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Are your employees leaving the organization in disgust?

-Apply change Management Practices.

Article by S.Suyampirakasam
01. Change Management Concept.

The term Change Management refers to the task of managing change in


organizations.

Let us assume that an organization has devised strategies to achieve an increase


in their top line and bottom line over a period of time. Naturally, to implement
the strategies for achieving its objectives, a change in the organizational structure
both in terms of people and procedures, besides their role and responsibilities is a
must for implementation. It is quiet natural that the people of the organization have
to accept the change. In practice, we observe that there is resistance in accepting
such changes and it is purely psychological.

Change Management is a process of change in the organization to meet out its


objectives. Alternatively, it is a process to bring about a change in the mindset of the
people to meet out its challenges, in the wake of strategies to be introduced for its
growth.

02. Proactive and Reactive measures.

Change management should contain both proactive and reactive measures. The
concept is similar to effective Risk management with various projects. A good risk
management strategy includes identification of risks, an assessment of its impact
and probability of occurrence and plans to deal (or not to deal) with the identified
risks. This is clearly a proactive process and when effectively managed, will increase
the chances of success. However, despite our best efforts, we can never anticipate
every situation warranting proactive measures. There may be, sometimes, unknown
unknowns that will bite you in your pants. For these situations, you need the ability
to be reactive in an efficient manner. This is called reactive measure or reactive
management.

Now let us illustrate the above concept with an example. Here are two analogies.
One is personal health maintenance. To be healthy, you can just wait until
something is wrong and then get it treated with the doctors and thereafter take care
of health. Or you can have careful diet, do exercise and keep your health trim with
out inviting doctors. Though the latter is very difficult to be followed, it would
prevent many times the illness.

The other analogy is maintenance of a car. While it is time consuming and difficult
to check your oil every 3000 Kilometers and do ongoing upkeep, a proactive way of
continuous checking will prevent future problems from occurring all headaches in
maintenance of a car. Hence preventing a problem is better than repairing it.

Hence, the Change Management process is always a proactive one and we should
always be prepared for reactive management, as and when it warrants.

The analogy of healthy life style is exactly the conclusion we have reached. We
should try to sell the idea of a permanent business change capability (the only way
to be proactive) is like trying to sell a healthy eating plan to a chain smoking
alcoholic. Unfortunately, most companies fall in to this category, when it comes to
change management.

03. Resistence and Comforts

Managers and leaders never have enough information but if they understand
change management concepts, their decisions will increase the probability of
success. If they understand the basics, they need not resort to trial and error .Let me
explain with a couple of examples, relating to the change management concept
“Resistance and Comfort”.

Resistance and comfort suggests that every Individual has a threshold for change
and that threshold differs in every individual. Some people initiate change, embrace
change and live with change. For others, Change is very difficult. It causes them
extreme anxiety and sometimes results in physical and psychosomatic reactions.

04. Two important learning points are:

A) Even people who are generally comfortable with change will resist, when they
have reached their saturation point or they feel they are being bombarded with
change. This could be a combination of changes at work and changes in their
social/familial/health situations. The saturation may affect their productivity.

B) People, who are naturally change-averse, may start exhibiting symptoms


immediately upon hearing about change. These people need information, facts. It
boils down to “What is in it for me?” They need to be convinced that change is a
right thing for them and for the organization.

Both these examples are frequently misinterpreted by managers, as employees


having negative attitudes. These people are harassed and punished. Many times,
they leave the organization in disgust. Managers and leaders who know the concept
of resistance and comfort realized that people navigate through change at different
speeds. Navigating slowly does not mean that they are bad people or have negative
attitudes or are resisters. It means that they need more time to understand and
adjust.
05. Hence, if the Managers are aware of the concept of Change management, they
can implement the change management practices in such a way that their employees
welcome the changes as a part of organization’s growth measures and will extend
their support for achieving the goals of their organization and rise up to its
expectations.

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