Organizational Change for the New Year

    Paula Fulghum

    In the beginning of the New Year there is always talk about resolutions. Individuals talk about exercising, eating healthier, working on personal relationships, and so on. Companies can also make their own resolutions for the New Year …be it organization wide or personalized for individual employees. The beginning of the New Year can be a great time to start instituting new workplace practices or initiatives. This is an optimal time to bring the company’s goals and values up front and work to realize the ideal workplace culture at a time when individuals might be open to the idea of change. If you feel that your organization is in need of development or change, you can first assess what the major issues or desires of employees are. You can talk to employees yourself with small discussion groups with managers or supervisors, or for even better results you can hire an outside consultant to interview or survey employees to uncover employee concerns or suggestions more confidentially. If there is a consensus on positive organizational directions or changes, devise a plan to reach the company goals. Individuals can also create their own personalized goals as a personal work motivator, and organization-wide goals can serve as complementary and unifying common goals.

    Changes may be drastic and instituted all at once or they could be continuous reaching small goals over a longer period of time. The type of change will be dependent on the organization need. If there is a pressing matter that is an imminent threat to the company, rapid change may be necessary. Other changes may need to be instituted over a long-term period so employees aren’t overwhelmed. In general, organizational change isn’t always easy. Many things can inhibit goals or change progression such as employees stuck in their old ways, employees not trusting or agreeing with changes, ill-prepared plans for change, or unrealistic expectations. When instituting changes within an organization it is important to make sure employees understand the circumstances targeted by organizational change, why the change is supposed to be effective, and why the employee should be personally involved or concerned. Upper management and supervisor support is also important for an organizational change to be effective. If employees see upper-level employees resistant to some type of change, it may make them very skeptical to join in for fear of losing their jobs or displeasing that authority.

    Organizational change is a positive idea to keep companies up to date in changing times, to continuously work to better the company, and show employees that you value changing to best fit the needs of the company as well as individual employees. It is important to make sure that new changes fit company needs. Don’t make changes simply because it sounds like a good idea or it worked for someone else. Companies should institute changes when such changes are fitting to a specific problem area, when there are logical and beneficial outcomes from the change, or when it is in the best interest for employees. Change is a great tool for achieving individual potential and growth in an organization as a whole, but change can seem scary, unnecessary, or threatening to employees who aren’t properly informed and initiated into the process. In a final note, don’t just institute a change and go with it without looking back. Talk to employees and listen to their reactions to organizational changes and developments. If the changes the company is making are only causing more strife, confusion, or frustration from employees, steps need to be taken to either change perceptions of the change or take a new route to meet organizational goals. Regardless, there are always improvements that can be achieved and new goals that can be set for companies. So why not start now? Have a meeting with employees and hear their ideas and suggestions. It could result in a stronger, united, and more successful company that keeps up with the changing times!

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