Organizational change is one of the critical factors that influence a company's management style due to globalization and technological advancement. Nowadays, most businesses are focusing on adopting new leadership styles to boost their organizational change initiatives. Despite the increased efforts to endorse and generate organizational change in most firms, many companies have failed to implement successful administrative changes in their businesses. A majority of the organizational changes do not produce the anticipated results. Poor communication strategies on the organizational changes cause the proliferation of propaganda and resistance on organizational change among the employees. Communication is a critical aspect that should be considered by the management to ensure that organizational change is implemented effectively. Companies should endorse strategies that will enlighten their employees on the need to adopt an efficient communication model that will enhance the accomplishment of their organizational change.
A majority of the successful corporations acknowledge that communication is a fundamental factor that will affect the achievement of an organizational change. Research has revealed that communication has a positive impact on organizational outputs, such as job satisfaction, organizational performance, and commitment (Zogjani and Raci, 2015, p.84). Conversely, a poor communication system might lead to absence, decreased organizational commitment, job dissatisfaction, and stress among the employees. Poor communication policies in an organization contribute to a negative efficiency outcome. As a result, implementing proper communication channels during an organizational change process minimizes the staff's opposition to change. If the resistance to change among the employees is relatively low, the change initiatives will be productive. Besides, the organizational change plan relies on the ability of a company to modify every employee's performance. Organizational change should introduce through better perspectives on the transmission of information and execution of tasks among employees. Therefore, creating the impression that organizational change is an integrative and essential part of forming a firm's strategies.
Organizational communication refers to the process where managers convey pertinent information about a firm's operations and provide platforms for workers to express their views on proposed changes. For that reason, organizational communication has two primary objectives. Firstly, it informs the staff about the company's policy issues and their tasks. Secondly, organizational communication helps in nurturing a cordial workplace relationship that promotes teambuilding that boosts the achievement of projected objectives (Maheshwari and Vohra, 2015, p.879). Hence, adopting a suitable communication model assists in educating and informing workforces at all administrative levels while motivating them to support proposed change strategies. It is an important aspect since positive attitudes among the employees on the intended change are crucial in implementing operational transformation programs. Resistance to organizational change is one of the major issues companies experience when implementing new projects. However, appropriate communication policies oblige a business to incorporate rational administrative reorientation techniques to promote appreciation and comprehension of the recommended changes. A study conducted among employees and managers illustrated that the adaptation and dissemination of successful organizational change relied on the managers' communication skills in a company (Judhei and Salindo, 2018, p.52). Even though most of the managers are aware of the need to implement the emerging organizational changes, communicating the planned changes has been a challenge. Communication and dissemination of information on the need to implement organizational change is an essential managerial role. Managers should raise awareness of the anticipated organizational objectives using the appropriate communication channels.
An ideal conceptual framework should enhance the communication process in companies to execute organizational change. The employees' degree of readiness depicts the level of efficacy on the proposed change. High levels of readiness and low resistance levels among the staff to changes characterize an effective organizational change. Moreover, the communication model adopted should educate the staff members about the intended change and how it will affect their duties (Al-Haddad and Kotnour, 2015, p.236). The administration should utilize the communication policies to foster teamwork that will boost their commitment to organizational goals. Likewise, the leaders should address the uncertainty caused by the proposed changes since high uncertainty leads to the employees being hesitant on adopting new strategies. The managers should assure the workforce that the organizational change will not cause downsizing. The communication process should address the employees' job security and uncertainty issues on the anticipated organizational change to increase their inclination to transformation.
Lewin's Change Model
A suitable communication strategy should focus on the standard phases of the change process and provide relevant information requirements. Lewin's Change Model has outlined the communication needs and objectives at each stage to guarantee a successful change process (Will, 2015, p.196). The Lewin's Change Model is an appropriate and effective communication strategy that promotes organizational communication between the management and its employees. The model prioritizes communication as an integral component for building organizational culture, nurturing relationships, and exchanging information at a workplace.
Communication at the Unfreezing Stage
The principal purpose of this stage is to prepare the organization and employee for the expected change. Nonetheless, the rate of resistance among the workforce is determined by the magnitude and impact of the change in an organization. The resistance can be eliminated if the communication strategy endorsed by the firm is designed to cater to the initial resistance (Andrade, 2016, p.35). It is crucial that the leaders communicate the goal of the recommended change, the expected outcomes, and why every staff must be conversant with the changes. The supervisors should educate their subordinate on the significance of the organizational change. They should outline the probable discrepancy between the actual results and desired outcomes. In case, the recommended adjustment is a company-wide change; the top managers should be liable for implementing the organizational change. Nonetheless, the top leaders prefer using written communication, such as memorandums to convey their message before their regular question and answer meetings. A face-to-face communication system can be important and effective in conveying the information to the employees.
Communication at the Move Stage
If organizational change is implemented, when there are numerous activities most of the workers might not be directly involved in the organizational change. As a result, they will be clueless about the ongoing activities leading to extremely high levels of propaganda and uncertainty. The communication process at this phase is vital as it provides an accurate and detailed account of the implemented change (West, 2012, p.18). Additionally, it provides information on probable effects from the implemented change and enlightens employees on their new responsibilities to dismiss any propaganda being circulated in the company. The information being conveyed to the employees at this phase should be more specific to deliver tangible outcomes and initiate positive organizational impact.
Communication at the Refreezing Stage
The central aim of this phase is to establish processes and structures that will support the new-fangled techniques. The communication process should concentrate on answering the workers' questions on relationship and control roles, rewards, and efficiency. At this stage, the low-level supervisors have the mandate to communicate with the employees (Bansal, 2015, p.933). Consequently, information flow has to be multidirectional, concrete, and continuous, so that workers have a comprehensive understanding of their obligations based on the change implemented. Due to the inevitable errors that are likely to occur at this phase, the communication process should use verbal communication to publicize the proposed change's success.
Aims of Change Communication
Change communication focuses on resolving the employees' issues from a humanitarian perspective. Communication critics claim that the key objective of a communication model when implementing change is minimizing uncertainty, spreading the organizational vision, and encouraging the staffs' commitment. The change communication process should incorporate an employee inclusive approach to give the workforce an opportunity to express their views on the change's progress and overcoming the obstacles that impede change (Smollan, 2015, p.307). Hence, the objectives of the communication strategies initiated during the change management phases are as follows:
- Address queries from employees. The communication model adopted should provide detailed information on the execution of the proposed organizational changes. An excellent communication process has to ensure that the administrators and their subordinates have an accurate view of the need to implement the change (Barrett, 2017, p.499). For that reason, communication policies should clarify the expected changes and how they will affect the company's operations and personal roles.
- Foster community Spirit and build trust. Organizational communication instills self-categorization norms that assist in defining the group's identity and building teamwork that is vital to a firm. An open communication process creates a cordial bond in the company that generates high commitment levels among the workers (Sitharam and Hoque, 2016, p.282). The community spirit fostered among the employees increases their trust levels in the management that the proposed changes will improve their skills.
- Motivate employees. An efficient communication process is a vital tool for motivating workers involved in implementing organizational change. Research has revealed that the provision of comprehensive information has increased the employees' job satisfaction levels (Chalutz BenGal and Tzafrir, 2011, p.669). High motivation levels foster a resilient mindset among the workers to execute their obligations despite the difficulties that might arise from the organizational change.
- Employee Commitment. Communication analysts suggest that commitment is associated with the employees' freedom of expression to articulate their grievances on organizational issues. Communication has to be managed appropriately throughout the organizational change process to eliminate confusion by providing honest, accurate, and clear messages (Mushtaq, 2011, p.10). Different communication channels can be used to improve the workforce's commitment to the organizational mission and vision of implementing the proposed change. Effective and sincere communication styles enable workers to internalize new organizational rules and objectives.
- Employee participation. High employee participation levels can lead to a relative increase in job satisfaction levels and inspire workers to participate in the decision-making process. Most of the firms that have successfully fulfilled their organizational change process have excellent management systems that enable staffs to participate in the decisio...
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