The role of change agents is integral in successful implementation of change in an organisation. Reiss (2012), states that changes within a business organisation are very disrupting and threatening, hence it is necessary for the management teams of the business organisations to have sound and effective strategies and practices to manage and implement change within the organisation in an efficient and effective manner.
Sharma (2006) states that the change within a working environment normally includes changes in working practices, environment and personal competencies. Also the change within a working environment occur when an organisation make transition from its current state to its desired future state. Finch (2011) states that change management in the organisation relates to the process in which the change management plans, develops and implements change within the working environment of the organisation, while minimising the overall costs of the organisation and reducing the chances of employee resistance in order to maximise the effectiveness of change.
In regards to the employee resistance to change Hughes (2006) has explained that when the organisation is in transition stage most of the employees are resistant to change because they feel that change in the working practices and environment of the organisation would require additional work for them or would lead to complex tasks that they won’t be able to handle. Hence in order to maintain the competitive position of the organisation in the market and to increase the market share it is necessary for the business organisations to undergo changes persistently. In this regard Finch (2011) has explained that the overall responsibility of managing the change is at change agent and change agents can be non managers and managers.
Kotler`S 8 Steps of Change Management
Reiss (2012) has explained that Philip Kotler has provided an eight step process in order to manage change in an efficient and effective manner. So the change can be managed in an efficient manner by following the eight steps mentioned below.
- Creating a sense of urgency
- Development of strong and effective strategies
- Establishment of compelling vision and strategy
- Communicating effectively
- Empowering the employees to act on the established vision and strategy
- Allocating shorter milestones
- Creating greater change
- Implementing organisational change
Finch (2011) has explained that normally the employees working in business organisations are hesitant to change or are unable to handle the change easily, because they think that the change would be hectic for them and would require extra work from them. Here it is the responsibility of the management team of the business organisation to communicate the overall purpose of change to the employees as well as its benefits to them in order to obtain the acceptance of the employees towards change. This way it would be easier for the management team of the organisation to implement change in an efficient and effective manner. In this regard Reiss (2012) has also explained that majority of the employees find it difficult to focus on the processes like employee communication, employee engagement and motivation during the implementation of any change within the organisation. In this regard
Characteristics of Change Agents
Hughes (2006) has explained that some of the most essential characteristics of the ideal change agent include:
- Great mediator and analytical skills
- Great listening skills
- Great communication skills
- Strong relationship with the employees of the organisation
- Sound knowledge and understanding of the objective of change
- Clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities
- Great leadership skills
It is believed that employees are the most crucial part of any business because they directly contribute to the overall productivity and performance of an organisation and sometime it is difficult for the employees to accept and handle the change within the organisation because each and every employee possess diverse understanding level, skills and competencies. Hence it is necessary for a change agent to keep each and every employee of the organisation on board and involve them in decision making process while encouraging them to share their own knowledge, experiences and ideas. This way the change agent would be able to gain trust of the employees and will get the acceptance of the employees towards change. Also it is necessary for the change agent to communicate the overall purpose of change to the employees of the organisation and should also try to explain the advantages of change to the employees which will further help in gaining the commitment of the employees towards change. This way change agent would be able to implement change efficiently by allowing employees to adapt to change in an easily.
Finch, E. (2011). Facilities Change Management, John Wiley & Sons, pp 102-111.s
Hudges, M. (2006). Change Management: A Critical Perspective, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, pp 219-242.
Reiss, M. (2012). Change Management, Books on Demand, pp 61-79.
Sharma, T. (2006). Change Management, Tata McGraw hill Education.