Change is inevitable in the workplace since it is the force that keeps an organization going. In the current day, we are living in it is inescapable since it is all around us, unlike the olden days. However, it is not always well received. This does not necessarily mean that change is always resisted but for change to acquire support the management need to play its role well and explain the process to all without discrimination or assumption (Burnes, 2004). Some employees have a different way of managing change that is at times misinterpreted to be resistance. In managing change, there is a need for management from the perspective of the organisation and individual management of change.
Change managers are key people in any organization who have the potential to influence their employees. They are expected to not only guide but lead in the specific ways that will lead to a change in the organization. To achieve this, they are to start the change and come up with a plan to facilitate the implementation of the change. They should communicate to every member of the organization on what is expected and present the plan. However, in making the plan they should consider the contribution of other employees and by doing so the employees will feel part of the change and embrace it. It is important to note that no matter the efforts there will be those who will not agree, and they should not deter their efforts (Palmer, Akin, & Dunford, 2008)..
In managing change, the managers will have to play different roles and at different times since they are the change agents (Ming-Chu, & Meng-Hsiu. 2015). There are six main images in the management of change namely: director; navigator; caretaker; nurturer; coach and interpreter. They represent the various roles to be played by the change agent for the success of the process of change. The focus of this paper is two main images, the caretaker, and the nurturer. The caretaker is supposed to support the organization in managing the change process. This is while bearing in mind that change in one area may lead to an unintentional change in another area. Therefore in this case the manager should take care of all the areas affected not just a single area. This is because as indicated by Ming-Chu, & Meng-Hsiu (2015), some changes fuelled by some individuals are expected to bring the process to a halt, but they should ensure in spite of the delay the process continues.
In playing the role of a nurturer, we take the image of a parent-child relationship (Ming-Chu, & Meng-Hsiu. 2015). The child is shaped and nurtured in the right way that will be beneficial to them in the future in a very long period before results. In the same way the manager ought to bear in mind that a change that will last has to grow progressively; it cannot be achieved instantly. Moreover, change may happen in unpredictable ways that despite their efforts some things may go wrong and in the same chaos change emerges (Burnes, 2004). Due to the unexpected changes along the way motivation is essential. It takes time, and lots of energy to motivate the employees and keep them on the track tirelessly like a parent does with a child. People may get tired if it takes longer than expected but still motivate them that finally they will benefit from the result.
Every organization ought to manage the individuals employed there carefully. When they perceive care and support from the organization, they offer psychological capital to the organization that is positive. This capital is in four dimensions resilience, self-efficacy, hope, and optimism (Palmer et al., 2008). When the majority of employees have these components, then the change process may be easier. Therefore, managers should assess the gaps in making the employees feel part of the organization. They should ensure that every employee feels wanted through appreciation. Through this individuals will be self-motivated and give the offer any support by all means that will facilitate change. They can offer positive support and unswervingly work towards accomplishing goals for the benefit of the organization.
Managers should understand that they are dealing with people who are part of certain groups. According to Kurt Lewin in his field theory, he states that the groups have conditioned peoples behaviour. People act through the influence of these groups. Managers should understand that some forms of resistance arise from a group set up, and they should be managed from a group perspective. They should identify the forces that should be weakened and those to be strengthened to achieve positive change. Negative repetitive behaviour should be discouraged and new patterns of positive conduct established (Palmer et al., 2008). Therefore, the main focus should be on the group conduct when initiating change.
According to Burnes, (2004) Lewins 3-step model is also beneficial for managers as they implement change. It involves unfreezing, changing and refreezing. Unfreezing is the step that entails creating awareness of the change process and communicating the need for it. Then changing follows which simply means the stage of transition where change appears a reality. The final stage is of stabilizing in the newly achieved state that Lewin calls refreezing. At this stage, managers should be watchful to ensure that employees do not revert to their old ways. Since managers cannot achieve everything by their own, they should come up with teams of their personnel working together for a common goal. The teams are important dimensions managing change. Combined knowledge and experience will achieve better results (Palmer et al., 2008)
In conclusion, the process of accomplishing a change is tedious and time-consuming, especially for the change managers. The most critical thing, however, is sustaining the change other than the process. Managers should endeavour to ensure that in their organizations change becomes a norm (Burnes, 2004). Once it becomes a norm, its always easy to bring any form of change deemed beneficial for the organization. They should nurture a culture of change.
Burnes.B. (2004). Kurt Lewin and the Planned Approach to Change: A Re-appraisal. Journal of Management Studies 41,0022-2380
Palmer, I., Akin, G., & Dunford, R. (2008). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education
Ming-Chu.Y., & Meng-Hsiu.L. (2015). Unlocking the black box: Exploring the link between perceive organizational support and resistance to change. Asia Pacific Management Review 20, 177-183.
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