy to implement change when one is fully aware of the barriers that are most likely to hinder the implementation of change and how he or she can overcome them. One of these barriers is having undefined objectives and goals, for any change to take place effectively managers should have clearly defined goals and objectives that they are aiming to achieve through the change that they are introducing. They should pinpoint all the roles that each employee will play to make the change successful and specify all performance standards that should be followed when implementing the change. The manager should calculate and measure the financial availability before implementing the change, financial constraints are one of the major barriers that lead to the fall down of any change no matter how good the change was.
The other issue is lack of enough resources or bad allocation of few available resources. Most organizations have inadequate resources and thus as management plans to implement the changes he or she should but in mind the available resources and how they can be allocated to every department that will be affected by the change. Organizational structure is another barrier that hinders change implementation (Tobin, R. 2008). Therefore, managers should ensure that the organization structure is well modified to enable easy communication between employees and various heads of departments. On the other hand, they should ensure that they avoid as much as possible traditional hierarchy structure, which made it more complex to communicate either upwards or downwards.
The last thing, but most important thing that managers should watch out for as it acts as the major barrier of change is communication. Any manager should ensure that there is an open form of communication, if employees are kept in darkness to issues related to change, then the organization is faced with fierce change resistance. If change is not communicated to the employees at the right time and given time to absorb the information, then, they tend to feel like there was a conspiracy planned against them, which leads to an unfriendly working atmosphere (Kendrick, T. 2007).
When change is being planned a process of how best, it can be implemented must be put into consideration this is referred to as strategies and tactics of implementing change. After understanding all the challenges, and possible barriers that Ray is likely to face, it is now high time to advise him on how to go about implementing the change into his organization and work team. First, of all as a manager he needs to understand that if he wants employees to accept the change, he should not decide what to change and ways of implementing that change, he should allow the employees to contribute.
As the employees are part of the change, they become the stakeholder of the change, and therefore, they must participate in deciding the type of change that they want and how well it can be implemented. He should only give suggestions and let the employees debate the issue out, give the feedback and he can easily capitalize on the feedback given by the employees to initiate the change. Employees should not be treated as passive observers of what is going on, but as part and perusal of the change being implemented. Any form of resistance is an indication that something is taking place; good managers should observe this resistance keenly and learn from it. In doing so one can make decisions, which help to implement his or her plans more smother and with fewer efforts.
According to Armstrong, J. S. (2009) for the change to be more effective one must have clear strategies on how to deal with cultural issues. Culture is the greatest force that prevents change from taking place. Therefore, any manager willing to succeed in implementing the change must be prepared to change the culture or else face a failure. Another strategy that must be implemented when introducing change is trust. Without trust change can never take place, one will only have assimilation of change where employees pretend to have accepted and adapted to the change, but in the real sense, nothing has taken place. Trust must be built to both employees and management for change to take place and meaningful results to be achieved (Tobin, R. 2008).
If Ray keenly observes all the parts discussed he needs not worry about how to implement change and overcome any form of resistance. The discussion explains step-by-step what he needs to do to overcome resistance. In normal cases, resistance is caused by underrating the barriers of change and adapting poor strategies for implementing change. For any manager to have a successful change implementation, he must make sure that he had to streamline all the barriers of change, plan and review all his strategies and introduce the change at the right time.
Armstrong, J. S. (2009). Strategies for implementing change: an experiential approach Working paper. Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Marketing Department. Philadelphia. Print.
Kendrick, T. (2007).The Project Management Tool Kit: 100 Tips and Techniques for Getting the Job Done Right. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn. New Yolk. Print.
Tobin, R. (2008). Overcoming resistance to change: Self-study workbooks. 2nd Ed. Kogan Page. London. Print.