Implement Continuous Improvement
1. Introduction of the new change processes to an organisation is a hard and complicated process that requires from the management of an enterprise considerable knowledge. They should understand that in general employees assume that changes are bad and they can influence workers only in a negative way. There are many social and psychological factors that influence their attitude to some new processes at an organisation. They may include their own tastes, demands or requirements for their work. Different scientists define such causes of resistance to change: interference with need fulfillment, selective perception, habits, inconvenience or loss of freedom, economic implications, security in the past, fear of the unknown, threats to power or influence, knowledge and skill obsolescence, organisational structure and limited resources (Yılmaz & Kılıchoglu, 2013).
Implementing an organisational change, the managements need to pay attention to all these factors and understand an attitude of each worker to it. That can help to avoid big mistakes in organisation strategy. New organisation changes should comply with organisational culture of the company. What is more, before starting any modification in a company’s processes, there should be done a survey, or, at least, a possibility of this change should be negotiated with workers. Such actions will help to understand the mood of employees, test their reaction, their possible support, and predict probable results of it. At the same time, a change that is not understood by employees and management team will never be successfully applied. A big obstacle to change processes at organisation can be not clear or not realistic demands. The fact that a new change at organisation is not clear even to managers can result in the employees not doing exactly what they should do, so they will just resist such a change. Realization of a change is possible only if both sides understand why they need it. An organisation can use some types of stimulation for its workers. They can include new motivation and bonus system in order to avoid low productivity. Such methods can easily influence workers’ attitude, so they will not neglect their new duties. The most common strategies to cope with the resistance are education and communication, participation and involvement, facilation and support, negotiation and agreement, manipulation and co-optation (Yılmaz & Kılıchoglu, 2013). Introducing a change, a manager should make a communication plan, taking into consideration all previous advices.
2. Coaching and mentoring is a very useful tool for managers. Both these techniques are used to provide effective communication at a workplace (Meichael, 2008). Employees who have a reliable support system and have someone to rely on will have confidence in their work and be more productive. Coaching and mentoring system gives workers an opportunity to understand better what their employer requires from them.
Coaches and mentors are very important for new workers. They can give a general information about a company, its values and culture; they can also help to create perception of a place where this person will work at. It is better for them to have a help of an expert and a person with some experience in a particular sphere at the beginning of their work at a new place. Managers should avoid just throwing worker into a new position, but rather help them to adjust to a new workplace. New workers need to have someone to ask questions, so they will be able to avoid serious mistakes that can badly influence a company.
There is a difference between coaching and mentoring. Coaching is usually understood as a short-term action that has limits in time, is more formal and is used to focus on specific skills and areas to improve. Mentoring sets relationships between a manger and a worker for long time and can be less formal. There are some specific qualities that a good coach or mentor should have: be approachable, strategic, well-organized, consistent, inspiring, listen carefully, have an eye on results, listen to suggestions, make people feel that they are valued and supported, give possibilities to grow and develop, support the workers when they make mistakes and be able to encourage.
One of thing that managers should do first is to understand which role they need to take. In some situations, it is better to choose a role of a mentor, while in others, it is more suitable to be a coach. This choice will influence future communication with employees. Managers who want to choose one of these roles need to think how they will motivate workers and encourage their future professional growth and development. Both mentors and coaches should set goals and objectives for their workers, but doing that, they need to understand that these objectives should be realistic and reachable. Only in this case, employees will be well motivated. Giving the tasks that are impossible to accomplish will just make the employees lose their motivation, and they will not do anything at all. A manager should make a challenge for workers and inspire them all the time, stimulating them in a positive way. To develop some skills in people, the GROW (Goals, Reality, Options, Will) model can be used. In this model, goals mean setting objectives for one’s workers, reality stands for exploring current state of a company and finding positive tendencies, options means searching and discussing different available possibilities and the will defines actions that can be taken to reach the goals in future and the time frames needed.
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3. For an organisation, evaluation and monitoring helps to understand at which part of its plan it is at and if managers and employees do everything right. If one sees any deviation from their plan, they can modify their strategy to improve their performance results. Progress review should be done constantly in the same time periods.
Any software that is used by a company can be a good tool to evaluate and monitor progress of an organisation. A company can also use it to understand tastes of the customers or other important factors. This way managers can see an amount of sales, or average time that it takes to proceed an order. For example, at hotels, booking systems can be used to see if customers buy some additional services, what influences their decision to buy them, how they make a reservation, etc. At the same time, one can use their contact information to ask them provide a feedback, sell them future promotions or deals, or remind them about the hotel. By conducting different types of surveys among the customer, one can find problems that exist at different departments and change their planning if it is necessary.
There are also many methods aimed at monitoring workers without using special equipment. First of all, managers of an organisation can watch employees’ performance personally and make some notes. This is the easiest way to analyze their performance. This will give an opportunity to see them in action and understand if they are doing everything the right way. At the same time, managers can help them with any difficulties that may appear during the work process.
Depending on the sphere in which a company operates, different tools can be used to review employees’ performance. For instance, companies that have hotlines usually record phone calls. This technique can help them to see if any mistake is made and avoid it in future. When the managers receive a complaint from a customer, it is sometimes hard for them to understand if a worker did something wrong or not, so this tool can help to make a fair decision about the work done. This makes both sides feel more secure. On the one hand, an employee will try to avoid mistakes because they know that they are being recorded, and, at the same time, they are protected from unfair judgment. On the other hand, a customer will see that the company that employs such tools really cares about its reputation and the quality of customer service. At the same time, one can use statistical information about quantity of customer complaints and evaluate workers’ performance. A company can use customers as a monitoring tool, conducting some surveys to understand what they liked and disliked. This direct feedback is very important and gives one necessary information about the areas that need to be improved.
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4. Benchmarking involves actions that organisations use to compare and analyze their performance results and understand how they can improve themselves. It can be applied to products, services and practices of a company to see its strengths or weaknesses. At the same time, benchmarking provides analysis of competitors, gaps between those who have best results and who are not so successful, etc. Companies that use this strategy can adopt ideas or methods of other benchmarking organisations and industry leaders. This technique helps to see if other players on the market have the same problems and what the solutions for them are.
Best practice is the usage of generally acknowledged techniques or methods that work in most cases and are used by majority of companies. They are reusable, and market players are aware of it. Besides, they are reliable, and the experience of many organisations shows that they work. Best practice can be used in any sphere. Organisations that need improvement in their performance also adopt best practices.
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Change management is a process employed by an organisation that is aimed at improvement for its better performance. This management process includes introduction of a change to an organisation, its implementation and coping with problems it may cause. For organisation, a change means new or modified production processes, new ways to manage them, new products or services, etc. (Stapenhurst, 2009). The reasons for implementing a change can be different: both internal and external factors that influence a company. An objective of the change management is to plan and implement a change successfully and find a way to deal with resistance that may appear (Creasey, 2007). Change management helps to find an approach to every individual at a company and explains how to provide them with the right perception of a future change. While supporting the change process, managers should make a plan as to how to prepare employees for it.
Continuous improvement systems and processes quality systems help an organisation to evaluate and review their performance. They help to determine areas that need improvement, analyze what resources should be used for it, how it should be done and which methods and techniques will help to achieve the best results. Systems of continuous improvement and quality processes monitor and measure organisations’ processes and how effective they are. They use quality policies, analysis of data and management reviews (Plura, 2000). Management always seeks to improve effectiveness and efficiency of processes at an organization, and these systems help to choose the most convenient way to do it.
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All the above mentioned techniques are used for improving processes at an organisation. Benchmarking and best practice are used to understand which processes are better to use at organisation and compare own methods with those that use competitors; change management helps to understand how to implement new modified processes, and continuous improvement systems and processes quality systems evaluate and monitor results of all of these actions. For an organization, it is not possible to survive on the market and be competitive without using all of them.