The prime intentions of major change management

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The prime intention of this paper is to integrate a major change management at a group-wide level for an effective management development programme that is designed to revolutionize management paradigm and the organizational culture of Royal Mail. Further improvement and constructive development of the management has been identified as tackling the organizational structure and administrative fashion of the Royal Mail Company. The study further expounds on step by step phases as the plan progresses by detailing the essential methods to achieve the strategic objectives. Step to Success is an event that has been planned and implemented with an endeavour for the development of management. Furthermore, the plan has been evaluated by field of force analysis to verify its effectiveness and a contingency plan has also been formulated. The study is focussed to underline the core significance of change management as required by Royal Mail in order to sustain profitability.

1.1 THE ROYAL MAIL GROUP

The Royal Mail Group is comprised of three distinguished brands i.e. Post Office, Royal Mail and Parcel force Worldwide. The core facility as offered by the company is its mail services, delivering 82 million letters, cards and parcels to 27 million UK addresses on daily basis (Ark Group Ltd., 2009). The Post Office has an extensive network and is constituted as the largest retail chain in Europe with 16,000 branches having a huge set of connections which is more than all the main banks and building societies put together. Covering more than 99.6% of the population in approximately 239 countries across the globe, the Parcel force Worldwide provides convenient access to the world's largest delivery network. It is important to note that Royal Mail, Parcel force Worldwide, and the Post Office branches use different systems to host critical data, such as product catalogues, customer profiles, invoices and parcel tracking systems.

1.1.1 THE KEY OBJECTIVES

Royal Mail Group's vision is to be demonstrably the best and most trusted postal services company in the world. To achieve their core objective, it is important for the Royal Mail Group to adapt an effective organizational and structural change in order to meet the future challenges due to advanced technological environment and continuously changing global trends. The positive change in management would help Royal Mail Group to get the best out of their leading brands and settle the right strategic direction for their company. The main objective to acquire a change management process by a company is to ensure that standardised methods and procedures are utilized for efficient and prompt handling of all changes, in order to minimise the impact of change-related incidents upon service quality, and consequently to improve the operations of the organisation (Blanchard et al, 2009).

1.2 SWOT ANALYSIS OF ROYAL MAIL GROUP

To develop a better understanding of the organizational structure of Royal Mail Group it is very important to scan its internal and external environment to formulate a strategic planning process that may eventually produce the desire organizational change. The internal factors of the company's environment can be classified as strengths (S) or weaknesses (W), whereas; the external environment of the firm is classified as opportunities (O) or threats (T). The SWOT analysis of the Royal Mail Group as presented below, provides information that is helpful in matching the firm's resources and capabilities to the competitive environment in which it operates.

Table: 01 SWOT ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

Historical background with an extensive experience of about 370 years

Very strong infrastructure and acquaintance with mail services

Powerful brand name which is recognized by both the business and domestic customers

Under the postal service act 2000, Royal Mail became a PLC and has undergone huge transformation turning losses of more than £1 million a day into a £537 million profit (www.royalmailgroup.com)

Delivering best quality of service on record with world class performance

Consistent demand of postal services by various businesses like Banks, Solicitors etc.

Operational inefficiency due to the complex nature of organizational process and system

Competitive rivals with strong infrastructure and organizational culture

Bureaucratic style of management which keeps employees detached with the thought process to improve efficiency

Less employee engagement due to variety of internal culture of organization

Dramatic change in the external environment with greater competition and regulator involvement

OPPORTUNITIES

THREATS

Govt aims to sell off share in the service by 2009 cashed received will be pumped into Royal mail and post office (BBC, 2009)

Govt has proposed to transfer the responsibility for the pension funds with its £6 billion deficit to tax payers (BBC, 2009)

Modernisation plan going ahead by Lord Mandelson, (BBC, 2009)

Stringent regulations

Strong competitors like DHL and FedEx

Rise in internet usage and email systems has reduced the need of postal service

Increased political pressure on the Royal Mail to amplify revenue

Large pension fund deficit which has produced lack of motivation in the workforce

Accounting deficit of over £4 billion (BBC,2009)

Technology lagging

1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT

The subsistence of the Royal Mail Group has been there from a very long time and its persistent survival within the market by itself speaks for its success story. However, the global trends have been incessantly changing and in order to compete within aggressively spirited rivals like DHL and FedEx, there is a need to review the company's overall organizational composition. Furthermore, the current economic climate is not very encouraging and therefore, to endure an organization must critically examine its strategic plans in order to improve profitability. Another significant aspect which should be emphasized within the change management plan of an organization is to identify the consumer behaviour and position such effective and tactical arrangements that not only comply with the customer's need but may also account for customer retention (Laeler & Worley, 2006). The change management process is the key to success for an organization willing to gain competitive advantages over its contenders. Like other industries, globalisation has tremendously altered the depiction of postal services and therefore, the competition is not limited to the local opponents. For an organization eager to go through the change management process, it is necessary to identify the critical internal and external factors influencing the business, in a broader perspective. Once an organization has developed the strength to recognize the negative aspects of its cultural and environmental structure, it becomes capable to espouse change which in return guarantees for the success of an organization (Palmer, Dunford & Akin, 2006).

1.4 IDENTIFYING THE NEED FOR CHANGE

By critically evaluating the Royal Mail Group with the help of multiple cause diagram (Figure: 01) in context of its organizational structure, it can be constituted that the company certainly needs to move forward and sharpen up its willingness to flex to new challenges. One of the standard prescriptions for successful organisations is that they should know their own strengths and weaknesses, their customer needs and nature of the environment in which they operate (Burnes, 2000). The chairman of Royal mail group (Allan Leighton, 2000) identified the need of key operational changes in order to achieve sustainable profitability for the organization. Furthermore, quoting the group's Chief Executive, Adam Crozier, emphasizing the need for change as "the only way we can deliver long-term sustainable improvements in customer service, while generating sufficient cash to run our business".

Figure: 01 MULTIPLE CAUSE DIAGRAM

LAGGING BEHIND DUE TO TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT

PROCESS DOMINATED ORGANIZATION

INCREASED CUSTOMER CHOICE

OPERATIONAL COMPLEXITIES CAUSING INEFFICIENCY

COMPETITIVE RIVALRY

PENSION & ACCOUNTING DEFICIT

POLITICAL PRESSURE TO INCREASE PROFIT AND REVENUES

BEUROCRATIC STYLE OF MANAGEMENT

COMPETITORS GAINING INCREASED ADVANTAGE BY INTEGRATING ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES

LACK OF EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION

HOW TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE PROFITIBILITY?

AGITATION & STRIKES

ROYAL MAIL: CHANGE ISSUES

The issues presented are highlighting the need for change for Royal Mail Group and thereby providing concrete grounds for the company to adopt the change management strategy followed by the identification of the key issues:

Royal mail has been a process dominated organization with a bureaucratic mindset. The continuously evolving modern organizational setups have compelled Royal Mail to undergo a cultural and organizational change to cope up with the existing trends.

There has been a tremendous change in the lifestyles and aggressive integration of e-factor paradigm in daily life has lessened the charm of postal services. The shift of consumer's interest towards emails and e-bills also demand strategic change.

Old fashioned procedures have pushed back Royal Mail which is evidently lagging behind due to technological advancements (Mullins, 2005). Speedy services that are less time consuming and also offer competitive benefits are much in demand therefore, embracement of technology has also become a crucial factor that insists for change.

FORECASTING A CHANGE MANAGEMENT PLAN

Three main phases has been identified for Royal Mail's change management plan (Fig; 02)

Figure: 02 PHASES OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT PROCESS

PHASE I PREPARING FOR CHANGE

There is a need to determine the keenness of change within the organizations that may include assessing the organizational history, its culture, the overall structure and its employee in order to gain an insight into the challenges and opportunities that may arise during the change process.

Careful analysis of the target audience is required to convey key messages and therefore, an effective communication plan should be designed addressing the needs of front-line employees, supervisors and executives. 

PHASE II MANAGING CHANGE

Direct supervisors have more influence on their respective teams and hence it becomes slightly difficult to convince the need for change to the team when the supervisors become a source of resistance (Hiatt & Creasey, 2003). It is vital to gain the support of supervisors and to build change leadership.

A coaching strategy is to be developed once all the managers and supervisors are on board. A detailed schedule highlighting all the activities of change management process is then established.

Training and development is essential for increasing the awareness and willingness to change. The training requirements are based on the skills, knowledge and behaviours necessary to implement the change.

PHASE III REINFORCING CHANGE

Resistance to a change is a natural process however, it is essential to identify, understand and manage resistance to change throughout the organization. 

Engagement of employees is an integral part of managing change. Critical analysis and corrective action based on the feedback of employees, provides a robust cycle for implementing change (Burnes, 2000).

Individual and group recognition is an integral component to cement and reinforce the change in the organization.

As an ongoing and continuous process, improvement within an organization can be obtained by evaluating successes and failures, and identify process changes. An after action review of the change management plan determines the possibility to celebrate.

2.1 THE PROPOSED MODEL FOR CHANGE

The proposed model for change is anticipated to introduce a new management development with a target to bring a drastic change in mechanism. The change management plan is intended for the enhanced leadership development in which the managers are expected to gain competitive skills and higher level of buoyancy in order to perform in the best interest of improving profitability and making Royal Mail to standout with a great success story. The initiation of this plan followed by "Step to Success" event will become a major thrust for success. Following are the four main constructs of the proposed model for change (Figure: 03), in order to implement the change management process.

Figure: 03 FOUR MAJOR CONSTRUCTS OF CHANGE

VISION

The vision of Royal Mail has been very clearly set out stating to become "demonstrably the best and most trusted postal services company in the world". The notion has been concise, unforgettable yet equally inspirational and the most significant aspect is that the vision is grounded in where Royal Mail is already heading as a business.

LEADERSHIP

The criterion for recommending solution to the highlighted issues is expected to come from the dedicated employees that are neutral in their opinions about the organization and their opinions will be valued to help improve the organization.

CULTURE

The employees issues such as lack of leadership and collaboration; being undervalued; not being rewarded for creativity; shall be addressed by lessening the communication gap.

BRAND

Harnessing the quality of the brand with organizational improvement may result in benchmarking with best practices that has produced insight, meaning and relevant outputs as desired.

IMPLEMENTATION OF STEP TO SUCCESS EVENT

The plan is intended to mirror the new style of management and culture which is anticipated to be instilled at Royal Mail. The initial move to commence the "Step to Success" event is the introduction of the change management plan to the employees which is headed by the senior executives; in the first quarter of the year. Managers and Supervisors are targeted as the main audience to gain sufficient knowledge about the new programme and its associated benefits.

3.1 KEY COMPONENTS OF THE PLAN

With reference to the detailed Gantt chart, (Appendix, A) covering all the integral activities of the "Step to Success" event which is anticipated to commence within the set quarters for the year, planned 2010. Furthermore, the structural components representation of the event has been demonstrated by Figure: 04 and the details of which are illustrated as follows;

Figure: 04 IMPLEMENTATION PLAN FOR STEP TO SUCCESS EVENT

SETTING GOAL AND IMPLEMENTATION OF STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE

WORKSHOP

SKILL DEVELOPMENT

ACTION

LEARNING

COACHING

ELEARNING

Workshops: Workshops and training sessions are focused on high impact issues including health, safety, diversity etc. (Paton & McCalman, 2000).

Skill Development: Training sessions to develop key management skills like decision-making, assertiveness, collaborative working etc.

Action Learning: Managers are trained to regularly review the action plan, check its progress and discuss within groups.

Coaching: External coaches facilitate individuals to maximize their performance and trained to undertake leadership challenges.

E-learning: The performance management, conduct and attendance code, risk analysis, business targets and the balanced scorecard are few online management tools are effectively taught.

3.2 PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

In the beginning of each quarter, the performance review of each manager is monitored by the senior executive management and the efficacy of their performance followed by the relative impacts within the organization are measured in the mid of each quarter. The individual factors that are assessed for reviewing the performance are as follows:

The managerial techniques adopted to communicate with sub-ordinates;

Analysis of potential and the capability of the managers;

Rewarding system depending upon the performances;

Identifying the need for further developments;

Cultural and structural constraints of organization if any;

The efforts and time put in by the Royal Mail for the development of employees;

Assessment of opportunities and promotions given to the managers;

The frequency of performance appraisal by the senior management.

The results obtained by the performance management practice are then disseminated in order to review the overall progression change management process and further recommendations are proposed in order to achieve greater benefits and effectiveness of the change process.

3.3 FEEDBACK ANALYSIS

For the purpose of continuous progression of the organizational benefits associated with the change management process, it is essential for the Royal Mail company to conduct an employee survey in the mid of development year. The results obtained from the employee survey shall be critically analysed in order to observe the significant impacts of the new management development programme. The results may expound on the internal organizational development by identifying the change in style of management and the degree of change in the organizational culture infused within the Royal Mail. It is also advised to carry out regular feedback sessions on a weekly basis by the team supervisors, for further improvements.

PROBING THE VALUE OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT PLAN

The main objective to integrate a change management process within the Royal Mail organization is to achieve maximum profitability of business by effectively engaging the workforce and management employees that are the most essential constituents of the entire process. The commencement of a plan comes with the inevitable difficulties and pitfalls associated with the strategies being employed to bring about change (Jick & Peiperi, 2002). Royal Mail is structurally a very huge and geographically scattered organisation and hence it is quite difficult to put together consensus and support across every single department of the organization. It is quite possible that after the implementation of the change plan, some senior managers may feel reluctant to fully support the programme, since they don't trust the reliability of the "Step to Success" event and in addition to this, some employees may consider the choices of activities and flexibility of programme a bit perplexed. Therefore, it is always wise to set aside a contingency plan which should be developed on the basis of critical evaluation of the field forces that may help to determine the efficacy of the plan. A random sample of managers will be followed over the whole development year and performance measures, pre-and post development, will be compared across the different combinations of activity classes undertaken(Burke, 2002). Line managers are required to rate the changes identified in relevance to hard, key performance indicators that will further help in the advancement of the change process. By utilizing the field force analysis tool (Figure: 05) the senior managers can develop an improved contingency plan in order to gain more credibility over the proposed change model and a greater commitment can be achieved by motivating and engaging the entire workforce.

Figure: 05 FIELD FORCE ANALYSIS

FORCES AGAINST CHANGE

FORCES FOR CHANGE

5

CHANGE PLAN:

INTRODUCTION TO MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT

"STEP TO SUCCES"

3

2

3

3

4

3

3

2

Total Score: 12

Total Score: 16

CONCLUSION

The implementation of an effective change management process within an organization becomes obligatory when there is a significant piece of evidence that the cultural and organizational structure of that particular company needs to be modified. This paper also epitomized an illustration of innovative management development necessitate by the Royal Mail Group after critical assessment of its organizational structure. The study expounds on various significant aspects of the change management process and subsequently accentuates on the responsibility of managers and supervisors of Royal Mail. As the study progresses, it has been constituted that by developing and polishing the capabilities of the managers the increased profitability of the organization can be achieved (Blanchard et al, 2009). Moreover, the study supports the perception of group wide participation of the management employees of the Royal Mail for the successful change intervention that has been aimed to develop the skills of managers and also to unite the entire workforce in order to attain an ideal organizational culture. The launch of Step to Success event followed by distinguished and progressive phases has been planned to build potential managers and supervisors that may account for the institution of Royal Mail in the rapidly changing competitive market. The workforce engagement from bottom to top level has also been identified as the key element of the change process. In conclusion, it can be submitted that the role of Managers and Supervisors is extremely crucial in order to bring about positive and constructive cultural and organizational change and hence, the prime objective of an organization should be focussed upon the development of management in order to combat the organizational unsteadiness.

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