Phases in Transition – Part 3

In the final part of the Phases in Transition series, we will examine the importance that Evolution and Solidification have in an organizations change process.

Phase 4 – Evolution

The change process starts to stabilize a little during this phase. It will involve changes to people and products. HR activities at this phase are:

  • Facilitating the establishment of the new culture and structure
  • Selection of appropriate candidates, and or new teams
  • Providing special compensation packages to retain key talents and to reward them for committing to the transition process
  • Recruitment of new personnel as needed
  • Integration of products, practices, regulatory filing; and other technical issues and documentation
  • Implementation of change organizational strategy
  • Clarification of key personnel roles and responsibilities
  • Rolling out training and learning programs for personnel
  • Communication of organization’s short-term plans, for example, what the new organization plans to achieve in the next six months or by end of the year

Communication from management is essential. Employees may experience work-related stress stemming from things such as the change in management, the different work structure, the work-load, and other work related issues. The stress that employees experience here is somewhat similar to culture shock stress experienced by an individual moving to a foreign country and has difficulty adjusting to a new culture that differs greatly from a culture that he grew up in. Culture differences vary widely when companies change or merge. These can include differences in layout of office space, dress codes, communication styles, work schedules, the approach to project work, and even expectations for celebrations of key festivals.

Management should expect employees’ work performance to be affected as employees try to adjust to changes in managerial styles, human resources practices, company culture, organization structure and uncertainty in the new environment1. Just as adopting a new culture takes time and effort, so does adjusting to different managerial styles and organizational culture. If the change management process has included the issue of time during the pre-transition phase, management and the transition team can initiate a change process to establish a ‘one united work culture2.

The following are some employee-related challenges that human resources may have to deal with at this phase:

  • Employee stress
  • Resistance to change
  • Employee low work productivity and commitment levels
  • Loss of identity experienced by employees

These issues need to be properly addressed; otherwise they may impede organization’s growth in the long-run. Management and HR need to reassure all employees that every employee is the face of the new organization, and that their concerns are taken care of.

Phase 5 – Solidification

The final phase of change is solidification of the new organization. There is a period of adjustment, and the final resolution of issues that may affect both employees and their productivity. Management and HR issues at Phase 5 might include:

  • Solidification of leadership and staffing
  • Assessment of the new organizational and employee culture
  • Assessment of the new strategies and structures
  • Additional retraining of personnel in various departments as needed

During this phase, enormous coordination is required. The length of time needed to completely solidify the new organization can take months and even years, and additional “tools” needed to build trust and respect. These “tools” can include positive and encouraging changes to the physical layout of the office space; new logos; new performance and professional growth reward systems; new technology systems

Phases in Transition – Part 1

Phases in Transition – Part 2

1 Knotted forever…..Amite Pande & Sandeep K. Krishnan (Online article) (IIM-A), March 10, 2010

2 Merger and Acquisition Success….An Implementation Guide, Insights, Chapter 15, Insights: Version 1.0, July 2006.