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The purpose of this essay is to understand the background and the issues related to organizational strategic change. Be able to lead the stakeholders in the development of a strategy for change and to be able to plan to implement models for ensuring ongoing change.
According to Rajagopalan & Spreitzer 1997, strategic change is a difference in the form, quality, or state over time in organization's alignment with its external environment. Managing change is all about creating changes in a planned and orderly movement and it is considered to be a crucial role in the organization.
Background of the Organization's Strategic Change
According to Travelodge 2011, they are considered to be the first budget hotel brand to be introduced in the Uk in 1985 and now managed to operate 380 hotels (over 26,000 rooms) throughout Ireland, Spain and the UK. The chain is under the operation of Dubai International Capital, who purchased the organization from Permira in 2006 as stated in Travelodge site, 2011. January 2009 is the date when Travelodge UK has been launched. They have undergone the first retail-style price checking programme. Through this, they were able to measure up the prices of all the giant UK hotel chains to make sure that they remain being the leader on price.
Due to its rapid growth, they are continuously working on their plan of operating 70,000 rooms which is approximately 1000 hotels by the year 2020. Aside from that, they are aiming to be the biggest hotel operator when the Olympics come on 2012. Based on last year's data, six and a half million people dwelt in Travelodge. Due to its promotion in the internet of £19 per night, 87% of those guests booked from online according to the data gathered. This promotion is applied throughout UK.
1.1.1 KURT LEWIN ( Unfreeze, Change, Freeze )
This stage involves preparing oneself for a change and preferably making a situation in which change is needed. The more urgent the change should be made, the motivation to make the change is high.
Time is needed and must be given to people as this is not an easy time because people are learning about the changes and they need to understand the process, In this case, support from the management is essential such as coaching, training and expecting mistakes being a piece of the course.
This is the final stage of the process and it is very relevant as the desired change must be accepted and sustained. Without the freezing stage, there is always a tendency of the people to return back to the things that they are used to do. It is necessary to ensure that desired change is continually being performed and not forgotten.
Bullock and Batten, planned change
This model involves four stages: exploration, planning, action and integration. The occurrence of the exploration is when the management confirms that there is a need for change and secure resources needed for it (enotes,2011). Resources may be classified into physical or mental such as the expertise of the manager. Subsequently, planning takes place when the people in charge in decision making create a desired plan followed by review and approval. When the implementation of the plan takes place, that is when the action stage occurs. Lastly, integration starts by the time the action in the desired change plan is in motion and when the changes have been associated with the organization with a certain degree of validation by means of policies and organizational procedures.
Strategy - to have a competitive advantage in the competition, strategies are needed.
Structure - organizational structure and the line of management
Systems - employees' daily activities
Shared Values - organizational values being implemented to employees
Style - the way leaders and managers behave towards the realization of its objectives.
Staff - employees and their whole capabilities
Skills - the expertise and capabilities of the people in the company
1.2 RELEVANCE OF CHANGE MODEL
Travelodge Hotel is best analysed using the McKinsey's 7 S. In this case, due to the constant existence of the hostels, which obviously offer low prices, Travelodge's objective of expansion every year has been affected. In this matter, they need minimize their cost and expenses for them to sustain in the competition regarding price.
The company needs to have a good strategy to maintain their growth and to have an advantage in the hotel industry, like providing extra discounts to students and tourist. Talking about the structure, being a hierarchical management as all orders are mandated by the head office, they need to see to it that proper communication must be observed from the top to the bottom. In this way, a change of structure is needed. Likewise, for the change to be effective, systems of the organization must be taken into consideration without neglecting the core values of the hotel which is to provide affordable accommodation to everybody. In my point of view, objectives of the company relating to expansion and change will be best fulfilled if management is supportive enough to motivate people to perform. In implementing changes, employees and their skills are relevant because without them planned changes in Travelodge Hotel will just be wasted.
The models and techniques are important for the organization because it serves as the guidelines to achieve the plan.
1.3 VALUE OF STRATEGIC INTERVENTION
In every planned action that needs to be materialized, strategic intervention is needed because it gives and reminds individuals a certain motivation and direction in between the process. Making us understand on the things that we do, why we do it and how, is the main function of intervention. Its value cannot be underestimated as they are the tools in the process of achieving organization's objective.
Travelodge process of change within the organization and among individuals, requires human process intervention, team building consensus and conflict, as well as human resource management as they are a huge organization. Considering the external, organizational and government intervention is also necessary because the target of expansion requires all those things to operate.
ISSUES RELATING TO THE ORGANIZATION'S STRATEGIC CHANGE
Various issues are to be considered pertaining to the strategic change in an organization. It does not matter how we define this change because of the mere fact that challenge to the company is inevitable: balancing the demands and hopes among the stakeholders including customer, employees, management and shareholders. Without balance, an organization risks an anxious work force that may yield declining output.
Needs for Change
Travelodge is experiencing a decline of sales nowadays due to the emergence of new hotels and hostels in the City Of London. Further promotions and offerings about their products and services must be considered. One of the reasons why people tend to stay in other hotel is because of their services and prices. Another thing to be considered by the organization is the culture of their staff. The company is experiencing a high people turnover for years already.
Since people are having various options to choose from in the market regarding accommodations, plus the crisis in the economy, Travelodge must be able to have an edge in the market. This thing must be given focus by the organization to maintain the market share.
Factors that are driving the need for strategic change in Travelodge
The present economy and the massive competition in the hotel industry are one of the factors why there is a need for a change. Travelodge being a low cost accommodation, still needs to find ways on how to increase market share and be profitable. The upcoming Olympic games on 2012 is a good opportunity for them to increase profit. Hence, further development of their promotions and offers must be studied and done.
Customer satisfaction is one of their problems nowadays because of low performance of the team which leads the company to adapt change in the system of delivering exceptional experience and services to the guests.
Considering the external factors, competitors' edge in prices and services are one of the factors that affect the operation of Travelodge Hotel because it decreases the guest turnover and therefore affects their financial status necessary to run the business.
Resource Implications of the Organization Not Responding to Change
Human Resources which pertain to employees are expected to resist in the process of change because they may feel uncomfortable in doing new things related to what they are used to. Skills Development is necessary for each and every employees working in the hotel industry especially in the aspect of customer service. Strict compliance of the standard operating procedure is required for guests' satisfaction.
Likewise, physical resources like refurbishments of the building may be hard to do because it entails a lot of time and money to finance the said project. Though it is necessary for Travelodge to keep their rooms and the entire hotel presentable to gain more positive reviews from guest, there are still lots of things to be prioritized and considered especially in the matter of finance. Financial resources is always an issue in implementing any projects because of the fact that there is a decline in the income of Travelodge Hotel. In connection with this, a difficulty in implementing the change is visible.
BE ABLE TO LEAD STAKEHOLDERS IN DEVELOPING A STRATEGY FOR CHANGE
MULTIPLE CAUSE DIAGRAM
According to Hopkins 2005, it is a technique that you can use on your own or with groups of people and also known as the fish bone method. To start with a definition of the performance problem is the essential idea followed by a question of why it is happening until building up a picture of various factors affecting the performance.
Travelodge Hotel is undergoing a decrease in performance of their sales and income because of the massive competition in the market. Their regular patrons are finding better options regarding to prices and services. Recent reviews show a lot guest complaints and guest being dissatisfied. This is because staffs are not delivering exceptional service to the guest as well as the appearance of the room itself. Due to crisis financially, further trainings to individuals and building improvements have been left out for a while which results to low performance.
Change Management Strategy with Stakeholders
3.2.1 Employees' Development
Employees must undergo training programs to enhance their skills in customer service. This refers to staff from Front Office Department and Food and Beverage Department because they are the one who are directly in contact with the guest. Further trainings and performance appraisal of the employees must be given focus by the management because in this way employees will tend to do their best in imparting good customer service to the guest. Next step is to create a system which motivates the employees to perform well such as providing extra gratuities at the end of the month. Normally, in the hotel industry, guests are generous enough to leave some tips for the staff, in connection with this, Travelodge must have a system for the gratuities to be divided equally amongst the employees from all departments.
As Travelodge Hotel is accepting bookings online like all other hotels, promotions and offers must be presented as well in their site to create people's awareness of what is being offered during the season.
3.2.3 Customers' Feedback
External stakeholders are relevant in developing a change. By asking feedback from them regarding the services during their stay will help the hotel to develop the areas which they are low in performance. Reviews regarding the hotel provide a lead for the potential guest to make a choice. Nonetheless, Travelodge must see to it that guest are satisfied in order for them to leave an excellent rate and review.
Evaluation of the System Used
Using the Multiple Cause Diagram is advantageous because in this way, the management can pinpoint the exact cause of the problem that needs to be change. It is an easy to use tool for Travelodge Hotel to be performed because answering to the 'why' question is all it needs. For instance, the cause of a decline in profit is the massive competition in the market, hence, followed by moving their regular guest to other hotels because of poor services. In this way, the management of Travelodge will be able to identify the factors which cause the main problem. And through this, they can easily formulate a strategy which will help them overcome the present status in their business.
Management of Resistance Strategies
3.4.1 Open Communication
This must be done all throughout the process for the people to fully understand the purpose of the planned change, and the opportunities that lies ahead if change will be implemented. In the process of change exchange of ideas is necessary for the people to feel that their participation is important which somehow results to motivation in responding positively to change.
This is necessary in order to control people's behaviour for the benefit of the implemented change. Management must direct people that certain change must be adapted and they need to participate on it.
In the implemented change, an evaluation is necessary for the management to know whether people are responding positively and whether the goals are halfway to achieve. Knowing the cause of resistance must also be taken into consideration so that proper ways to handle the situation will be exercised.
BE ABLE TO IMPLEMENT MODELS FOR ENSURING ONGOING CHANGE
4.1 ADKAR Model
In my own understanding, ADKAR model is appropriate to use for Travelodge Hotel as it delivers awareness for the necessary changes, desire to participate and support the change, knowledge on how to change, ability to implement the planned change and reinforcement to sustain the change in an organization.
Implementation of the Model for Change
Travelodge Hotel management must see to it that people concerned are aware of the planned change before implementing it so as to avoid resistance and more chaos in the organization. Because strict compliance of standard operation procedures are needed to be implemented which have been neglected by most of the people, management has to announce accordingly its pros and cons.
To instil this to the employees, they need to be aware first of the necessity why change must have to happen. So therefore, in informing people that policies and procedures must be changed pertaining to customer service efficiency, convincing them to believe that the hotel is not performing well in terms of income which somehow affects their benefits can create a desire for them to participate in the process.
This comes after having the desire of participating in the process. The management is therefore required to elaborate the things that need to be done in the implementation of the planned change. For instance, in order to have a high rate performance in the reviews, receptionist must perform well in dealing with the customer's complaint and in achieving that, further trainings are needed.
In this area, the Managers of Travelodge Hotel must provide coaching and mentoring to people. In the case of Food and Beverage division, Food and Beverage Managers must provide hands-on training to the staff because this is where he knows whether staffs are performing according to the standard of the hotel.
This is where the management needs to have focus for the change to stay in place. This can be done by undergoing evaluations and proper monitoring of the employees performance through feedback from Travelodge guests or on the job observation.
Measures to Monitor Progress
Progress of the change can be monitored through progressive reviews during meetings and consultation. Wherein each individual will have a chance to speak out their ideas and observation. Likewise, goal- based evaluation is also helpful because this is where the management can assess if the goal is being reached already or still needs more hard work for it to be realized. Similarly, regular reports regarding customers' feedbacks and employees' performance must also be considered for the management to take necessary measures if something out of the context is happening.
In my own understanding, ADKAR model is suitable to use in implementing the change for Travelodge because it emphasizes to individuals which are the main resources in the organization. By using this model, determining the specific area to improve and to maintain is easy simply because it is a step by step process.
Travelodge current situation is driving the company to strive more in formulating ideas on how to improve their services especially in customer satisfaction. Hence, by implementing the planned strategies, it will somehow give the organization an edge to compete in the market.