Organisations today need to frequently change and even transform in order to survive. For organisational change, such as workplace change, to be successful, the workforce needs to the ready for the change.
To assist organisations in getting workplace change right, we can draw from the psychology research on ‘readiness for change,’ and apply some of the learnings below to a structured change management program.
Research (e.g. Armenakis, et al.) has identified five beliefs underlying change readiness:
1. The change messages must create a sense of discrepancy—or a belief that change is needed and will improve effectiveness (employee and business).
2. In addition, employees must believe that the proposed change is an appropriate response to a situation.
3. The change messages must create a sense of efficacy, which refers to an employee’s perceived capability to implement a change initiative.
4. Employees must believe that their organisation (including their managers and team members) will provide tangible support for change in the form of resources and information. This belief contributes to an employee’s sense of efficacy about his or her capability to implement change successfully
5. The final change belief—valence—is concerned with an employee’s evaluation of the benefits or costs of a change for his or her job and role. If an employee does not believe that change has benefits, then it is not likely that he or she will have a positive overall evaluation of his or her readiness for change.
In workplace change management programs, we need to respond to the above ‘change readiness’ beliefs with adequate communication and support. At the end of the day, the change must be appropriate and benefit the employees and the business with ease.
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