Assessing Virgin Media Readiness for Change

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Change is imperative for every organization. However, successful implementation of change is dependent of the organization readiness which is characterized by policies, structure, culture and financial stability. Various organizations are aiming at having an agile and efficient business. Examples of strategies employed by various organizations include cutting down the number of employees which aims at remaining with competent workers. Also, improving the facilities such as advanced technology ensures easy implementation of change. Among the key drivers for change in an organization include competition and the quest to increase its profits. While virgin media aims at improving the efficiency of the business, it is important to first assess its readiness for change while proposing and evaluating the effectiveness of other possible strategies and solutions.

About Virgin Media

Virgin Media is one of the portfolios of Virgin Group among other 34 companies. Virgin group is a technologically based investor that is characterized by more than 60 million customers globally and more than 71000 employees in all the 35 countries where it has invested (Foster, 2016). The multi-billion UK investor enjoys the annual revenue of 24 billion UD Dollars. Virgin Media, a company that offers broadband, TV, home phone and mobile services is the second largest UK Company on communication services. The one-decade old company which was founded in 2006 has its headquarters in Hook, Hampshire in the UK. According to Sweney & Plunkett (2013), the company had more than 15000 employees with 120 of them being on the top level and senior offices in 2012. Virgin Media operates its own fiber cable network with more than 5 million customers. The origin of the company was as a result of merging two companies, Telewest and NTL which had begun negotiations in 2003. The deal was sealed in March 2006 forming the largest UK cable services provider.

Current Practices That Should Be Changed

Despite virgin media maintaining a niche position in the communication services market share, there are several challenges associated with current HR practice and process through which the organization offers its services. One of the major hindrances is the huge taskforce which reduces its revenue. Though the company plans on reducing the number by at least four percent, such a strategy should not only involve the low-level workers but also the top management which has more than 120 senior officers and are considered to receive some of the highest salaries. This process should be done redundancy while aiming at reducing the number by 30% (Sweney & Plunkett, 2013). However, care should be taken not to lose grip on customers as a result of reduced taskforce and bad reputation of retrenching workers.. Another challenge that needs to be addressed is the companys method of introducing a new product. For instance, while introducing the 3D TVs, there was a flop which was as a result of ineffective communication. Basic marketing strategies that the company has failed to implement include scope, pricing, accessibility and strategic planning. One of the most important aspects of a successful organization is the efficient handling of customers complaints which Virgin Media has failed to do (Solomon, 2011). Various complaints have been raised regarding the time taken to attend to internet services problems. This has resulted in the company losing its customers to its competitors such as the merged BT and EE. Marketing challenges are also rampant despite the companys concern over the newly merged companies such as EE and BT. Other strategies that Virgin Media can use include 4P marketing strategies, conducting an open innovation challenge to colleges and developing an effective response team.

Reasons for Change

For Virgin to realize its main aim of being an agile and effective business that is fit for growth changes, the above-identified challenges need to be done for the following reasons which are based on change management theories. Cutting down the number of employees is a state of urgency for the company to realize an improvement in its profits. Another urgency aspect of dealing with is the development of an effective response team to address customers challenges (Angelica, 2012). According to Kotters eight steps change model whose first step is to establish a sense of urgency, this helps to convince others on the importance of change (Bourda, 2012).

Another reason for the proposed changes is to avoid losing more customers. Through developing an effective response team that uses new strategies, Virgin will maintain its customers by providing effective services. According to Lewiss change model, the refreezing stage involves change taking shape while people embrace new ways of doing things. Through developing new and improved marketing strategies, Virgin Media will have the chance to sell most of its products. This is according to the Lewin change model which notes that breaking the existing ways and introducing new ones builds up effective operation strategies.

Assessing Readiness for change

Before implementing any change in a company, it is important to assess the readiness of the organization to the proposed changes. Among the elements that must be considered in the assessment include Attitude which identifies the political economy for change regarding the vision and commitment to achieve the change, Conditions which include structures, laws and systems, and resources which determine the physical, human and financial abilities supporting the change (Web, 2013). There are two main tools that can be used to assess Virgin Media readiness for change. These include SWOT and PESTEL tools. While SWOT analyses mainly the strengths and weaknesses of the company, PESTEL is considered a more comprehensive tool as it assesses beyond the strengths and weaknesses of the Organization. PESTEL is an acronym for political, environmental, social, technology, legal and environmental factors.

PESTEL analysis for Virgin Media

Political: The UK government supports broadband access in the rural areas while aiming at having a superfast broadband network. However, there are policies consider health concerns as a result of mobile phones radiations. Economic: UK population continues to increase and is projected to continue in the next five years. Also, the GDP rose by 2% in the year 2012 which is also expected to continue growing. Additionally, inflation rates continue to fluctuate. Social: As the population increases, more people are investing in accessible and portable technology. Further, there is an increase in the reliance of social network communication. Regarding technology, there is a strong media association between the internet and mobile phone communication. Some of the improved technologies include 4G network and Wi Fi accessibility. Legal: these include communications Acts of 2003, Ofcom power presence and key trade associations such as Digital UK and ISPA UK. Environmental factors include natural calamities at manufacturers centers which affect production while causing delay.

In conclusion, based on the PESTEL analysis, virgin media through its policies and frameworks can be termed as an organization that is ready for a change. This is ascertained by the investment in technology regarding operations and management. Technology advancement also provides a supporting basis for reducing the number of employees since most of the activities previously done by several people can now be conducted by a reduced number of individuals. As the company enjoys a strong brand name, an improvement in its operations will result in expanding its network while retaining most of its customers. Further, implementing strategies such as innovation challenges open for universities and colleges will give the company new and innovative ideas. According to Lewins change model, the refreezing stage requires the implemented changes be incorporated permanently into an organization structure and culture. Also, the Lewin change management model the fifth stage encourages organizations to take risks while implementing modern activities and ideas. This is as proposed to the virgin media such as using the 4P marketing strategy.

References

Angelica Mari,(2012, July) Virgin media improves customer management. Retrieved July 30, 2016, from http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/1828983/virgin-media-improves-customer-management

Bourda, F. M. (2012). Change management theories and methodologies. Retrieved from http://www.tcs.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/White%20Papers/EntSol-Whitepaper-Change-Management-Theories-Methodologies-0213-1.pdf

Foster, C. (2016, May 5). About us. Retrieved July 30, 2016, from https://www.virgin.com/virgingroup/content/about-us

Solomon, K. (2011, July 5). Virgin media: Website blocking plan faces major issues. . Retrieved from http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/virgin-media-website-blocking-plan-faces-major-issues-974929

Sweney, M., & Plunkett, J. (2013, September 19). Virgin media to cut 600 top and middle management posts. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/sep/19/virgin-media-cut-600-management-posts

Web, A. (2013). How to assess change readiness. Retrieved July 30, 2016, from http://www.lencd.org/learning/howto-readiness

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