A meeting for all staff should be called to tell them about the future plans to avoid rumours that are likely to spread via informal communication.
Managers should always examine their external environments and keep a close eye on the competition. If BDC wants to ensure it has the competitive edge over its rivals it should make its employees aware that resistance to change and failure to constantly adapt to new markets can ‘kill’ the company. The organisation should not be afraid to make changes now while it is still successful and before changes become crucial for survival.The managers need to create a climate where the employees understand that change is a continuous process.
A clear strategy and direction are required. Does the firm really want to change to a more customer-led and technology-driven approach? By having a more customer-led approach and encouraging innovation BDC can achieve a greater competitive advantage and higher revenue growth. On the facts given it can be seen that the new product is already making money and attracting new customers. What is needed at BDC is corporate commitment from all departments. Without employee support no change will succeed.
Hence it is imperative to gain the support of people in the organisation in order to bring about change. After the reasons for change are agreed with the top management they should be explained to all employees so they feel part of the whole process. The studies and experiments conducted by Elton Mayo proved that workers were affected by the degree of interest shown in them by their managers. The influence of this upon motivation is known as “the Hawthorn effect”. Hence I believe BDC needs to invest in their workforce by training and developing them and realize the long term benefits it can bring.This could break the resistance and actually motivate people.
Initially, it doesn’t necessarily take too many committed employees to make the change. Simon Hodges is deeply involved in the project. However he hasn’t got the organisational power to get the project going ahead. I recommend that BDC senior management authorise the organisational and project changes suggested by Mr Hodges and place him with initial responsibility for implementing the same. This could help to remove some of the obstacles to innovation. The company also needs a more flexible structure to enable it to respond rapidly.One way this could be achieved is by changing the leadership style.
At the moment this is autocratic in its nature. Everything is done according to procedure and policy and managers manage ‘by the book’. This results in employees developing work habits that are hard to break, especially if they are no longer useful. So I believe that BDC needs to adapt a more participative style that actually encourages employees to be part of the decision making process. Douglass McGregor identified this style of management as Theory Y managers.
Theory Y assumes that employees are naturally creative and desire responsibility. The case study shows that that is the case with Simon Hodges and the task force team. They are eager to take control and make a success of the new potentially profitable product. In the long run this approach management may increase motivation within the workplace and consequently increase efficiency. NUMMI is a Toyota plant in America which has developed a system whereby people who give suggestions are given the power and responsibility to carry them out.A lean approach is used to achieve efficiency5. This sort of management would also go in line with Theory Y management. Perhaps by benchmarking against NUMMI and other similar organisations BDC could learn how to do things better and discover solutions for its own problems.
Alternatives In the future, BDC needs to spot problems and resolve them quickly and to take proactive measures in order to be able to manage their rapid growth. In order to be leaner and more efficient BDC has to improve its internal communication network.It is clearly a problem at the moment and should not be overlooked because it can make the difference between business success and business failure. I suggest that employees are encouraged and trained to use new technology so that they can make better-informed decisions.
At present employees are too cautious and focused mainly on paper work and not concerned about creating something better. Job enrichment could be a method of motivating people. BDC’s bureaucratic, inward-looking environment is partly to blame. Instead of doing things in the same repetitive way, employees should be offered a little challenge.The managers at BDC need to think of a way to provide more variety to the work. As Herzberg pointed out: “The more a person can do, the more you can motivate them. “6 Staff should be empowered at all levels in the organisation.
This means that BDC should encourage staff (and management) to take direct responsibility for trying to improve their job. This could be done by allocating new roles and responsibilities. In the long-run all would benefit and the working lives can become more interesting as workers have more power and control.