According to World Bank, change management is a process that involves unfreezing, moving and refreezing of values and practices within organizations. The process of unfreezing includes the creation of discrepancy between existing and desired state of affairs. Moving refers to the changes made to achieve the desired state. Refreezing refers to the achievement of a state of equilibrium when organization establishes harmony with the change made. However, change management in a practical scenario can be quite challenging for organizations. Organizations tend to face a lot of resistance from employees when they initiate a change in the set-up. Therefore, it is essential for organizations to create an effective change management strategy that can address the needs of an organization and lead it towards a smooth change process.
Resistance to Change
A major component of change process is the level of uncertainty and fear among the existing employees that the process will lead to a loss of job or power within the organization. Some of the key reasons why employees oppose change include lack of knowledge and sufficient information about the reasons for change, fear of loss of job or power and lack of motivation to adopt the change. Organizations can effectively address these concerns with an effective change management strategy in place.
Communication is an essential pillar for an uninterrupted change process. Effective and timely communication to the employees about the change process can make them aware about the upcoming change in the organization and makes them mentally prepared for the change. Communication directed from the top management and middle management towards the employees can boost their confidence and make them more participative in the change process. On the other hand, poor and misleading information during an organizational change can be quite damaging with employees losing faith in the organizational machinery and adopting measures to resist the entire change process.
Role of Leadership
Leadership also plays a collaborative role in the process of change as it can convince and direct employees to participate in the change process. Participative leadership can empower employees to voice their opinion about the change process and clarify their doubts about change. A participative leader can then direct the employees towards change. Transformative leadership too can be instrumental in inspiring and leading employees towards the process of change.
Therefore, an effective change management strategy demands a highly responsible and efficient communication channel along with participative and transformative leadership in order to motivate employees to participate in change.
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