SONEE Hardware Pvt LTD was incorporated in the 1970’s and is the leading hardware supplier in Maldives. The objective of the company is the satisfaction of the customers, employees as well as the general public. The company has adopted a value-added approach with the aim to be the favorite customer hardware store. The success of the company has largely depended on consistency, reliability and quality of services offered to the customers, employees and the general public. SONNEE hardware has a total of six outlets in which it has diversified into different areas of business. With the increased competition the company strives to provide high-quality services to its customers (SONEE Hardware, 2016). This paper will aim to identify the reasons why it is important to manage change in the organization, proposed changes and to discuss the challenges of the change process as well as identify the strategies to overcome those challenges.
Importance of Managing Change in the Organization
According to Bhattacharya and Sengupta (2006), the current organization environment necessitates the need for the organization to implement various changes with the aim of enhancing their competitiveness. Change management involves the process of transitioning organization, individuals and teams through the use of the business process, redirecting of resources and budget allocations that significantly reshape an organization.
Change management is important in the organizations because of the following reasons;
First, enables organization to thrive in the changing environment- organizations are operating in an environment that is influenced by various different factors such as political, economic, social and cultural factors. As such, it is important for the organization to embrace change because the failure of the organization to change can lead to the loss of its market share or make it less competitive. Therefore, the ability to effectively manage changes in the organization will help to deliver results on multiple changes that allow an organization to achieve its strategic vision and thrive in today’s challenging environments (Jung, 2013).
Second, to improve employee performance- according to Creasey & Hiatt (2003), one of the objectives of undertaking changes in the organization is to improve the performance of the employees. Some of the changes in the organization help to ensure efficiency and productivity of the employees; however, there is the likely hood that employees will resist changes even though changes are for their own good. Therefore, change management helps the employees to understand the importance of the changes as well as to focus on helping the employees change how they carry out their activities, thus, improving their performance.
Third, help close the gap between results and the requirement- in the argument of Jung (2013) change in the organization helps to meet the requirements through the delivery of the necessary outputs hence enabling the employees to achieve their targets. Managing change in the organization is essential if the management wants to bridge the gap that may exist between results and requirements.
Fourth, to increase the likelihood of the organization success- embracing changing in the organization enables it to adapt to the various changes within the environment it operates. If the organization fails to constantly adapt to changes, it is more likely to fail to achieve its mission and vision. Therefore, managing change in the organization contributes to the likely hood of the organization success (Jung, 2013).
Fifth, to increase innovation- Sharma (2007) argues that change process enables the organization to embrace innovative activities. The failure to effectively manage change in the organization can lead to increased cost because of failed innovative programs. Therefore, managing change process is important in increasing innovative activities in the organization.
Changes in SONEE Hardware Pvt LTD can better help the organization to effectively compete with its competitors and act as a source of the organization competitive advantage. For this reason, I would propose the following changes to the company;
One, structural changes- currently the company has only six outlets which limit its customer base as well as its profitability and success. Structural changes like strategic partnerships would help the company to expand its customer base, reduce its operation cost and increase its profitability. A strategic partnership is the alliance or partnership between two organizations that derive a specified benefit to the companies like reduction on the operation costs through joint innovation programs (Steward, 2009).
Two, computerization of its processes- the company should strive to adopt a computerized system not only in the production process but also in all its operations. Computerization of the company operations will reduce the operational costs, increase efficiency and employee’s productivity as well as profitability. Due to the increased competition, the adoption of the computerized system increases organization competitiveness by ensuring provision and production of high quality services and products, thus, enhancing customer satisfaction (Thong & Raman, 2004).
Three, cultural changes- organization culture is an important aspect of the organization success. Currently, the organization culture of SONEE Hardware Pvt LTD is focused on providing quality services to the employees, customers and the general public. However, it is important for SONEE Hardware Pvt LTD to also embrace a culture of innovation, productivity and compliance to increase its competitive edge in the global market. Organization culture refers to the shared beliefs, norms, expectations and working habits of the organization. Change in the company culture would help achieve the organization strategic goals (Cox & Blake, 2011).
Four, change in products, customer relationship and marketing- changes in customer relations, products and marketing is critical to the organization long-run success. Therefore, the management needs to continuously analyze the organization external environment with the aim to developing appropriate strategies that ensure production of the right products that meet the customer needs, improve customer relationships and create awareness of the company products and brand (Jung, 2013).
Five, organization restructuring- according to McKinley and Scherer (2009) restructuring will help reduce the operational costs, increase efficiency and profitability as well as reduce wastage of resources. For example, SONEE Hardware Pvt LTD can restructure by reducing its work force and adopting the use of ICT in processing and production. The restructuring process should also involve redefining the roles of the employees and the management levels.
Challenges to Change Process
Change process is inevitable in the organizations. Despite the numerous benefits of the change, the process is usually faced with challenges. According to Pryor, Taneja and Singleton (2008) some of the challenges of the change process include the following;
One, employee’s resistance- employee’s resistance is one of the major challenges organization face in the process of change implementation. Employees tend to resist change because of various reasons such as fear of the unknown, lack of participation or poor communication. Employee’s resistance can derail the change process or contribute to unsuccessful change implementation process
Two, planning and managing change- often managers find it challenging to plan and manage change in the organization. The challenge of planning and managing change is usually because some changes are not planned, and it is difficult to accurately project the effects of change in the organization. At times, the managers fail to clearly understand the exact changes that will take place and how those changes will be implemented.
Three, lack of consensus- the decision to initiate a planned change in the organization ought to be of all the company board members. However, the board members may fail to agree to the proposed changes which would create a challenge in the change process. The failure to get all the directors or managers on board is a challenge a company is likely to face when implementing changes.
Strategies to overcome change implementation challenges and ensure change management success
As earlier discussed, change is inevitable in the organizations, and the process is likely to be faced with various challenges. As such, one of the duties of the management during the change implementation process is to develop appropriate strategies to overcome the challenges. In this case, I propose the following strategies to overcome the challenges;
One, effective communication- one of the reasons why change process may fail is because of poor communication. It is important for the management to ensure all the stakeholders are informed of the reasons for change and the consequences of the change process as well as how the management intends to address any negative impacts (Dent & Goldberg, 2009).
Two, employee participation- according to Aladwani, (2011) the participation of the employees is crucial in reducing resistance to change. Employee participation creates a feeling of trust and belonging in the organization. Employee participation significantly influences the success of the change implementation.
Three, effective planning- Goksoy (2016) argues that proper planning provides a blue print of how the change process will be conducted and the strategies to be implemented to overcome any challenges. Effective planning of the change process is crucial because it ensures all the stakeholders are involved in the process hence reducing possible resistance.
Four, understanding the current state- implementing change without understanding the current state is a challenge faced by many organizations introducing change. To overcome this challenge, the management should critically and carefully analyze the current organization state before introducing the required changes. Understanding the current state helps the management indentify the areas that need changes and develop appropriate change strategies (Goksoy, 2016).
Five, education- according to Cummings and Worley (2009) employees resist change because they fail to understand the benefits and need for change process. As such, educating the organization employees is one the best strategies that management can use to overcome resistance. Educating the employees on the reasons and benefits for the change process helps employees understand the logic for change efforts, hence reducing incorrect and unfounded rumors that could disrupt the process.
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