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Slide 3: Launching the plan

If top management is not convinced there is a logical reason for the change, other
priorities may put the initiative on the back burner. The Southwest change agent
must be persistent in his efforts to influence the stakeholders on his position as to
why the change is necessary. Through the gathering of data, interviews, and
documented observations the change agent will present his analysis and inference
to the top executives and committee boards who will ultimately refuse or accept the
change. He must be convincing and demonstrate how the change will affect and
align with company objectives, goals, mission, and vision. The change agents
characteristics will come into play as he needs to exhibit strong communication
skills, charisma, and intelligence on the matter to be discussed.
Slide 4: The need for change
The change agent must plan to communicate why the company is implementing
changes that directly impacts the Southwest representatives. The companys
transparency, honesty, and open communication will help customer representatives
reduce their anxiety and understand the reasoning behind the companys decision
(Spector, 2013). Leadership and management must explain the problems, and
articulate why the change is necessary for the company. Leaders/Change Agents
will communicate a message that differs in content from management, such as a
message that will help representatives understand the state or health of the
company. Management will send a message of how representatives performance
will contribute to company goals. Messages must be powerful to nullify the rumors
and gossip being spread by disgruntled workers. Leaders must create a sense of
urgency, and disrupt the status quo with benchmark data; showing concern about
competitors who are gaining momentum by implementing new customer service
programs and training. The manager will communicate how Southwest Airlines
customer service ratings are losing rank when compared to industry standards. The
Southwest change agent will address what the new vision is and how it will affect
employee positions, organization culture, and discuss what the future entails
(Spector, 2013). Management and leadership will explain each objective that must
be reached to achieve the overarching plan. The organizations plans for the future
must be clearly expressed such as the training, replacement, and termination of
representatives during the transition. Southwest is honed in on the need be
transparent, actively listen, and provide direct feedback to employees to facilitate
the LUV and respect the airline has for their representatives.
Slide five: Midstream Change
The middle phase is a crucial time to stop the misconceptions and rumors that have
been infused with all the other information that representatives must process
(Spector, 2013). The change agent should understand the phenomena, and
confront the misconceptions and negativity circulating through departments. To get
a more precise understanding of what is happening the change agent (be
inquisitive) should elicit feedback from workers. The feedback will provide the
needed information that will be analyzed to depict the attitudes, impact, and
acceptance of the changes that have been taking place in the organization. There

will be face-to-face interventions across the board to increase feedback and reduce
misguided information (Spector, 2013). Negative responses will be dealt with by
establishing a realistic timeframe for the change, providing rewards and incentives,
and visually showing the steps to reach goals.
At this phase, the representatives are beginning to understand their new roles,
responsibilities, and processes that were implemented during the change process.
Management has defined the limits of acceptable behavior and established new
standards. The employee understands he will be measured based on the new
standards of performance. The employee understands he will be held accountable
for less than standard behavior. To keep representatives driven and energized
managers will reward them with incentives when they achieve outstanding
performance (Spector, 2013). Leaders should communicate just in time messages
that are clear and concise to keep morale up, address the impact of change, and
prevent uncertainty from pervading across the board. For employees to retain
information, messages should be repeated numerous times using multiple media.
Multiple channels of communication will be utilized to match the message with the
appropriate communication channel (Spector, 2013). A training program has been
implemented to assess gaps and make revisions.
Slide 6: Channels of Communication
Social Media
Change websites
Electronic bulletin boards
Personalized letters
Face-to-Face communication-effective two-way conversation
Teleconferencing/face-to-face weekly meetings
Phone call room to address questions and issues
Bi-weekly announcement by management and leadership
Slide 7: Confirming the Change Phase
The communication plan has enlightened Southwest Representatives on the need
for change, how the change will affect them personally, and what impact it will have
on their performance (Spector, 2013). The employees have been included in the
diagnoses of the problems and provided numerous platforms for discourse to share
perspectives openly, and additional channels to speak privately about their
concerns. The airline is cognizant of the need to keep the change fresh in the minds
of each employee; this can be accomplished by celebrating all milestones and wins

(Spector, 2013). Success should also be recognized and celebrated at the

conclusion of the change process. At the end of the final phase, the change
experience should be discussed and documented so it can be used as a guide for
future transformations (Spector, 2013). However the change is not over, just the
customer service phase is, so Southwest must position itself for the next disruption.
Because the company must always be aware of environmental shifts, they must be
a change-ready organization that can quickly respond to the complexities of the
internal and external elements.