Current business situation all over the globe is very dynamic in nature and it changes continuously. Globalization of business and liberalization of the international boundaries has become the two most admired parameters of modern business world. In such a business environment one argument can be put forward that over a period of time in an industry each competitive organization will achieve the required state of the art technology’ infrastructure and equipment required to match the international standards but the only difference making characteristic would be the talent pool of the organization. This in essence states that employees are the biggest asset for any organization in current business environment and organization literally compete over each other to attract the talent pool and woo the experience employees.
So it has been formulated that whatever may be the change approach employees should be in resonance with the organization to get positive result and for that to be achieved approaches should be painless in nature. Whether the approach is slow or rapid in nature or whether it is a period or continuous change approach it should not be painful until and unless situation calls for a radical change. A painless change management approach with all inputs in the framework to speed the process is the best suitable change management approach in current business environment. It can also be stated that change might be the only constant in this world but an employee is not a constant in an organization and for a experienced and talented employee there will always be takers in the market and it is up to the organization to manage change in such a way that both employees and top management attains their goal without clashes and together they develop a seamless integration of change in organizations.
PAINFUL AND PAINLESS CHANGES
A painful change in an organization is that type of change approach which pinches a lot of employees and remains them dissatisfied the way entire exercise was done and how they were treated in the organization. This type of change approach is a very radical move by the organization as employees are the greatest asset of an organization. It is generally attempted when organization is looking forward to a leaning down procedure and wants to shed down some employee base. It is also done when an organization gets takeover or absorbed by another organization and then overtaking organization dictates its own rules to the employees of overtaken organization and does not care if employee remains or leave the organization. The results are very rapid but impacts are very negative in such change management approach as employee might sustain this approach for sometime but as soon as they get another opportunity they will tend to leave organization for that.
Painless changes on the other hand are done when organization takes employees point of view into consideration before making any change approach applicable in the organization. Their attempt is to ensure that employee remains in agreement with the requirement of the change and even if they might feel some discomfort or sacrifices a few facilities they enjoy they would take it as a input for future benefits and profitability. A painless change takes place only when organization’s top management and employee base are in congruence with each other and understand each other’s requirement fully. A painless change is a more suitable approach for an organization who wants to remain sustainable in the organization but only drawback is the slow procedure of change. Time consumption is the critical factor is making decision in favor of this approach. Various mixed techniques are used by organizations now so that even if changes remain painless the time required for the change can be tapered down.
RAPID CHANGES AND SLOW CHANGES
As it has been discussed earlier rapid and slow changes both approaches have their own benefit and drawbacks while implementing in an organization and it is up to the organization and its top management to understand the requirement of the organization and develop most suitable approach for them. Rapid changes usually adopt a top down approach where change requirement are developed by the top management and middle and lower management employee are informed about it. If employees are in agreement with the top management about the changes then the change become very painless and rapid in nature. All organization required to do now is to synchronize the activities of employee and co ordinate them in such a fashion that aims and objective of the organization can be achieved in a timely manner. Such changes are rapid in nature and their impacts can be seen and measured in various facts like productivity of the employee, target attainment, profitability, turnover, growth and expansion and earning per employee of the organization. These measurement criteria are objective in nature and they can indicate the success or failure of the change approach appropriately.
Slow changes take place when an organization is not entirely focused and oriented towards the change requirement and its future impacts. In such cases an organization can either dictate the terms to the employee which will be painful in nature and keep employee highly dissatisfied and agitated about the change and if resistance is sufficient in strength then changes will be slow, painful, associated with clashes between employees and management and mostly fails to achieve the target change within the stipulated time period. Another approach which will be painless and slow in nature would be to take time and spread the message to entire organization about the necessity of change. This can be achieved by various internal communications, general meetings, open forums for discussions and feedback. Employee would be taught about the current situation of organization in the business environment and possible impacts if organization makes the changes and if not. Each employee would be clearly getting the message that changes are for their own betterment. Much resistance can be overcome by using various reward and punishment techniques. Early adopters of change in the organization can be rewarded with promotions, recognition and slackers can be punished in a subtle way. This will motivate the employees to adopt the change requirements. This entire procedure will be slow in nature and transition will be painless for each stake holder.
FRAME BENDING AND FRAME BREAKING CHANGES
A frame bending change is when change does not require the organization to completely change from its current situation and evolve into an entirely new entity. In this type of change an organization has to make reforms in its present framework and bend them metaphorically to adopt the new changes. A suitable example of this type of change is giving financial freedom to a particular project team or giving them authority to directly communicate with the top most management officials which might not be the routine course of action in an organization. This can be done to achieve faster result or to adapt the organization to accept the changing rules in a slow and steady manner.
A frame breaking change is when the organization or any of its department completely comes out of its previous working style or situation and then completely re structures itself to evolve into an entirely new orientation and working style. An example of a frame breaking change is when an organization completely changes its industry into another industry like Wipro. Wipro was a FMCG giant a couple of decades ago in India but it has transformed itself into an IT solution provider organization and now it is one of the biggest IT organizations of India. This change was achieved after breaking all frames of previous Wipro and evolved itself into an IT giant.
CONTINUOUS AND PERIODIC CHANGES
Requirement of change in an organization is also dependent upon the dynamics of the industry, sensitiveness of the business and employee’s preparedness. For example in a dynamic industry Like IT or MEDIA where technology rapidly evolves and requirements of the client also changes on a regular basis the change in organization is a continuous process and it aims to match with changing external factors. While as a contrary example in core manufacturing industries like Cement or Steel industry changes has to be periodic in nature as there establishment and infrastructure is not suitable to bear a continuous change. In these industries changes will only be brought when a long term gain is seen with the change and it becomes the necessity of the changing business environment.
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