1. Give potential internal or external reasons or factors for change in the workplace
Changes in the workplace are inevitable. However, there are several factors which influences the magnitude of these workplace changes. Some of these factors could be external and/or internal. They include:
Political factors refer to ways by which organizations are affected by government regulations and requirements, such as: imposition of tax or levy. Also, in the event of change in government, organizations tend to be affected by new policies of the new government thereby needing specific changes at how they deliver services or operations. e.g. Currently in Ghana, many financial institutions have collapsed and others forced to merge due to inability to meet certain policies of the new government.
Economic factors refer to how organizations are affected by changes in the economy of countries where they operate.
Social factors are the market demands of people residing at places where organization operates. The demography and inhabitant way of life may require certain changes in the workplace in order not offend or disrespect their beliefs.
Technological factors refer to advanced ways of delivering services. This factor may positively or negatively affect the organisation either through increase or decrease in stock or market value based on how they effectively match their competitors. Also, automation of certain operations could lead to employee redundancy.
Legal factors are the laws that affects organisation depending on the country where they operate. This could also be specific standard organisational laws that must be adhered to at all times, irrespective of the company’s location. e.g. All MODEC employees both international and local undertake compliance training which emphasizes on standard organisational protocol irrespective of the employee location.
Environmental factors refer to the determination of how the environment is affected by activities of the organisation. e.g. At MODEC, due to the toxicity of chemicals used during our operations, maximum control measures are in place to ensure these chemicals are not released into the environment.
Strengths determines factors that favors an organization and how strong they stand out among their competitors their competitors.
Weakness refer to all existing shortcoming of the organisation in terms of how they deliver their services or products. This also give them an idea of necessary measures to rectify those weaknesses or turn them into opportunities.
Opportunities are the beneficial areas that the organisation can gain from and it usually the turning of weaknesses as profitable opportunities when the appropriate mitigating measures are applied.
Threats refers to the potential competition posed by opposition organisation in terms of how better they are delivering services or their products.
2. Explain team members’ possible attitudes and responses to change at work
While some people embraces changes with enthusiasm, positive attitude and easily adapt, others too find it difficult adjusting to changes at the workplace and usually exhibit these difficulties through fear/panic, anger, gossip, defense mechanism/resistance, quitting and asking of questions.
Team members may show resistance to change due fear of the unknown as well as a previous experience at that workplace. They fear things will either get worse or will lose their positions as a result of adjustments to be implemented. Fear is an ordinary way by which humans react to changes. Several questions may arise concerning job satisfaction and security.
Some long serving team members who are used to certain methods or procedures of performing duties may show anger through emotional outcry to changes and may resign from their position. It is difficult for some older people to change habit when they finally get use specific ways of doing things. e.g. Some older people prefer keeping diaries rather setting reminders on their phones or computers.
In the course of changes, some team members may resort to gossiping and spreading of rumors. This usually happens when employees lack information about incoming/pending changes.
Team members may also embrace and see changes as a challenge which they can overcome. They view positive changes as a faster, efficient, effective and cheaper way of achieving their common goals. These are people who remain open new ways of doing things and believe they poses the ability to acquire knowledge necessary to undertake their duties.
3. Identify potential barriers to change in the work place and state how they could be overcome
Lack of awareness and knowledge – many at times employees fail to recognize why changes are necessary to achieving common goal due to lack of knowledge or information of the change to be implemented. Provision of detailed information why change is needed should be the first in implementing of changes in the workplace.
Lack of motivation – motivation is very essential to implementing changes in the workplace as team members’ self-motivation is the only drive which propel changes since their priorities and commitments may hinder their ability to adapt to changes. Better incentives and remunerations should be provided.
Lack of leadership/management involvement – leaders and manager who fail to inspire and energize their team members through provision of support and involvement during changes only demoralize the team. Leaders/managers should avail themselves in the course of changes to show support and assure their team of the importance of the adjustments been made. e.g. The offshore company I joined immediately after graduating from the university was hit hard in 2016 as a result of drop in oil prices, our production cost was too high than our profits and we the crew never heard from the managing director to assure us of his support during this period even when we were forced to take pay-cuts. There entire offshore crew were demoralized thereby leading to resignation of some experienced engineers.
Fear of redundancy due to lack of necessary skills – people tend to fear of being sacked during changes as they may believe the do not poses necessary to cope with new changes. There is the need for assurance and education from team leaders/managers and training of team members who skills to succeed during this period.
Fear of working in new team or building new working relationships – when people work together for long, there is trust establishment, bonds and professional working relationship are built. Losing such relationship could be frightening. Team members should be encouraged to work with new members due to possibility of new members bringing current and effective ideas on board as well as the platform to learn from one another.
Failure to recognize and communicate success – when team leaders do not communicate team success to team members, they tend to not see any benefits of the implemented changes. All progress and achievements made in the course of changes should be communicated to team members as this will help increase the process.
4. Identify potential benefits of change in the workplace
Potential Benefit Who Benefits How they Benefit
New approaches / Stay current Organization Faster way of delivering services or products
Increase in productivity.
Opportunity to learn Employees Learn and train others.
Improvement in efficiency Organization Improve the efficiency and effectives of work activities.
Healthy competition Organization / Employees Employees may be encouraged to improve their performance ; attitude.
Career boost due to positive attitude towards changes.
Flexibility Employees Regular changes enable employees to adapt easily to new environments, new co – workers and new challenges.
Organization / personal growth Organization / Employees Gaining of experiences from changes that did not benefit the organization and the ones which did.
5. Explain how a team leader can implement change in the workplace
According to John Kotter in his book of leading change, he emphasized on eight key stages approach that leaders should follow when implementing changes at their workplaces.
Leader must first create a sense of urgency by assisting their followers/subordinates in recognizing the reason why a change is needed, opportunities that may arises as a result of the change and the significance of acting immediately.
The second step is building a guiding coalition through the identification of key players that will enable the change by taking through the plans in place and getting them on board.
Thirdly, leaders must understand the goals to be achieved by clearly identifying how different the future will be from the present and past through their vision statements.
Fourth, leaders must recognize that communication is key to implementing changes. All team members must be kept abreast of all development and ascertain that they all understand what is to be gained. Opportunity should be given to listening to the team members’ ideas, opinions and suggestions by keeping doors and lines of communication widely open during the period of change.
Removal of obstacles, which is the fifth period involves the elimination of barriers that may changes that are to be implemented.
Sixth, short-term wins should be generated by setting realistic objectives. During periods of change, some team members may quickly adapt but expecting too much of them may only compromise the efficiency and effectiveness of the process.
Leader must also build on the change through the gradual increment or sustaining the tempo or pace of the change process after success at each stage.
Lastly, leaders must sustain the change in the organization’s culture by relating success to the changes that has been implemented and the need to abandon the old ways of doing things.
6. Explain how a team leader can support change in the team
In order for a leader to make any meaningful impact on his/her team capability to embrace or reject changes that are been implemented in the team, they must first recognize the role they play in the change and show total support for the change to be implemented.
Leaders should exhibit support for organizational directives and must be mindful of what they say, their body language and actions during changes in the team, as team members especially those who are not in agreement with changes, will be anxious and be monitoring to see if the leader is in real support of the changes been made in the team.
During changes in the team, leaders must communicate and give feedbacks as frequent as possible. Appreciable amount of time should be dedicated to team meetings where all opinions, views and recommendations are listened to.
Leaders must ask the team members about their concerns or reservations about the changes been made in the team as there are always lots of questions to be asked and lots of answers to be provided. The leader must be open minded and transparent in addressing all questions from his team members.
Also, leader can show their support by celebrating any significant team achievements or success with team members during changes.
Finally, leaders must exhibit the coaching leadership style during changes. The coaching leadership style helps the leader in connecting and relating with team members effectively as well as supporting them in achieving team goals.
7. Explain how to develop and maintain cohesion within a team during change
Getting people to work together could sometimes be a challenge, especially during periods of change. Therefore, to establish and maintain cohesion within the team, the leader must establish a mission an essential factor, prior to even selecting the team members.
In selecting the team members, the leader must look for diversity but choose people with the necessary skill set and experiences to help achieve team goals.
The team leader should emphasize on the importance of teamwork and ensure it is practiced. It is vital to recognize the strength of each team member in order to effectively assign specific task to the right team members. The leader must encourage his/her team members to share experience and support each other and celebrate team success when set goals are achieved as well as praise efforts made by the team.
During the ILM workshop, the instructor also mentioned the need to be on alert for sub-group formation within the team during periods of change.
Constructive feedback must be given regularly to boost team members’ morale through effective regular communication with team members. Also, the leader must ask for team members feedbacks/opinions and recommendation. This will help in rectification of problems which the team encounters and develop their sense of belonging/place, make them feel important and recognized during the period of change.
Finally, in the course of change, the leader must develop effective conflict resolution methods since the will always be difference in views, opinions and suggestions that may lead to conflict if not properly managed. Proper conflict resolution methods help in creating a cohesion among team members as stronger bonds are built leading to increase in productivity.