The business environment in which organizations operate in is a rapidly changing and dynamic environment. As a result, there is a need for an organizational to be undergoing change to be able to cope with the changes in their business environment. However, organizations tend to face several risks when undergoing change in their organizational culture (Bridges, 1995). It is, therefore, the duty of HR professionals to lead, support and advice during organizational change so as to mitigate the issues that may arise from the modification.
Risks of a Downsizing
Downsizing in an organization exposes the organization to several risks. The method that the management uses to decide on which employees should be let determine the type of challenges that the organization will face. Voluntary work separation may result in older and more experienced personnel choosing to quit so that the organization can have more vibrant individual as its staff (Mello, 2005). However, an organization risks to have incompetent staff due to lack of a proper leadership development program in the organization that would enable the more experienced staff to mentor the inexperienced ones (Kotter, 1996).
Downsizing at Weave Tech will expose the firm to potential legal risks such as lawsuit from employees that were let go using the involuntary work separation. Additionally, the firm risks being left without a leader in a certain department who may have to choose voluntary work separation causing a stalemate in the company (Kotter, 1996).
Protection of Employee and Organization Data
Following the downsizing process at Weave Tech, the company will be left with data about its former employees. The way in which the company manages this data can either prevent or lead to legal liability. Therefore, for the company to protect employee data, the company should destroy data belonging to their former employees (Hiatt, 2006). Consequently, the firm should ensure that the personnel that manages the data belonging to the firm employees and about the organization have to sign an agreement that makes them liable for leakage or misuse of these data hence safeguarding the organization from legal liability that may arise (Hiatt, 2006).
Policies to Address Potential Risks
To mitigate the risk of stalemate in the firm due to lack of experienced leaders, an organization is supposed to develop effective succession planning policies. Weave Tech should encourage it experienced employees and leader to handpick employees that they see to be dedicated so that they can be able to act as replacement when these experienced employee choose voluntary separation during the downsizing process (Mello, 2005). Consequently, the company should develop private policies which will promote the safeguarding of employee and organization data hence preventing the company from potential legal risks (Mello, 2005).
Due Diligence Activities Related to Downsizing
The firm should create awareness on the need of change and why the change is necessary for the organization. Creating awareness and giving a reasonable explanation for the change will make the employees be ready and have the desire to participate in the change process (Hiatt, 2006). Furthermore, a sense of urgency should be created around the change that is to be implemented. Through creation of urgency for the need to implement the said change in the organization. The firm will be able to get a list employees that have to choose voluntary separation from work; hence they would start working on how to replace them or retain them for a while (Kotter, 1996).
Change Management in Downsizing
In downsizing the change management that would occur is the employee anxiety that may arise due to several employees being let go. Downsizing in any organization causes anxiety among the employees as they are unaware of their fate and the jobs in the organization. The organization has to manage this anxiety so as to ensure that the employees remain commitment to their job so that the productivity of the organization is unaffected (Mello, 2005). Additionally, the organization will have to manage the reduction in the number of workforce in the firm so that the normal production by the organization remains consistent.
Organization Change Model
Downsizing at Weave Tech will be a transition change as so the model that would work is the transition model developed by William Bridges. This model applies to Weave Tech because if focuses on the internal personal response to change. According to Bridges (1995), change in an organization can be undergone through three stages namely: ending/losing/letting go, the neutral zone and the new beginning. This model insists on the need of the leader in the organization to guide their employees through the transition. The first stage of this model involves identifying the need for change by accepting that the policies they were using had come to an end. Transition model also sells the problem that is causing the need for change in the organization hence employees can easily relate and adapt to it (Mello, 2005). Transition model will be effective at Weave Tech because it not only ensures that there is smooth transition to technical change but also the behavior by recognizing the need for emotional processing of change (Bridges, 1995).
Organizational Change Strategy
The change strategy for the organization determines the period that will be taken to achieve the change needed. The change model that will be effective to Weave Tech has three stages. Therefore, the organization can develop a strategy for the change should involve phases that will be aligned to the model. For instance, the firm should start encouraging older but experienced employees to mentor young employees that they think they have the ability to take up their positions (Mello, 2005). This will reduce the risks of downsizing because the firm will first considered voluntary separation of employees due to health issues or age. The firm should also educate and insist on the need for the change without making the employees feel victimized. Lastly, implementation of the changing should be gradual to allow the firm to evaluate the effectiveness of the change being adopted.
Bridges, W. (1995). Managing transitions: Making the most of the change. Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press.
Hiatt, J. M. (2006). ADKAR: A model for change in business, government and our community. Loveland, CO: Prosci Learning Center Publications.
Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Mello, J. A. (2005). Strategic Human Resource Management. South-Western.
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