AT & T is an American international company that operates in the telecommunications industry. The company is recognized as the biggest telecommunication company in the world. Headquartered at Dallas in the United States, the company is a conglomerate and has various subsidiaries such as BellSouth, all of whom operate in the telecommunications industry. AT & T can be traced back to 1880, at the time it was known as the South Western Bell Telephone Company. The Southwestern Bell Telephone Company at the time was a subsidiary of Bell Telephone Company. The company underwent numerous changes through the 1800's and into the 1900's. In 2005, SBC bought the AT & T Company which was its former parent company. After the purchase SBC adopted the AT & T branding adopting the name of AT& T Inc. AT & T Inc. owns eighteen subsidiaries. The company has a total of 254, 000 employees spread out across the world. In 2017, the company recorded a revenue of 160.546 billion US dollars.
AT & T HR policy states that employees should report to work on set work hours. The hours range depending on the location of the office. Generally employees spend at least 8 hours at work, they report to work in the morning and work until the evening. One of the measures that is used in employee evaluation in AT & T is the number of hours that employees have worked. The practice of work based on hours spent in the office curtails aspects of performance in the organization. The Kurt Lewin's model of change states that change occurs in three stages; unfreezing, changing and refreezing. These aspects are crucial in the transformation of the organization. The policy in AT & T concerning employee evaluation should be changed to focus less on the number of hours worked and more on the quality of work delivered.
The change in the policy to have flexible work hours will result in increase in motivation of employees. Employees will have more morale to perform in an environment where the quality of their work is valued. Employees whose work is measured by what they deliver instead of the time they spend at the organization will focus on the quality of the work (Hayes, 2014). Flexibility in work will be a great motivating factor. Employees will be able to report to work at a time when it is most convenient.
The introduction of flexible work hours will increase autonomy in performance. Autonomy is the freedom of performance. An autonomous work environment is where the employee is able to perform without close supervision. Increase in autonomy will lead to more innovation for employees in performance. Employees who are allowed to choose the method of performing will come up with new ways of performing and therefore leading to more output. Employees will adopt performance methods that are most efficient in that they take the least time and are the most effective.
Flexible work hours will lead to increased commitment to the organization. Employees who feel valued and who enjoy their work are more likely to remain in the organization. Cases of absenteeism will reduce since employees will come to work when they it is most convenient for them. Labor turnover will decrease since employees will be happier with their work. Aspects of work life balance will increase among employees. Employees who have a better balance of their social lives and their work life are more likely to stay in the organization and be more committed to performing tasks in the company.
Before beginning the process of implementing change in the organization, the management has to asses if the company is ready to undergo change. There are various diagnostic tools that the organization can use in the assessment of whether the organization is ready to undergo change. Based on the theory of Kurt Lewin's on change management, change starts at the Unfreezing step. The unfreezing is where the organization determines whether the change should be implemented at the time. There are numerous diagnostic tools that include contextual factors, change valence, change efficacy and needs assessment among others. These tools can be combined or the organization can choose to use one of the tools.
Change valence is the commitment of organization towards the implementation of the change. Before the organization carries out an assessment on change valence, the management needs to communicate the change to employees. Employees need to fully understand the effects that will come as a result of the change. Change valence is then carried out through the assessment of commitment to the impending change. Employees can value the change for different reasons. Some employees could want the change because it is proposed by opinion leaders in the company. Opinion leaders are people who are respected in the organization and who are influential. The employees can want the change because it will improve productivity. Employees could want to have flexible work hours because they will be able to produce more output. The employees could be committed to the change because it will ease their burden at work. Workers may want flexible work hours because they will get to spend less time at the work place (Ashkenas, 2013). When carrying out the change valence diagnosis, the management will focus on the commitment and not the reason why the workers want the change. Despite the reason, employees who are committed to change will provide a suitable environment for the change implementation. Increase in change valence will be an indication that the company is ready for change.
The next tool that can be used in the diagnosis of change readiness is change efficacy. Efficacy is a comprehensive view on the ability to perform a task. Change efficacy as a diagnostic tool is drawn from the social cognitive theory (Doppelt, 2017). This tool focuses on three major factors that are used to determine whether the company is ready for change. The three are task demands, availability of resources and situational factors. Task demands refers to the change in the performance standards or demands among people in the organization. When looking at the task demands, the management needs to look at any changes that may occur in the performance of individual tasks in the company. The next factor is availability of resources. Does the organization have the necessary resources to implement the change? Do not only look at financial resources. Look at the human resources and skills that will be needed as a result of the change. The management should further look at other resources such as space and expertise. The third factor that should be assessed in change efficacy is situational factors. Situational factors are factors that exist in the internal and external environment of the company. The management can use SWOT analysis or PESTEL analysis or both in order to assess the environment. Internal factors that should be looked at include structure of the organization, procedures, policies and the culture (Van der Voet, 2014). External factors are political factors, legal factors such as compliance, and technological factors among others. All these factors both inside and outside the organization affect the success of the change. Before implementing the change, the company should therefore make sure that the three aspects of change efficacy are fully satisfied.
Change valence and change efficacy are the best at assessing readiness for change in an organization. These two diagnostic tools comprehensively look at the factors that are involved in change while focusing on the human resources in the organization. Workers are the most important asset in any company. Workers determine whether the change will be effective or not. It is the employees who implement the change and therefore the diagnosis of readiness for change should be centered on workers. Change valence and change efficacy center the diagnosis on workers. Change efficacy focuses on whether the tasks that will emerge as a result of the change will be performed by the workers. Looking at the skills and expertise of the workers, the management will determine whether the employees will be able to perform the tasks. Change efficacy also looks at the resources available and the environment of performance. Change valence also focuses on workers. Change efficacy assesses how the workers feel about the change.
AT & T readiness for change should be assessed using the change efficacy diagnostic tool. The first factor in change efficacy is task demands. The implementation of flexible work hours will not significantly increase the demand of tasks. Employees will perform the same work that they were performing before but with more freedom. Employees who choose to work from home or from locations outside the office will need to have developed skills in the use of communication software and tools. These employees will need to be versant with tools such as the use of emails, Skype and other applications in order to effectively communicate with the office while working. Overall, employees will need to have developed effective communication skills. Communication skills are important in order to keep up with any instructions or to consult the management or supervisor.
The next factor that will be evaluated in efficacy is availability of resources. When implementing flexible work hours, AT & T will need to budget for the process. AT & T will need to put aside money for the training of supervisors on how to monitor performance according to quality. Currently, managers and supervisors assess performance based on attendance of workers. In order for the process of flexible work hours to be successful, the performance measurement standards of AT & T need to change. Performance evaluation is carried out by people in the middle and lower management (Hechanova & Cementina-Olpoc, 2013). The people who carry out evaluation in the organization should therefore be trained in the new ways of performance evaluation.
The last aspect that should be considered in change efficacy is situational factors. AT & T should look at factors in the business environment. Compliance should be assessed. Does the flexible work hours policy align with existing laws? The company should look at social factors such as the acceptability of flexible work hours in the society. The structure of the organization should also be in line with the policies. The policy of flexible work hours is compliant to legislation in the US. Flexible work hours are highly acceptable across the world. Companies such as Google have been applauded for implementing flexible work hours' policies and therefore the society and business environment of AT & T will be highly receptive to the change. The organizational structure of AT & T is a functional structure. Management positions in the organization are based on roles performed. A functional structure will enable smooth implementation of flexible work hours since that management have the expertise needed to assess the quality of work delivered by employees (Vora, 2013).
AT & T has the aspects that are needed to implement flexible work hours. It has the skills that are needed in the implementation of flexible work schedules. AT & T also has sufficient resources that could be used in the training of managers on new ways to measure performance to incorporate quality aspects which motivate employees to be flexible. The internal and external environment of AT & T is supportive of flexible work hours. Companies in the technology industry have previously implemented flexible work hours' policies which have been appraised internationally. There will therefore be little to no resistance to the change.
AT & T is therefore ready for the change in employee working hours' policy. The company meets that threshold that is required for the impl...
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