Change is one of the factors experienced in a business acquisition. Employees tend to engage in change resistance due to some reasons such as reluctance to abandon old habits (Calvo‐Manzano et al. 2012, p.521). Inadequate communication and training are some of the factors that cause change resistance. Change management is essential to allow for the implementation of change. Therefore, organizations must pay close attention to change management for the sake of organisational development.
One of the ways that an organisation can enable employees to manage and work through the acquisition is by involving the employees in the important organisational decisions. As in the case of KISSOFF acquisition, the workers are being subjected to rumours of changes rather than being involved in the change process. The poor communication between the management and the employees may cause resistance to change hence the dissolution of the company. Making the employees part of the decision-making process to bring about change will prepare them to accept and incorporate the change into the organisation. The primary factor is making the employees feel part of the changes happening in the acquisition. An organisation may also educate the employees on the importance of the acquisition and the changes that may come along with the business venture (Frankland et al. 2013, p.111). When employees understand the essence of the acquisition, they can manage and work in the new working environment.
One of the crucial functions of Human Resource is the management of change. Human Resource can play four significant roles in change management namely change owners, advisors, participants and trainers (Hon et al. 2014, p.937). Being in charge of the change requires Human Resource to coordinate and manage the change process, so as to ensure the proper steps have been taken to introduce and implement the change. The roles of being a change advisor and trainer entail working closely with the employees to ensure that they understand the essence of the change and hence reduced change resistance. Change advisor includes working with staff to design and implement the change.
The role requires Human Resource personnel to involve the employees in critical organisational decisions. Change trainer is educating the employees on the change. Training and education may be done through organised workshops or providing reading materials to each department. Lastly, the role of participation involves the Human Resource practitioners to participate in the change process especially on the aspects that affect them. By doing so, the practitioners may remind the organisation to pay attention to the critical dimensions of the change.
Some of the strategies that an organisation may use to encourage change acceptance and reduce change resistance include change communication and education, participation and involvement of employees and the providence of incentives. An organisation may communicate the change to the employees in a timely manner and also educate the employees on the importance of change (McKay et al. 2013, p.29). This will assist the employees to view the logic of the change. Also making the employees part of the change will reduce resistance and encourage change acceptance. An organisation can also provide the radical change resistors which incentives such as significant position in change implementation team even though they do not have to contribute to the strategies. Lastly, the organisation may alert employees who engage in change resistance about the opportunities they can miss in the future and also missing job promotion opportunities. This will motivate the employees to accept change without any resistance.
The change team and senior management can assess whether the above strategies have managed to reducing change resistance by asking for feedback from employees and also observing the employee behaviour. Communication and involvement strategy may be assessed by feedback gathered from the employees (Waddell et al. 2013, 171). An organisation may prepare a questionnaire or an evaluation form whereby the employees will be required to give feedback on their thoughts about the change and what they would like to be added to the change. Positive feedback will assure the organisation that the strategy was successful. The incentive and threatening strategy can be accessed through observation of the behaviour of the employees in the organisation. If all the employees are adhering to the change, then the strategies have been successful.
Conclusively, organisational acquisitions bring about changes. Change resistance may be experienced as the employees become reluctant to change their old routines. Therefore it is of significance that the organisation comes up with ways and means of dealing with employee resistance. The top management of an organisation plays an important role in change management (Hayes 2014, p.62). Communication, education and involvement are the main strategies to use to reduce change resistance in an organisation. Therefore, an organisation should pay key attention to these factors to pave the way for organisational development.
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Frankland, R., Mitchell, C.M., Ferguson, J.D., Sziklai, A.T., Verma, A.K., Popowski, J.E. and Sturgeon, D.H., Applications In Internet Time, Llc, 2013. Integrated change management unit. U.S. Patent 8,484,111.
Hayes, J., 2014. The theory and practice of change management. Palgrave Macmillan.
Hon, A.H., Bloom, M. and Crant, J.M., 2014. Overcoming resistance to change and enhancing creative performance. Journal of Management, 40(3), pp.919-941.
McKay, K., Kuntz, J.R. and Naswall, K., 2013. The effect of affective commitment, communication and participation on resistance to change: The role of change readiness. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 42(2), pp.29-40.
Waddell, D., Creed, A., Cummings, T.G. and Worley, C., 2013. Organisational change: Development and transformation. Cengage Learning.