Change Management Plan

Strayer University

HRM 560 – Change Management Plan

Winter 2016

Describe the company in terms of industry, size, number of employees, and history

AT&T is one of the largest telecommunications companies to date. AT&T, formally known as Southwestern Bell, was founded in 1983; however, its origins go back as early as 1875, with the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell. As of 2015, AT&T had approximately 135 million customers in the United States and Mexico. AT&T has 310 million customers that can access their 4G LTE network around the world. AT&T employs approximately 280,000 full-time and part-time employees.

AT&T Human Resource Program/Policy/Process/Procedure/Initiative Change

The human resource department is an important factor of an organization. AT&T has to ensure that the company is appealing to the most capable employees and that they are keeping the most capable and talented employees. The organization needs to have the best employees in order to accomplish their goal of succeeding in a competitive market. Therefore, the company needs to have incentives to offer in order to attract the best. The human resource department should have procedures in place that are consistent, reliable, unbiased, and conventional.

Since AT&T’s start, it has been very prominent in the domestic and global market. Because of AT&T’s company vision, values, morals, ethics, and tolerance of all man-kind, it has been able to be a prominent and successful company. The company has made great strides in making sure that the employees and staff were properly trained, thus, they were able to always be a step ahead. By making sure that everyone is properly trained, the company has been able to succeed in the market.

Three Reasons for AT&T Change

Change is imperative for any organization or company. Not all change is good and not all change is bad. The first reason for change is that it could help with AT&T continuing to be relevant and maintain its position in the communication market place. With the changing market and technology, AT&T has to keep up with the changes. They have to be able to reach the customers, no matter how they do it. Another reason for change is that the company can concentrate on training the employees, all while making sure that the company continues to sustain a company profit. Many times when a company changes, the company fails because the company is no longer focused on what the company was founded on. The last reason for change is that the company is able to focus on the global aspect of the company in order to have a better market opportunity.

Two (2) Diagnostic Tools for AT&T Change

There are many diagnostic tools that can be used to apply change. One of the diagnostic tools that AT&T can use is the Six-Box organizational model. This model was developed by Marvin Weisbord to assess an organizations function. This model was created to be used by different organizations. It is comprised of six different components: purpose, structure, relationship, reward, leadership, and helpful mechanisms. This model focuses on planning, incentives, and rewards.

The second diagnostic tool is the Star Model. This model monitors the assessment, planning, and implementation of change and ensures that the change is for the betterment of the business. There are six different components of this model. They consist of: strategy, structure, process, information technology, culture, and people. This model supports its leaders to ensure that change is done by a planned business objective. The two models are valuable in the aspect that they allow a business to succeed. It also ensures that the employees are a part of the change. The models also uses data to implement change. To attain progress, AT&T should find strategies that provide the organization the likelihood for progress. In order to attain this, AT&T should offer professional development to the staff so that the company and employees will be able to handle customer’s necessities.

AT&T is ready for change. As long as they are communicating, there should not be an issue with change. They must communicate with the employees and the stakeholders. In order for a change to be effective among the employees, they must be able to buy-in to the change. The information needs to be communicated to the stakeholders because they play an important part in the implementation of the change or changes.

Kotter Change Management Model

Using the eight stages of change, AT&T develops a strategy as follows:

Establishing a sense of urgency – In order for a company to have a successful change, it is best when the entire company is vested in the change. When implementing a change, there needs to be a sense of urgency. There also needs to be open communication concerning the change and why change is needed. If staff is shown the effects of the change, it can cause a sense of urgency to get the change implemented; therefore, a success within the company. When AT&T implemented a sense of urgency, the company decided to do so by communicating the business model and job security issues that are necessary for achieving and maintaining a competitive advantage in the industry.

Creating a coalition- The best way to implement change is to have a powerful and positive support system. By convincing people that change is necessary, it makes it easier to get the change implemented. Once the leaders that are spear-heading the change have a support system, all members need to work together in order to have a successful change. Everyone plays a part in the change; therefore, all member should know their role in the change. A coalition of workers to support change is established once the urgency for change is established.

Developing a vision and strategy- If staff have a clear vision as to why the change is needed, they will be more likely to support the change. AT&T creates a vision that addresses critical questions pertaining to the direction in which the firm is headed. In addition, the vision helps workers to understand the need for change, thereby creating an opportunity to introduce employees to different roles that they will play after changes are implemented.

Communicate the vision- How the vision is implemented will determine if the change is a success. The vision that is being molded needs to be spoken of positively and often. The vision should be communicated at every opportunity, such as meetings, etc… If the staff has reservations or concerns, the leaders need to address them. The leaders should also be exhibiting the change they want and not just talking about it. The vision created has to be communicated to all stakeholders. At this stage, managers must explain the vision and motivate employees into supporting the vision.

Empowering broad-based action- For a change to be successful, there does not need to be any obstacles in the change. If there are issues with implementing change, whether that is an individual or otherwise, it needs to be identified and taken care of. The company should make sure that people are in areas that will make the change a success. This may cause the company to have to hire someone or change leadership within the company. AT&T starts allocating tasks and responsibilities once a plan is created. The people within the company need to be in places so that the vision is carried out successfully. This will empower employees to do better.

Generating short term wins- Success and motivation go hand-in-hand. If the staff sees a victory in the beginning of the change process, they will motivated to do whatever to continue to see success. The company needs to start with attainable goals, then eventually go to more long term goals. Given that short-term are more realistic, AT&T leadership will determine how they can increase the sense of true agency by establishing both long-term and short-term strategies. The first thing would be to give the staff short term goal to attain. They are more attainable, thus when the long term goals are implemented, the people will see that their work is completed.

Consolidating gains and producing more change- Kotter insinuated that many times change fails because the company declares victory before it actually is. When there is a successful change, it takes losses before it may see any gains. There needs to be constant change to ensure that change is successful. With each success, the company should build on what went right and improve on what went wrong. The company should focus on continued improvements, which brings about better business. AT&T must ensure that its new practices are grounded on the company’s culture and core values in order to produce more changes and consolidate gains.

Anchoring new approaches into the culture- For a change to be successful, it should be part of the company’s culture. Leaders of the company should be supporting the change through every façade. There should be continued efforts to make change and it should be discussed and shown throughout. AT&T will be able to maintain change by developing new supportive and strong company’s culture (Bruckman, 2008).

Diagnose the reasons for resistance to change

Companies are forever changing something within the company. Change is almost inevitable. Employees are more likely to resist change than to be on board of the change. Reasons people resist change differ. It can depend on numerous different things. The reasons for resistance to change can include: fear of the unknown, lack of communication, misunderstanding concerning the change, change of routine, just to name a few. When employees are consulted, they are more likely to be on board of the change. Transparency is required for employees to be positive concerning a change.

Identify and describe three (3) potential causes of resistance to your change plan

One source of resistance to change is discomfort with uncertainty, as employees are not willing to leave their comfort zones. The less the employees know about the change and the impact it will have on them personally, the more resistant they will become. When implementing change, it is not a good idea to just implement a change without talking to everyone. When the leaders are not transparent, this can cause strife. There needs to be much communication concerning the change so that employees are not going by rumors and becoming more resistant. In this regard, employees may not have confidence in the direction the organization is taking in terms of strategy and vision. Another potential resistance is lack of conviction among employees that change is necessary. Notably, as long as employees do not understand why change is required, they are likely to oppose change initiatives. This comes with having a lack of communication and not being transparent with the employees. The next potential resistance is fear of losing their current positions. This may influence employees in rejecting change. No one would be in favor of change that may be harmful to us. No employee wants to see their position eliminated. If the change is harmful to a person’s well-being, there will definitely be a resistance. In essence, implementation of change may see few job positions scrapped. In view of this, employees may oppose changes in a bid to protect their jobs.

Create a plan for minimizing possible resistance to your change management plan

One of the most effective methods of managing resistance to change is through education and communication. This entails communicating exact benefits of change to employees. Participation and involvement is another strategy to manage resistance. In this regard, managers involve employees in decision making in order to make them own the process of change. Negotiation and consensus can also be used to diffuse tension among the employees. This entails offering incentives to workers who are opposed to change. Managers can also use manipulation and coercion to push change. This involves identifying leaders of the resisters and manipulating them into accepting change. If all the aforementioned approaches fail, managers can use explicit or implicit coercion. This entails openly forcing employees to accept change. Those who continue to oppose change can be threatened with sanctions or dismissal from employment (Bruckman, 2008).

Elaborate on the relationship between resistance to change and communication

It is not what a leader does, but more of how they explain the change that creates resistance. Resistance can occur because changes are introduced in an insensitive manner or at the most inopportune time. In order for a change to be effective, there needs to be no walls and the lines of communication must be open. When implementing change, there is never “too much communication”.

Evaluate three (3) communication strategies

The best communication strategies is to communicate the information to stakeholders, and getting buy-in from employees. By not exaggerating change, it means that only factual information will be released. As the organization seeks to win buy-ins, it should avoid not giving too much information. By not communicating, this causes mistrust between the leaders, vision, and the change. Most importantly, it is imperative that communication targets the right stakeholders because each stakeholder is unique and plays a unique role in the implementation of change. When implementing employee buy-in, it is crucial for leaders to align to communicate the change in clear language so that everyone understands. When the company is transparent, the employees know what is going on.

Recommend one (1) communication strategy that would be applicable to your organization and create a solid communication plan for your change initiative.

The best communication strategy that would applicable is to be transparent. When a company is not transparent, it brings a sense of mistrust. This causes many issues with change. This would cause people to be very resistant to a change. Being transparent allows people to know that nothing is being hid and it keeps all employees in the know of what is going on. This leads to a more successful company.

Two (2) Strategies Recommendation for Sustaining Change

To achieve growth, AT&T should identify strategies that provide the firm with high probability for progress. This may entail growing existing customer segments in order to increase revenues. To achieve this, it is imperative to train the staff in order to enable them cope with customer needs.

Another strategy for sustaining change is expansion of current infrastructure. As the staff is trained, it is critical that they are provided with supportive infrastructure to aid growth. Notably, departmental divisions that are less productive should be scrapped and replaced with more effective divisions.

References

AT&T. (n.d.). A brief history: origins. Retrieved from http://www.corp.att.com/history/history1.html.

Bruckman, J.C. (2008). Overcoming resistance to change: causal factors, interventions, and critical values. Psychologist-Manager Journal (Taylor & Francis Ltd.), 11(2), 211-219.

Gill, R. and Hodges, J. (2015). Sustaining change in organizations. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

Hamid, R., Siadat, S., Reza, H., Arash, A., Ali, N., & Azizollah, A. (2011). The analysis of organizational diagnosis based on six box models in Universities. Higher Education Studies, 1(1), 84-92.

Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Kotter’s 8-step change model. (2012). Retrieved fromhttps://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_82.htm.

Lawrence, P. (n.d.). How to deal with resistance to change. Retrieved fromhttps://hbr.org/1969/01/how-to-deal-with-resistance-to-change.

Rick, T. (2011). Top twelve reasons people resist change. Retrieved fromhttp://www.torbenrick.eu/blog/change-management/12-reasons-why-people-resistchange/.

Tanner, R. (2015). Organizational change: 8 reasons people resist change. Retrievedfrom https://managementisajourney.com/organizational-change-8-reasons-why-peopleresistchange/.