Delivering the Message in Challenging Times: The Relative Effectiveness of Different Forms of Communicating Change to a Dispersed and Part-Time Workforce: Article Review
This paper draws on the solid foundation for the achievement of effective communication through the recognition of the inevitability of resistance and the identification of its likely causes. The effectiveness of the communication strategy adopted for the home care review was found to be affected by several key issues. It explores the impact of leadership and management styles which are the basis a dispersed workforce of the organization. The authors contend that messages from the organization or the management that are capable of promoting people’s psychosocial feelings and make them feel valued enhance their self-esteem, as well. Such messages allow some form of response and dialogue.
The paper further analyzes the recognition by change managers of the personal and professional needs of the workforce. Communication is a key consideration to any process of strategic change in an organization. Furthermore, change is likely to face some resistance which necessitates the use of effective communication channels. Resistance is a natural and emotional aspect of human change. This implies that managing organizational change requires effective leadership which in turn relies on proper communication to facilitate passing of appropriate information, knowledge, managerial capacity, behavioral resistance, and skills. Communication, to a great extent, is determined by the actual channels used, for instance the use of facial expressions in direct communication. Individual interpretations, on the other hand, are influenced by perception, culture, and context. Empathy, timing, and social perception taking, ability to assess appropriate communication for specific contexts, have been identified as key determinants for positive communication. In this regard, informal communication has been acknowledged as appropriate in change process since hierarchical structure constricts the freedom to communicate and lowers the morale. Openness in communication can be achieved when people express feelings, disclose interpersonal motives, and listen without defensiveness.
Management that takes it to them to inform and consult with employees on changes is likely to achieve effective communication. The first-line manager’s role in communication is increasingly crucial when dealing with a workforce that is pert time in nature and one that carries the caring responsibility. Visibility of and content of information used by managers was a key determiner of satisfaction among workers. Visibility of the manager throughout the process of change, for instance, was seen as contributing to enhance the perception towards the value of their contribution while at the same time boosting self-esteem and confidence. Consequently, the study confirms the rationale that the resistance is mostly an expression of a desire for a greater sense of context, rationale, and continuity. This is demonstrated by the reduction of resistance and anxiety following the receiving of information facilitating the understanding of the context of the change. This implies that it is important that management prioritizes consistent communication of the reason for the change as an initiative to minimize resistance. The authors also demonstrates the notion that individuals who exhibit an eagerness for change implementation demonstrates a high level of security while those showing feelings of anxiety exhibit lower levels of security and are not likely to exhibit readiness for a change.
The paper culminates with an overview of the key factors that contribute to the effectiveness of communication strategy. Effective communication is largely dependent on the recognition of the inevitability of change resistance and the most appropriate consequences for approaches adopted in addressing the issue. Most of the arguments in the literature were confirmed by the survey where positive correlations were identified. The paper was, therefore, effective in its validating the importance of communication in addressing the issue of resistance likely in the process of change.
References Brimm, H., & Murdock, A. (1998). Delivering the Message in Challenging Times: The Relative Effectiveness of Different Forms of Communicating Change to a Dispersed and Part-Time Workforce. Total Quality Management, 9(2), 167-179.