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Today’s business environment makes change imperative in organizations, and only those employees who cope with change will thrive. Most employees, however, resist change as it alters the status-quo and demolishes the zones of comfort they have created for themselves. Organizational change requites employees to come out of such comfort zones, unlearn existing precepts, and adapt to new uncertain conditions, the mastery of which may take considerable effort.
Change is actually beneficial to employees in many counts. Companies who want to reap the advantages of organizational changes need to entice employees overcome resistance to change by highlighting such benefits.
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Change is a good opportunity for employees to take stock of where they stand. Routine performance in a job might have led the employee into a state of rut, with the employee unaware of the stagnation he or she experiences. Change, by demolishing the existing set up forces employees to review where they stand, and take corrective steps to get back on track if required. Such a review also provides the employee with a good opportunity to make a career change.
Change usually comes with career coaching, workshops, and career counseling, all tools that help employees take stock of their career.
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Training and Development
The biggest benefit of organizational change on employees are the training and development opportunities that usually accompany change. Companies that embark of change invariably provide training and development programs to help employees cope with the new requirements. This becomes a valuable opportunity for employees to update their skill sets, and acquire new and industry relevant skills. Employees who miss such opportunities run the risk of stagnation, for the skills they acquired in college and at work might have become obsolete, requiring change in the first place.
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Change allows companies to respond to the challenges poised by the external environment, and by extension allows employees to focus attention on what matters most. The accompanying changes in job design, reporting relationships, and working conditions help employees streamline their profile and concentrate their energies on what matters most. This in turn, allows employees to add more value to the company, and thereby earn better recognition, rewards, and growth opportunities. Such changes also lead to job enrichment and employee empowerment more often than not.
The new job duties and relationships that accompany change also help employees widen their horizon and broaden their skill sets, adding to their competence.
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Changes strive to improve organizational performance. Organizations deploy resources to gain insight into the vitality of their systems, procedures, and human capital, and obtain expert opinion on what is wrong, what is obsolete, what requires rectification, and what can improve. The resultant job redesign, work reallocation, changes in reporting relationships, layoffs, and new methods of doing work all reward performers and removes deadwood, thereby promoting equity among the workforce. Such changes, while creating anxiety and uncertainties at first ultimately results in better employee morale, motivation, and self-esteem.
The benefits of organizational change on employees notwithstanding, change comes with many stressors. The advantages of organizational change are realized only when the company implements change properly, by committing adequate resources and ensuring effective leadership to resolve all stressors.
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Lorenzi, Nancy, M. “Managing Change: An Overview." J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2000 Mar–Apr; 7(2): 116–124. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC61464/ on April 22, 2011.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Felix Burton