The topic of this paper is coping or dealing with change. Baack informs us that the world of business has experienced an increasing rate of change. (Baack, 2012) Change in a part of every aspect of our lives. Kurt Lewin informs us that that is not an event but a process that is transition. (Lewin, 1947) Everyone deals with change on a physical and mental level; no one is exempt from dealing with it at some time.
Children deal with change, as they are becoming adolescents, mature people deal with change, as they are becoming older, single people deal with change when transitioning into marriage and some workers deal with it in organizations that are growing or stagnated. (Aiken and Keller, 2009) Environment and our surroundings have a tremendous impact on how change affects people. (Aiken and Keller, 2009) Change is inevitable and it comes with the resistance to this change in many instances.
Kotter explains that self-interest, lack of understanding, lack of trust in management, different opinions on the need for change and low tolerance all attribute to resistance that is seen when change is occurring. (Kotter, 1996) The organization that employees me is continually growing and this is to become more appealing to large organizations. In an effort to keep up with the technology and ever evolving products in the industry, the company is in a motion of continual change. Many times this change is uncomfortable and the actions occur relatively quickly.
Our reading explains to us the employees that resist change for a variety of logical reasons that occur. (Baack, 2012) It appears that when one process is mastered it has to be updated or changed. In some cases the IT department is instating change so quickly, there are breakdowns in the system and there is a constant need for what is called “workarounds. ” The employees are used to the change because they occur often. Changes in management, changes in procedures and changes in the processes are becoming the norm. However, the tolerance for the changes among the employee has become increasing low.
There are several issues that are attributing to this low tolerance some of which are making changes that make job performance more complicated instead of easier, changes being made by people who do not understand the process, changes being made that affect moral and changes being made and not have the technology to support them. Some of the changes that have been made are necessary to see the business grow. (Medintz, 2011) However, there was not a full analysis on the effects that it would have on work production.
The changes that are incorporated, at times, include unnecessary processing and have left key contributors out of the change process. The workers are forced to complete additional work to get these parties looped in which affects processing time. Steps are introduced during the changes that have no functionality and because quality scores are involved, they must be included when tasks are completed. Employees are becoming despondent and agitated with the process but have to comply to be considered a team player.
The tolerance for the change would have been more acceptable had it been analyzed for effectives. The people who are making the changes for the organization do not understand the key processes. Management has not taken the time to form pilot teams with the correct people to facilitate the necessary changes. Employees are handpicked that have not been working in the positions long enough to provide valid information in making changes that are instrumental to effective change. Thus, you see processes that do not work because inexperienced people worked on the changes.
In order for employees to be tolerant of these changes, individuals that are knowledgeable in area need to be incorporated in the decision making process. Changes are being instituted that affect the moral of the other workers such as putting inexperienced people in place to perform a job for which they are not qualified. The process was instituted to bring people into the area from customer service because they had some product knowledge and held dealt with customers in their former positions.
This was a mistake because the positions were like putting square pegs in triangular holes. Management just assumed that this should be a natural progression since the former job was customer facing and the employees had product knowledge. However, they did not account for the skill set of researching information, reviewing applications, calculating premiums and a host of other tasks. All of which requires the candidate to be good at multitasking. A skill set that had not been acquired in the contact center.
The employees were used to having a set quota for the day and once completed their work was done. In the new position, the employee is required to complete task and trouble shoot issues while making it appears seamless to our clients. These new hires caused the moral of the other employees in the department to decrease because of having to address issues that were created by inexperience. The need for overtime increased in a position that is salaried and audits that are more detailed had to be completed due to work being approved for processing prematurely.
In my scenario, the tolerance for change is low due to ongoing IT issues. New programs are being introduced that are not fully functional that cannot help complete that the task. The vast majority of the new program releases have to include “work around” steps. These steps are procedures that have to be implemented manually to complete the process that the program could not handle through automated processing. These internal issues have to be addressed. The resistance can be overcome by implementing a few key steps.
Kurt Lewin stated that change occurs in organizations if three steps are followed which are unfreezing, movement and unfreezing. (Baack, 2012) Unfreezing encompasses facing the resistance head on in the organization. (Lewin, 1947) Movement encompasses having an understanding of the direction that the organization is going. (Lewin, 1947) Refreezing is integrating the change permanently into the organization. (Lewin, 1947) In this paper, the focus was on the steps John Kotter introduces.
John Kotter outlined these eight steps as creating urgency, creating a coalition, creating a vision and communicating it, removing obstacles, creating attainable small term goals, building on the change and incorporating the change into the organization. Management in the scenario presented should come together and acknowledge that there are problems that need to be addressed immediately. Some of the changes may have simple, quick fixes where as others more complex. Management should form a competent team of people that are versed in making the changes correctly.
Our reading explains to us that during the decentralization process decisions can become less routine and more specialized. (Baack, 2012) People should be utilized that perform the task and people that are on the output side at the completion of the task. These people will have knowledge or possible tips that can save time and additional money. The obstacle in IT can be alleviated if the management team would ensure there is adequate staffing when introducing new software programs so that pilots and test can be run to lower the “work around’ issue.
Since our organization has several teams within an department, changes should be introduced through a pilot team to have a documentation that the change is running smoothly. The changes should then be introduced by regions and then to the entire department. Management will be able to gauge their success by the increased performance of workers and the matrixes showing positive results. There will be a decrease in the number of hours that employees are working over. There will also be a drop in the number of “work around” resolution notes.
This process will not occur overnight but the change will be noticeable in relatively quick period. Change is inevitable and will occur at one time or another in everyone’s life. It is how the change is in assimilated into our circumstances that dictate the outcome. There are tools such as those created by Kotter to assist people and organizations in dealing and coping with change in effective, efficient manners. Changes occur for the most part to make situations better or to correct errors that have flaws. It is something that has to happen and it has to be to be addressed in order for people and organizations to flourish.