Articles / Change Management is Managing Organizational Dynamics
February 02, 2023
Oscar L. Contreras, DPM, MPA, CEC
There are always organizational dynamics that come into play during change efforts. This is especially true during rightsizing, restructuring, or integration where all kinds of “me” issues become the greatest concern. The key ingredient I realize in ensuring a smooth transition to the new organization is to communicate extensively in all probity, sincerity, and candor on how the change will affect the employees. Developing communication plans and the full use of appropriate media and techniques are indispensable in achieving full understanding and in engaging employees’ hearts as well towards building loyalty. All avenues as sources of information and channels for two-way communication must be maximized: written, one-on-one probe, discussion, asking questions, and arriving at a personal level of understanding. Don’t leave people waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Leadership is most important in times of chaos and uncertainty. Leaders have to visibly lead the change in mindset with respect to large-scale cultural change. Accessibility to managers and company officers is critical to satisfying employees’ hunger for information and emotional support.
Management needs to make tough decisions about organizational structure, reporting relationships, roles and responsibilities, manpower deployment, retention of key people, and separation of redundant staff. A frequently used retention tool is the retention bonus and presentation of future career opportunities to the employee. Separation programs must allow the employee to leave with his dignity and self-respect intact.
Particularly in a merger where it involves a mixture of different cultures and practices, recognizing the need to inject a sense of belongingness and identity with the organization and a coherent sense of purpose and direction among all its staff through systematic and behavioral changes are necessary ingredients in successfully integrating what is called a “melded” culture. There ought to be deliberate intent to prepare people for change. Developing competencies that are required for the new ways of doings things builds confidence and enables productivity. In rightsizing activities, effective transfer of knowledge becomes an increasingly important skill as knowledge also increasingly becomes an important corporate asset.
Daniel Goleman, Author of Emotional Intelligence said that “No single intervention or change can fix every problem”. But, as the saying goes, it’s all done with people and if the human ingredient is ignored, then nothing else will work.