In any organization, there are various changes that may be implemented so that different targets will be achieved in that organization or department. An organization change is the process of restructuring and rearranging duties and other facets of the workplaces so that work can be smooth and efficient. In the criminal justice system, change must be sufficient so that criminal records and other responsibilities of the criminal sector can be in line with the demand of the rest of the public and other authorities that should work hand in hand to ensure that justice is obtained.
Impact of change management on employees
Any change in any organization always makes employees uncertain of what they should be expecting from their employers. In any society, change is always known to disturb the status quo (Black & Gregersen, 2013). Employees always fearing of what tomorrow will bring and such feelings makes them be prepared in a negative way and any negativity among an employee leads to resistance within the organization.
The change also leads to mental and emotional stress among the employees that leads to low productivity at work. Organizational change is an unplanned event, and most employees record a high rate of visitation to the various hospitals for stress related conditions. Most employees are always unaware, and therefore the feelings and fear of the future impacts on their lives make them emotionally depressed. Such behaviors in the working environment lead to low morale and thus the urge to resist the proposed change. The employees end up feeling that they have not received justice due to the implementation of the changes. Others also start blaming the management for poor communication of the proposed changes. In most organizations, however, employees have never appreciated that they were informed adequately. For example, if there were a change in the use of a new technology system, the employees would argue that they were not consulted earlier enough. They would blame the rest of the management for not offering them the necessary training on how to use the devised technologies.
Employees who are also accustomed to a given type of environment and work set up are always interrupted with the change when it is introduced. There are various changes that an organization can undertake. In most cases issues that are related to cost cutting takes center stage in most organizations. When such changes are implemented in any organization, most employees are short of options, and they end up looking for other options of employment. Such movement, therefore, leads to lack of loyalty by most employees who ends up looking for other job choices. In the process of other employees seeking employment elsewhere makes the remaining employees demotivated. Even if they do not find employment at a different working place, they always end up feeling not worthy, and the output will not be the same before the change was introduced. If there are no adequate measures taken to control their resentment, they may end up sabotaging the actions of the whole company. They are always angry, and motivation decreases making them unproductive (Cummings & Worley, 2014).
Change management and employee engagement
Employees also react to the announcement of change by trying to spend less much in the offices opposed as it was the case earlier. When a given change is announced, for example, the introduction of new technology on how the legal services employees should file the cases and any other court proceedings; two types of groups emerge as a result. There are those whose primary aim is to try and work better and harder so that their managers can notice them and they may retain their jobs as the change is implemented. On the other hand, there are those employees who have given up, and they try to resist as much as possible. They may be observed coming to job late, filling for sick leaves most often and above all not working with motivation as usual in the organization. Such employees are coping with the changes by avoiding them (Black & Gregersen, 2013). A team that is trying to implement and comes up with an organizational change different from the way it has been operating should expect such behaviors among others being explored by employees. As earlier noted most employees feel let down, depressed and feel that their employers do not appreciate them.
Employees should be understood to behave differently when subjected to change and the several measures should be put in place to contain such employees. Employees are human beings, and it is understood when they are emotionally and psychologically affected by the upcoming changes. An organization, therefore, should look for strategies to reduce the negative impact that organizational changes have on it employees. The entire team, in the long run, will be affected by the changes if the employees are adversely affected. In today’s competing business world a slight impact on the employees that may lead to negative behavior makes the entire organization to fail. Competitors, therefore, should be well thought on how to be countered if the employees are adversely affected, and they start reflecting the above behaviors as discussed (Cummings & Worley, 2014).
In implementing any organizational change, there must be barriers associated with the change. In the criminal justice system, the introduction of the use of new technology in the system goes a long way to improving efficiency of the entire department. On the other hand, various individuals or employees are not ready to adapt to the use of the technology. Technology use across the organization as a whole has been a critical issue to introduce to the employees in the system. Use of technology being a new idea is also a primary source of resistance among the employees. The major technology user in the criminal system is the use of database software to store information to reduce the turn-around of cases involved. There has been a prolonged cry of how fast can the cases can be handled, and the use of techno-related systems can make solving of cases quicker and also give officials easier and quicker means of solving the cases (Stojkovic, Kalinich, & Klofas, 2014).
Barriers to change in the workplace
Any change in an organization that was not planned always is faced with resistances, and various obstacles may face the proposed change. Any change needs particular implementation plans and logistics so that it can be worth and productive in the system. In any system, if the employees are not involved in any planning, there is always a good reason to come up with excuses for not giving in to the ideas that an organization may find. Employees always have a fear of any change and if they are not involved at any level, they may feel threatened and fear of cooperating with the rest of the organization’s objectives. The worst mistake that happens in most organizations is the issue of excluding the entire employees in the change process. If for example, there is a technological change in the criminal justice system, all the affected employees or the change agents should be notified, and their views should be factored so that clear conclusion can be arrived at (Reiss, 2012). It will give the employees better understanding of the changes that they are expecting so that they can be in line with what is expected of them. For a successful change to be effective, all the affected employees must be provided with the essential resources and be assured that the changes are for the benefit of the entire organization and they are aimed at improving efficiency in the workplace.
Most barriers to change also happen in an organization due to the reasons that most change planners overlook the impact it has on feelings and emotions of the employees. It is always easier to plan on how the administrative changes will happen, assigning of each of the job responsibilities of the employees and the reporting structures and forget to cater to the emotional feelings that the workers will encounter. Bringing about change without considering the feelings of the employees and their reasoning brings barriers to change.
Organizations such as the criminal justice system end up facing organizational barrier due to the lack of background about the particular organization. Imposing change on employees who are not ready for that structural change creates a barrier for change to the rest in the body (Stojkovic, Kalinich, & Klofas, 2014). Changing the way an organization operates must always be considered by thorough understanding how the organization works. Bringing in changes that are not based on the current blueprint of a given structure creates tension among the employees leading to resistance to change of the anticipated action.
Change management resistance and barriers to change
A complex organization is one source of an organizational barrier among the employees. Changes that do not fit the structure of an organization make it harder for the rest of the plans to be complex. Achieving the required changes thus end up demotivating employees and making the transition process complex. The existence of complex processes, systems, and products brings uncertainty since they make the employees to be confused on which process and where to start and complete. It, therefore, brings a feeling of anxiety and finally leads to resistance from the employees (Black & Gregersen, 2013).
There are various strategies that organizations can implement when introducing the change to ensure that they counter the negative feelings of the employees. There must be a clear communication to the employees regarding the upcoming changes. All staff should be clearly communicated and in advance so that they can understand why the change is happening. When such a step is taken, it becomes easier for the rest of the organization to sail through the change phase. Clear communication fir example about the future technology will put all the District Attorneys aware of what is expected of them. On the other hand, there would be same understanding of what the change entails so that future cooperation may be obtained from the entire organization (Stojkovic, Kalinich, & Klofas, 2014). When employees are ambushed with change, it becomes a tough and a costly task to explain to them when they are in the process of reacting to the modification.
In overcoming an organization complexity barrier, it is advisable that the group employs a diligent team that will ensure its plans are efficient and that are not too complicated for the organization. A complex change that is not well prepared for end up ruining the future of the business and therefore the need for change specialists to handle any change plans. For an organization that is not sophisticated enough to handle such related changes, it is better for that change to be put on hold before it takes place on that team.
Most organizations can overcome various challenges that they face as a result of an organizational change due to the involvement of the entire employees. Employees should feel part of the change process, and this has always worked miracles in overcoming any barriers that may be experienced in the organization. By involving the rest of the employees regarding the change means that they will also be responsible if the change doesn’t yield the expected results that are expected of the change team. Employees appointed to the transition board of members should serve as the representatives of the rest of the employees. It ensures that all the employees in the organizations are represented, and whenever the change actions hit the ground, all staff are well aware should be psychologically ready for the change. Involving the employees in the decision-making processes ensures that their opinions and feelings are well heard and acted upon urgently. Such actions will make the employees ready for the change if it negatively affects them. As an employer, it is vital also to provide any resources that may be required for the changes to be effective. For example, if the introduction of the new technologies in the judicial system requires training for the staff involved, it is vital that such training is offered in advance so that they cannot have an excuse for not coping with the change (Black & Gregersen, 2013).
In conclusion, any organizational change is a surprise to most employees and the right methods of reducing the adverse impacts should be sought. Most organizations do not value the input and emotions of the employees leading them to be repulsive when an organizational change occurs. Employees are the most affected when an organizational change is being undertaken. They should, therefore, be handled with respect and dignity. Various employees react differently when confronted with change. Others avoid the change and some tries to cope with the change anticipated. It is vital for individuals involved in the change process to know the employees' reactions and have the right plan for implementing the change. Employees should in most cases communicated effectively before applying a change to reduce the resistances and barriers to change in an organization.
Black, S. J., & Gregersen, H. B. (2013). It Starts with One: Changing Individuals
Changes Organizations. New York: Pearson Education.
Cummings, T., & Worley, C. (2014). Organization Development and Change.
Boston: Cengage Learning.
Reiss, M. (2012). Change Management. New York: BoD – Books on Demand.
Stojkovic, S., Kalinich, D., & Klofas, J. (2014). Criminal Justice Organizations:
Administration and Management. Boston: Cengage Learning.
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