SACC had been the pride of Salchester for many years, and during the tenure of Mr. Bernard, it became a centre for arts and culture of that place. But shortly after his retirement, the board of councils and other members of the board of SACC felt the need for a complete change in the management as well as the functions being carried out by the organization. These became very apparent after the appointment of Mr. Calvin as the Artistic and Managing Director of SACC.
Mr. Calvin had a wide exposure of working internationally with a Cultural and Arts centre in Chicago, which made him a person with a different school of thought about the business. He felt the need for a proper functioning of organization, professionalism in Human Resources and effective methods of recruitment - all of these he found amiss in the centre. The employees were viewing their jobs more like a service to culture and less like a proper job. The jobs were also not properly defined; therefore the employees did not understand the objectives of the company properly. The employees who were seen as potential candidates also refused to join as the pay, benefits and other HR related aspects were ineffective, and they realized that growth in the organization was minimal.
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So the new M.D. had a wide range of challenges ahead of him. He had to take care of proper functioning of the Personnel Department along with the Marketing Department, where people leaving were not replaced appropriately. The leadership techniques had to be changed and resistance to the new changes in the organization also had to be managed effectively. Proper lines of communication were required. This had to be clarified to all the staff members such that there is no perplexity in communication. The local university students also could be made permanent employees after their graduation, and this would be a positive factor for the company. These factors seemed to be amiss in the organization at that moment.
Eventually there needs to be a marked change in organizational functioning which has to be made clear to the employees such that they also strive to the achievement of the organization's vision and mission. The employees have to be taken care of by giving proper pay, perks and additional motivational factors like good working conditions and a pat on the back. This in turn would augment their job satisfaction persuading them to be retained in the organization than going for greener pastures.
The Essence of Change Management is Effective Communication.
There is a lot of mismanagement taking place in the organization. This is felt both by the new M.D as well as the Board of Directors. The company is losing its efficient workforce especially, from its Marketing Department. The basic managerial function is to develop a good communication channel in the organization. But in the case of SACC, there seems to be no communication channel ever established. As a HR manager, I would suggest that the company formulates a clear chain of command, and a communication channel through this chain. The organization is a cultural centre, so the communication can be through informal mode such that the departments are able to identify their problems and communicate to the concerned authority in a more relaxed manner.
According to research, most organizations make good profits because of effective communication, because they go hand in hand. It is further said that a good business plan is meaningless unless everyone is aware of it. Good communication is essential for any organization to function effectively making use of the greatest assets of the organization, the Human Resources.
In this case, the top management is planning to bring in strategic changes which have to be communicated properly to the employees. When changes are brought in without proper information, there would certainly be resistance to that change from the employees' side. It is generally believed that leaders are viewed as 'meaning makers'. They are capable of turning any unimaginably complex materials of reality into highly attainable tasks. If an effective leader makes sure that a highly impossible dream would become a reality tomorrow to his employees, the work force would eagerly accept today's changes brought into the organization.
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The leader is a person who brings in two things into the organization through the process of communication - influence and effectiveness. When the leader perceives any change in the behavior of the employee, it shows the influence created by the leader in the employee. The emotion exhibited by the employee during the transformation period and the readiness the employee shows in his actions, communicate whether the leader has had a positive or a negative influence on the employee. So to make a communication effective, the message received is put together with the understanding of the message by the receiver.
In this case, the leader has to make the employees understand the need for change in the organization. The leader can put his points in a logical manner with a tinge of emotion attached to it. When the employees are made to understand that whatever changes are brought in the organization are for their benefit and in the long run would help in making their jobs secure, the employees would surely agree for the change.
The communication should be two way, i.e. the leader should be able to communicate as well listen in an unequivocal fashion, without any pre-conceived notions. The leader should develop a rapport with the employees, which means that the leader should be able to speak in the language comprehendible by the employees, such that the workforce is made comfortable to listen to what the leader is about to say.
The next step is to keep pace with the employees which mean that actually following what the employees do in their jobs or personally, such that they feel that the leader is one amongst them.
The third step is to make the workforce pace with the leader, or influencing them to perform what the leader wants them to perform.
The last step is having behavioral adaptability, which means behaving in a manner similar to that of the employees, give them confidence to have open communication with the leader and make honest efforts to adapt to the changes being enforced in the organization in course of time.
The course of action for the present scenario would be as follows:
The hierarchical ladder of the organization has to be redone in a more organized manner, keeping in view the departments which function in SACC.
The communication channels created must be fair and transparent such that the employees have faith and confidence in their superiors.
The organizational structure could be made a matrix structure such that the power and authority is decentralized. This helps the concerned people have a proper flow of communication in both directions which would help them in proper decision making.
As the channels of communication are made clear, the changes brought into the organization would also be understood by the employees in an easier manner.
The people in charge of the departments should be able to persuade their subordinates in such a manner that they should understand that the need for change is inevitable and for their own good.
The job description should be given clearly to all the employees in a manner that the nature of the job, the objectives given to the employees and the tasks involved in accomplishing the objectives in a particular period of time should be communicated to the employees in an easily lucid manner.
The first and foremost factor that has to be kept in mind by the authorities while implementing changes is the fear that the employees have about any change. This fear has to be addressed by proper communication techniques.
A successful leader should know the way to get things through other people. He must have the competence to do things with more poise, skill and efficacy. He must be empathetic along with austerity in his behavior so that people respect him and want to follow him. He should also have the courage to take actions, even if he thinks they are unachievable but feels that they are right for his people. He must also be charismatic with good communication to make the people understand the need of change and make them accept the change. He must also be committed towards his people and team such that when people realize that the leader is striving for their welfare, they would eagerly accept whatever changes are brought into the organization.
Change Management in SACC
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Change management has to be done very cautiously and the people have to be made to understand why change has to be brought in the organization. The main occupational groups which are involved with SACC are the Advisory board and the members of the board. The members are people who hold high positions in various organizations such as two town councilors, the Vice Chancellor of the local university, the CEO of a large electronics firm, a representative of the bank of SACC, two celebrities from the local media, the President of the local Chamber of Commerce and two representatives from the theater.
Except for the members of the company board, the other members are the HR of various departments of the company. Though there are departments like marketing, personnel etc, the effectiveness of functioning of these departments are not explicitly visible in the output of the company. The employees are leaving the company and there are no clear policies laid out by the company to recruit new and capable hands. The company has been working in a similar fashion during the tenure of Mr. Bernard and even years after his retirement, the modus operandi followed by the company has not changed. Majority of the workforce are part time, and later made full time employees.
There are also no proper promotional policies laid for the HR of the company and the only objective of the present MD is to take the company to an international arena.
There are no proper job specifications spelt out for the employees, and employee benefits and welfare is taken care of by a small personnel department which has not changed a bit in five years. Many of the employees have the mind set of doing community service rather than doing an actual job. They also do not have any inkling about how secure their jobs are and how far they can go ahead in their jobs. There seem to be no job involvement, job satisfaction and organizational commitment among the employees, except that they are performing their routine jobs. People are leaving the company, especially in the marketing department. The communication system of the company is not effective and there is no cohesiveness between the administration and the marketing departments.
Managing change is managing employee's illogical fears, and if the leadership is effective, this fear could be managed properly. The degree of resistance that an employee shows for change is the perception that the person exhibits towards the outcome (either positive or negative), and the impact of change that they perceive to be on their behavior. When an employee finally copes with the change, two factors are considered important; one, the amount of resistance that the employee has towards the change and the other, the employee's ability to cope with the change along with their support system.
As a good leader, making the people understand what is changing and why is it changing is equally important as the need to understand clearly the reason for the reluctance arising out of the employees towards the change.
The resistance to change has to be addressed in a reasonable manner such that the employees are made to communicate the reason for their fears, their concerns, do they strongly possess a positive or a negative feeling toward the change and how strong their feelings are. The leader should be empathetic and not be overly logical or rational in his approach with the employees. The communication channels have to be very clear such that the people understand why there is a need for change and how it would affect them. This would help increase the productivity before and after the change.
The changes would be resisted by the employees who are with the organization for a very long time. There are going to be changes in various departments; policies and procedures are going to change, job description is going to be given to the employees. The college students who work part time are going to be recruited full time after their graduation. Communication channels are going to be devised clearly and clear planning is going to be formulated so that the objective of the organization is understood by the employees clearly and they strive to achieve it. Positions would be filled as soon as someone leaves the organization, which has not been the case till recently.
When the organization authorities plan to bring in so many changes, resistance would come from all quarters, especially from senior employees. This is because they fear that if the changes are implemented, it would have an impact on their jobs. There would be no job security and they would not get other benefits. But it is the responsibility of the leader to convince them that the changes would do good to them rather than harming their interests. It is only going to be advantageous to the employees, giving them a scope to expand their horizons and enhance their vision about everything. A good leader is one who possesses good communication skills, exhibits creativity, shows curiosity, depicts good character, has enormous courage, is outstandingly charismatic and demonstrates strong conviction for his team, job and organization.
So a good leader can persuade his people through properly and effectively communicating the need for change and the benefit that would be seen in the long run due to these changes. One more important aspect is involving their employees in implementing these changes. The employees could be consulted as well as made to participate in any decision making process of the organization, which would increase the productivity of the employees and also their efficiency. The leader must know precisely what is changing, what is not, who is gaining, who is not gaining and why is it changing and should also be able to clearly communicate it to his employees.
The next stage is communicating to the employees the manner in which the changes would affect them. It should be communicated to them if new jobs would be added to already present ones and the nature of jobs after the change. It should also be communicated whether the type of job would be changed, what effect it would have on the security of the jobs and other HR related aspects like pay, benefits etc. The leader should also explain the employees whether it would have an impact on the seniority of the employees, and if the current skills of the employees would be useful after the change occurs. They should also address whether the present conditions of the jobs would remain the same or would it also change.
Promoting Employer Brand Through Performance Management System and Leadership Development Program
The company has the responsibility of establishing their brand and trying to retain the existing employees. It has to ensure that the HR is taken care of properly and is involved in decision making of materializing the changes thought about by the organization. If the employees realize their value in the organization, they would be ready to exhibit their cooperation in achieving organizational objectives, thereby deriving job satisfaction.
The first step is to formulate a thoroughly conceived Performance Management System and implement it to evaluate the employees. The employees should be made aware of what is expected of them like, making them understand what is their objective, communicating about their job performance (timely feedback), help the employees improve their performance and giving due credit or rewards for a good job.
The basic need for a Performance Management System is to increase the employee performance in such a manner that the objective of the organization is reached and productivity also increases. A good performance management should take into consideration the following elements:
The job description given to the employees should be updated as soon as a change has set in. If the employees are clear about their nature of duties, job category and what is expected of them, then the changes which are being brought in would be taken positively by the employees.
After clearly stating the job description, the employee's performance has to be measured and standards for measuring the same have to be devised. The measuring technique should be quantifiable and it should clearly differentiate a worker from a non-worker.
The third step is the most important one, which is giving training to the evaluator. It is not uncommon to first train the trainer. In the same manner, an evaluator has to be given training prior to evaluation, so that he is unbiased and consistent in his appraisals of an employee.
The company policy should indicate the time frame for an employee to show improvement, if his performance is not up to the mark. Once this time period is over, he should be assessed whether he showed any marked improvement or not and also what would be his future in the company.
To make the company's Performance Management Program a success, the company should indulge the staff members in it. If it is extremely warranted, the employee inputs could also be incorporated into the program.
The last step is to reward the employees for their performance. It is very obvious that a happy worker is always a productive worker. So to keep an employee happy, he must be rewarded appropriately for a good job. If rewards are given, it would improve employee morale, which in turn improves their satisfaction level. This is very important for the organization since a satisfied worker is always loyal towards the organization.
In the case of SACC, the M.D has very lofty ideas of making the organization a globally renowned one. This can be achieved only if the employees are inclined towards achieving organizational objectives. The employees must be trained about their jobs from time to time, and when a change is introduced they must take it as a challenge. The employees should perceive the organization as a place to have a wider scope for career improvement. They should not have the slightest fear of job security. The leadership should function in such a way that the employees should not be hesitant about communicating their problems to the leaders and doing what the leader wants them to do.
The HR department of SACC is planning to create an employer brand, which according to them should be able to retain existing employees and attract new talents. So the organization has plans to undertake the above mentioned mission and try to retain its workforce. The organization is apprehensive about the number of people leaving the organization and the hardships faced in attracting new talent into the company. The company is also finding ways to improve the image of the company in the eyes of its potential employees thereby finding means to retain them.
It does not stop with just Performance Management System; it is also formulating the Leadership Development Program; wherein the leadership qualities of an individual like interpersonal relations, team building, effective communication etc. are developed. It enhances the individual to become a leader and prepares the base for the interpersonal relationship in a team to enhance. The leadership development program brings out the following in an individual - pragmatic learning, self-efficacy and creates a broader vision about the future of the organization. The leaders must be able to lead themselves and others effectively.
Though the Performance Management System exists, it is in a dormant state. So it has to be taken up again with lot more energy and enthusiasm with the help of newly created Leadership Development Program, to attain the objectives of the company. The HR also would thereby be retained and new talent like the college graduates could be recruited as full time employees.
SMART which is otherwise known as Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time- Bound goals, have been formulated but not done practically. Now after formulating the principles, practices, policies, goals of the company specifically and having communicated these to relevant people appropriately, the company would achieve its objectives as expected. The five major problems which are faced by the M.D would also be solved if all these are implemented accurately along with the positive attitudinal changes of the people.