Change can happen in both our personal and professional lives. In professional organizations change is a necessity if they wish to remain competitive. Banker (2012) wrote "organizational change is essential for short term competitiveness and long-term survival" (p. 63). I work for public sector organization and over the last year a new leader has been trying to change the organization. He has not been completely successful as he is not looking at lessons learned from other companies. Among those lessons are looking to the past when changes were promised, failure to communicate with the line level employees and managing the politics, especially with the supervisors who were supposed to be implementing the change. Even with the current failure of the change these lessons can be applied to future changes I might be involved in. We are looking to promote individuals at the end of the year and they will take over managing future change as new supervisors.
I began working at my current job in 2006. At that time I was introduced to the top manager of our department and he remained until the middle of last year. The former leader would not listen to employees and believed that no information was valid unless it came from a supervisor or above. Over the years this has left employees upset and believing that they have no input or say in the direction our department takes. Last year a new senior manager was put in charge of the day-to-day operation of our department. This new leader had worked under the old manager and knew that changes were needed if our department was to grow and become successful again.
Our new manager had seen the dysfunction and low morale that the previous leader had caused with his policies and way of running the day-to-day operations. Our department functions in part of the public sector that is in constant development and change. Our new manager knew that "as the rate of change affecting business continues to accelerate, organizations must strive to develop and implement change initiatives" (Weeks, Roberts, Chonko & Jones, 2004, p. 7). With this in mind he began making changes to employee input and to allow employees to be part of the decision-making process.
Part of this process was that employees would now start taking charge of projects and they would present their ideas and suggestions on how the department should proceed. This included giving the mid-level supervisors more authority to work with the employees and directly manage them. This strategy was a positive step forward because as Weeks et al. (2004) noted "in general, successful changes are more likely to occur when leaders, such as sales managers, support change and encourage the support of others" (p. 8). By allowing the mid-level supervisors, who have direct contact with the employees, the ability to make decisions and oversee the employees he was giving them a chance to communicate the positives aspects of the change and get more employees to buy into the change....