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According to Yukl, people resist change in organizations due to economic threats. People fear that changes in established job tasks or routines will result in lower income. People fear that they will not be able to perform the new tasks and assignments as per their previous standards especially when the management ties their remuneration to their productivity. According to Yulk, even a change will be beneficial to the company; it will still face resistance from the workers if it results in loss of job security, income or other benefits (Hellriegel and Scolum, 2007). For a long period, our health center used a manual system to record, maintain and file customer information. The management decided to computerize the system so that customer records would be captured at the reception and instant messages would be sent to the next point the customer was to visit, starting with the observation room, then the consultation room, then the laboratory, and lastly the pharmacy. This would minimize the movements of staff from each point and automate patients’ records. There was a lot of resistance among the staff since there were rumors that the system would result in loss jobs for some of the staff, especially the support staff who did the manual jobs.
The management overcame this obstacle by the top management taking the time to discuss the issue with all the staff at department’s level assuring them that no single person would lose their job because of the new system. In addition, the company offered to pay for training for all the staff, which reduced the fear of not being able to use the system.
One of the most crucial means of managing change is through communication, which means spelling out the need for the change clearly and explaining the direction the organization is heading. The management should not force the change on the workers. This will make the workers understand and more willing to accept the change. The other way is training the workers and giving them the tools necessary to implement the change (Palmer, 2004). This will make them comfortable with the upcoming changes. Most importantly, the management should involve the workers in decision making, which allows the team to have a voice. When the staff get a chance to be heard, they are likely to get on board easily (Sharma, 2006).
Change is an unavoidable factor in any company, and the most effective managers know that adoption of new technologies, implementation of new processes and change management are integral aspects of running a successful business (Lussier, 2011). With the change, resistance becomes inevitable; it, therefore, becomes almost impossible to eliminate resistance to change totally, since change is a continuous process. This follows that eliminating resistance may not be possible, but managing it is key in helping people in a work environment to readily accept change.
As a manager and a leader, it is crucial to understand that resistance is a result of fear, and in most cases, people fear what they do not understand. In order to minimize resistance, managers have to overcome the fears the workers face and create an atmosphere that accommodates adoption and acceptance (Griffin and Moorhead, 2011). It is, therefore, crucial to inform the workers about the change, explain the benefits and opportunities resulting from the change, provide them with tools, knowledge and skills needed in implementing the change, and continually address the ongoing needs, concerns and questions. It is also essential that the management involve the workers in the change process so that they can feel as part of the team, rather than feeling like the change is forced on them. Top management should also take interest in the change process so that workers will feel that this is a process for the whole organization (Harsh, 2011).
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