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Supporting Change in an Organisation

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The aim of this assignment is to provide information on the impact of change within my organisation. The assignment will include information on why there is a need for change, how change effects organisations, the behavioural responses to change and the support that Human Resources (HR) can provide during these changes.

3G is a communications company focused on bringing the benefits of the internet to the mobile telephone. The 3G network is built for data and future-proofed for 4G technologies. The organisation has invested billions of pounds developing and expanding the network which means 3G can connect more people to the internet in more places, whilst increasing the capacity to meet the ever-growing demand for data.

The main customers are consumer based, with over 90% of them choosing smartphones, were they are increasingly opting for all-you-can-eat data plans. These plans give the customers the freedom to get the most out of their smartphone, without fear of how much it will cost. 3G aim to be here to help customers discover all the benefits of the mobile internet. They do this by having a network designed for data, and by inspiring people to explore new things, 3G aim to take away any barriers that prevent the customers embracing it. The organisation has also worked hard to make it easier for customers to manage their accounts and their interactions with 3G, by providing unique services that are made possible by the network and the mobile internet access it provides. 3G strives to challenge and change the mobile industry for the benefit of consumers.

In line with the company plan to grow the customer base and reduce costs, the decision was made to outsource certain areas of the business abroad. There were a number of factors involved in making this decision both internal and external. One of the key factors was the financial gain in being able to substantially reduce not only operating costs but also resourcing costs. Another factor taken into account was the current economic environment and the impact on costs to business such as interest rates, rental costs of buildings, employee costs and terms and conditions of employment, which have to be met due to government legislation. These factors enabled the company to downsize at national level but also grow at global level. In moving the business, the demographics and cultural aspects were also taken into account, as we were able to resource a highly educated team at a fraction of the cost. 3G were also able to introduce the products and services in a different country whereby enabling the business to keep in line with the mission and strategy to grow the business base both nationally and internationally.

Change can effect organisations in different ways in order for the change to be successful. One of the key elements in introducing change is the change has to add value, be better, cheaper or quicker and at least one of these has to apply when introducing change. Change could be consdiered an important corporate tool used by managers in order to achieve a greater level of efficiency. The underlying fact is that change happens for a reason. By increasing efficiency, the company achieves a higher output. Whatever the change, the goal of implementation will be to help the business progress. The effects of change on the organisation can be measured by the company’s efficiency: If this has improved then the change is positive, and if efficiency has decreased the change might have a negative effect on the organisation.

Three main factors were involved in the change process are developing a clear vision on the reason for change and the benefits that the changes will bring. To do this, there has to be detailed multi-dimensional plans put in place to address all areas and their impact to ensure success. Another key element is identifying the people who are affected or who need to be involved. By engaging and listening to the employees, the business can influence the way change is not only implemented but also communicated. This can be done by identifying the innovators who have an interest in new ideas, cope easily with the uncertainty of change but may not have the respect of their colleagues. This can be counter balanced by identifying the Early adaptors who are critical to the organisation when change is being implemented as they are recognised as role models and have the respect of their colleagues who will listen and take on board their positivity and decrease the uncertainty which change initially generates. It is essential that the business listens and empowers their employees by getting them involved in the earliest stages of planning as people do not resist their own ideas.

The other key component is effective communications. It is essential that the business keeps their employees up to date with where they are, where they are going, and how they are going to get there. To do this business has to ensure that we keep things simple by using language their employees can understand. The business effectively uses all the different methods of communication available to them such as group meetings, one to one’s, newsletters etc. It is also imperative that the business adapts its style of communication depending on their audience and where they are in the change. In order for this to be successful, it is essential that control is kept of communications at all times. If this is not done, the Chinese whispers effects may come into play which in turn generates a lack of trust and/or credibility. It could be suggested that employees will then discount any further communication. If there is no communication at all, employees may then make things up and pre-conceived perceptions may come into play, which then de-motivates and demoralises everyone which could then result in even more resistance and make any changes almost unmanageable.

The impact of change varies depending on the individual, which can be a very difficult and stressful time. The first response tends to be an emotional one and is very self-centred in regards to the effect the change is going on the individual and their job. This reaction has been linked with studies on how the business copes with personal loss, such as the death of a relative. Elizabeth Kubler Ross argued that we cope with loss by moving through a serious of stages, each characterised by a particular emotional response. This is known as the coping cycle. The stages within the cycle are shock, denial, and anger. Here, there is an unwillingness to confront the reality as the individual believes that it won’t happen and is a complete waste of time. This is then followed by frustration, fear and depression where the individual may start to accept the reality of the loss but will think of ways they can resist and frustrate the process to delay the inevitable.

In the final stages of the coping process, the individual will come to terms with and accept the situation and its full implications, whilst beginning to look at how they are going to move forward with the change. It is recognised that not everyone experiences all the stages of the coping cycle; some people may revisit some of the cycles, and some move on quicker than others. Another factor to take into consideration is the psychological contract between an employer and employee. Traditionally, this was seen as an offer of stability and job security in return for commitment and loyalty from an employee. When an employee perceives that this contract has been broken, it has a negative effect and prompts an emotional response to actively resist the change. All these reactions have to be taken into consideration when changes are being made and plans have to be put in place to specifically to manage this.

HR plays a vital role in supporting employees through change as each individual will have specific concerns and issues. It is therefore essential that HR ensures that the individuals have a clear understanding of the reason for change by education and communication this increases commitment and reconciles opposing views. Another key element is ensuring the participation and involvement of the individuals which consequently helps to reduce opposition and encourage commitment whilst utilising key skills and knowledge. In addition, it is very important that there is room for negotiation and compromise as individuals and groups may resist change that damage their interests which can have a negative effect on other individuals and groups which in turn can impede any changes. In all circumstances it is necessary that a positive attitude is portrayed at all times regardless of the audience in that change is a necessary part of a healthy organisation.

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