Understanding and Coping with Change

Topics: Brinker International, Chili's, Norman E. Brinker Pages: 5 (1621 words) Published: December 16, 2013
Although change has become commonplace in modern organizations, the reported failure rates of change implementation range from 40% to as high as 70% (McKay et al., 2013). Considering our global economy and technological innovation, this rate is alarmingly high. It is no surprise that these statistics have prompted researchers to investigate the causes underlying change failure in modern organizational settings (McKay et al., 2013). Employee resistance has been identified as a primary source of change implementation failure across a range of organizations and industries worldwide (McKay et al., 2013). Change is a situation that interrupts normal patterns of organization and calls for participants to enact new patterns, involving interplay of deliberate and emergent processes that can be highly ambiguous for everyone involved (Ford et al., 2008). Employees resist change for a variety of more or less logical reasons (Baack, 2012). These reasons will be explored to understand the external and internal factors of change within organizations. In addition, a scenario will be presented to analyze how change was introduced, perceived, and implemented at a real life organization.

Change is never an easy task for change enactors or recipients. As human beings, we are naturally hesitant to embrace change (Baack, 2012). However, change is sometimes necessary for organizations to keep up in this ever changing and challenging global economy. It can mean the difference between success and failure for organizations. There are both internal and external factors impacting employees' perception of organizational change. In addition, it may vary greatly from employee to employee, so what's impacting an individual's perception of the change can have opposite reactions on others. Internal changes, or internal driving forces, are the type of changes that occur within a company. External changes, or external driving forces, are changes that occur with no say from the company, such as changes in economy or the industry itself. Such internal factors that can influence change and the opposition of that change are changes in team-work and overall changes in organizational culture. An example of an external factor can be the need of different technology and the adaptation to a different way of performing the same job due to technological advancements that are required in the industry. Baack lists a lack of understanding as a possible reason why people resist change (2012).

Not understanding why the change is necessary is a type of resistance to change that can be just as simple as that (Baack, 2012); no further explanation required. One can develop on that by exploring the reasons behind our innate human attribute of resisting what is customary. Having to adapt to new technological machinery can also seem as an unnecessary addition to the work-flow for many employees. Baack states the necessity to explain the new methods and educate employees on the reasons behind the change (2012). By asking employees questions and taking the time in ensuring they understand why the change is imminent, one is in turn reassuring them and reinforcing the trust one has worked so hard to gain with them. Establishing a sense of urgency and a compelling reason to make the change is an essential part of the process (Baack, 2012). As a manager, one has to ensure his or her employees that the new change is for the better good and that no one employee is going to be left out on the education and proper implementation of that change. In addition, managers should understand that change can be a very unsettling process for many employees and that it will take time for employees to get over the initial unsettling emotions that would come about the change or changes (Baack, 2012). Perhaps, however, the change is unsettling because employees do not trust management in general or their ability to execute the change properly, efficiently, and safely.

Gaining the employees trust...
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