Change is Never Easy
Posted on July 20, 2011 by Gail Danneman
During my high school years, I worked at a nursing home as a server. Everything seemed to stay the same at this nursing home until the last few months I was there. Like other organizations, the nursing home was dealing with how to expand the location and better the dining room for the residents of the building. All the servers were confronted and told about the changes coming our way. While the changes were not immense, they were enough to cause a stir. The changes would mainly affect when employees had his or her break in between lunch and dinner meals. Servers would still get a break, just at a different time and for a different interval.
Considering this change was my first exposure to an organizational wide change, I was impressed with how the nursing home handled the situation. Upper management leaders asked for our input and recommendations in how to deal with the changes. These interviews allowed employees to express his or her feelings. Employees who had been at the nursing home for an extended amount of time felt positive towards the interviews. We all felt that the organization valued our opinions.
The organization also sent out surveys for all employees to complete. While the interviews allowed employees to directly communicate with leaders, the surveys allowed a greater sense of anonymity. The results of surveys are important clues to problems that an organization must be facing. Surveys do not provide the answers to every problem, but they are a key step in exploring the morale and satisfaction of current employees.
Direct observations were also conducted for leaders of the organization to view how the change would affect servers. The dining room was to undergo massive renovation and increase the number of tables each server would be assigned to. The leaders cared enough about the safety of the servers to watch them on a typical day. The organization made the decision to increase the number of servers working when the renovation was complete. All of these observations would not have been possible if the organization had overlooked many factors.
The change I experienced was successful because of the organization. From the very beginning, the organization demonstrated commitment to the company, employees, and customers. All were taken into account. Even after the change had been put into place, employees and residents completed surveys to indicate how the changes were going. In conclusion, changes can be successfully implemented when the organization invests itself by investigating how the change will affect others.
Have you been involved with an organizational change? How did your organization handle it?