Implementing change in a department of organization can be difficult. Management must have a plan before implementing the change. The manager’s role and responsibility in implementing change within a department is very important.
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The manager’s role is to assess the change that needs to take place, come up with a plan to implement a change, implement the change, and evaluate the change in a timely order. To have a successful implementation of a new process, the manager must be involved in each step. The manager must keep the staff involved and let the staff know why the change is taking place and how it will affect the work process.
The manager faces many challenges such as meeting the organizations goals and working with staff members who might resist the change. This paper will focus on the manager’s role and responsibility in implementing change, the way a manager should successfully handle staff resistance to change and define each step of the change process such as assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. When there is a change in the work process within the department, the manager’s role and responsibility is to make sure the implementation of the changes takes place smoothly with the help of the staff.
According to Sullivan & Decker (2009), the manager must be able to communicate openly and honestly with the staff, support the staff if they are resisting the change, emphasize the positive outcomes from initiating change, find solutions to problems that are obstacles to change and accept the constancy of change. The manager must be able to identify the change, collect and analyze data, develop a plan, help the staff prepare for the change, prepare to handle resistance, provide feedback, and evaluate effectiveness of the change.
The manager should involve the staff in the implementation of the new work process. According to Knoer (2011), communication is one of the most important tools that a leader must utilize to successfully implement. If the manager does not involve the staff, the staff might think their input is not important or their employment will be affected. This can lead to resistance from staff and have a negative affect in the department. The staff can give managers their input on what areas should be focused on and raise concerns that management might look over.
By having the staff involved the manager can prevent them from resisting the change or have a better understanding of why the staff might be resisting and work on ways to lower the staff resistance. With change comes resistance. According to Fiedler (2010), resistance is considered to possibly have positive and/or negative impact on a change, and to be exerted by internal or external environments. The department manager must be able to successfully handle resistance from staff members.
Some reasons why a staff member might resist the change is because he or she might not trust the manager, have a fear of failure, believe the change is unnecessary, staff may think if a certain change did not work in the past it will fail again, and the number one reason is the staff member might think he or she will lose their job. Resistance can also come in the form of poor work habits, not showing up to work on time, calling in sick, and lack of interest in the change. The department manager can manage resistance by talking to staff members who are opposed to the change.
By talking to the staff, the manager will understand the staff’s concerns and clarify any misunderstanding. The manager must be willing to listen to the staff’s ideas but explain to the staff why the change needs to take place and the positive changes the implementation will bring to the department. The manager must keep open communication, support, and maintain trust of the resisting staff. A manager can be successful with resisting staff if he or she is flexible, confident, realistic, staying focused on the big picture, by combining ideas, energizing the resistors with interests, and solves problems.
The change process should be taken in steps of assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The first step assessing the change requires collecting and analyzing important data. Assessing the department will help the manager learn what changes are needed, how to improve the quality of work, stay ahead of the competition, and how to approach the implementation. The plan is the second step and involves gathering the resources needed to implement the change. According to Lombardi & Schermerhorn, “planning is the process of setting performance objectives and determining what actions should be taken to accomplish them” (p. 7). By having a plan management can prevents mistakes and accidents from happening, without a plan the new change can become a chaos. Employees will be doing what they think is right and this can cause many problems between the staff and management. When management has a plan employees know what is expected of them and know how to achieve the departments goals. The next step is to implement the change, where the plan is put into action. The manager has to make sure the staff has the resources needed for the change.
If the staff needs to be trained they should receive all trainings before the implementation of the change. This can help the manager keep employees focused and energized. The last step is the evaluation of the change. In this step the manager will evaluate the new step after a set amount of time. The evaluation allows the manger to see how the change has affected the department, whether the change is working, and meeting the goals required in the plan. When implementing change, the manager must knows his or her roles, responsibilities, and how to approach the staff.
The manager should not decide what changes needs to take place without assessing the departments needs. The manager must take into consideration how the new change will affect the employees work process, productivity of the department, the morale of the department. Employees concerns should be taken into consideration as well as the expectation of resistance from some employees. At each phase of the change the manager must refer to the plan and must be able to evaluate the change in a timely manner. Implementing change can be difficult but if the manager follows the change process they will be successful.