Mercy Medical Centre is a community hospital located in the Pacific Northwest. The hospital has five hundred and fifty beds and employs seven hundred and fifty medical staff. The hospital has been growing over time through taking over small private clinics in the area alongside a managed care insurance plan. The hospital is one of the most competitive healthcare facilities in the area. However, in the recent past, there have been consumer-driven technologic revolutions which have seen advances transforming business world in banking, investing and retailing. The medical industry has been lagging behind and Mercy Medical Centre has been entrapped.
Recently, one of the major competitors has announced its plan to roll out a new physician order entry (POE) which will see it streamline information systems in the healthcare by upgrading to modern efficient and highly effective service delivery. Mercy Medical Centre is challenged to adopt the same system and upgrade how it delivers its services to the clients; otherwise, it may lose its competitive advantage in the market. Nevertheless, Mercy Medical Centre's major barrier to upgrading its systems is the high resistance to change from its physicians. In the past, the care facility had attempted to introduce a nursing documentation system (Physician-Manager), but change collapsed because the medical staff opposed the system. It was implemented without consideration of the physicians' input, and they had to sabotage it as they viewed it as a new change that would overwork them and make extra profits to the executives. Mercy Medical Centre therefore experiences staff resistance to change, and the change process that it needs to implement is people-centred change to create room for acceptance of other changes in the organization that will enable it to recoup and maintain its competitive advantage in the marketplace. This report presents how people-centred change process can be implemented in the care facility to dilute staff resistance t change, implementation challenges, and the expected outcomes.
Change Process to be Undertaken
People-centred change process entails designing a change model and goal set, set of training methodologies and agenda that is grounded around accommodating and being considerate of the human assets involved (Haringa, 2009, p. 22). It is a modification of an organisation whereby peoples' behaviours, performance, skills, and attitudes are altered towards the positive end. For example, managers may aim to change how employees perceive their jobs, how they solve problems or how they perceive the organization.
The people-centred change process is based on prioritizing people and the organic goals around them on how they can most likely work and progress (Anderson, 2016, p. 99). It is about convincing and motivating people to accept changes in the organization and to view the outcomes of the change as a positive motivation and payoff for what they will sacrifice.
People change is about confronting resistance with an open ear and open door and establishing a clear schedule that does not add more burdens to the lives of the affected employees, but instead enforce a swiftness that steers the organization forward alongside simplifying the work of the employees (Halpern, 2016, p. 44). As such, people-centred change focuses on new modifications to the organization as a win to everyone and seeks to change peoples' attitudes towards acceptance and to view change as a good thing that will improve their job outcomes and satisfaction (Bolman and Deal, 2017, p. 66).
Mercy Medical Centre is experiencing resistance challenges from the staff due to poor attitudes the physicians have towards the introduction of new information systems to the organization. The management needs to implement the people-centred change to influence the employee attitudes towards the organization and change so that they can be motivated by the outcomes of the change. There is a need to change their perception of the new information systems as the modification that will positively impact on their job outcomes while increasing efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery to the customers. A negative perception among the physicians that the new information systems will make them work robots whose aim is to increase profits for the executives should be altered.
The ultimate goal of people change is to realize a point where the new change is understood and new reality accepted (Fullan, 2014, p. 33). As such, efforts in affecting people change should be focused on influencing people towards acceptance. To influence people towards accepting new change, the management needs to motivate and communicate with the affected employees in the most effective manner (Cummings and Worley, 2014, p. 87). Motivation is used as an enticement to reward those who take the initiatives in implementing change. Nonetheless, motivation is an outcome of effective communication that instils the sense among the employees of the need for change and the better anticipated future state. Communication is crucial as it is a tool that will be used by the management to explain to the employees why they need to introduce change, how they will be affected and how conflicts arising during the change implementation will be mitigated. A proper communication plan should be drawn to guide throughout the change implementation process (Kerzner, 2013, p. 454). Such a communication plan should include information to be communicated, communication objectives, the audience, when to communicate, flow of information, who is in charge of authorizing communicated information and escalation process for resolving conflicts.
Issues that may arise for Managers and Staff during Change Implementation
During this change implementation process, there are several issues that may arise for the managers as well as the staff. One of the major implementation issues for managers are communication problems. Communication is one of the top change implementation issues that arise from the management side. Where processes, management and procedures in the workplace are never communicated properly to the members of the staff, it is honest to expect anger and resistance in spite of the size of organization (Beach, 2015, p. 433). However, for a huge organisation like Mercy Medical Centre, a poor communication (non company-wide communication) will leave out many employees who will not be aware of the change, and it can be disruptive as the staff resists further change halfway. One of the reasons why managers may opt to ignore company-wide communication is that they want to avoid a million questions from the employees such as "why change, and is there no system failure?" (Burke, 2017, p. 77). Managers may think that answering employees concerns will be time-consuming, but it is better to spend time and achieve the goals of change than to hastily run over change and fail.
Another implementation issue that is likely to arise is swift change. Most often, managers will move with speed in changing ideas without involving the employees in every step even when the changes matter most to the employees (Cameron and Green, 2015, p. 12). Again this is a problem associated with the pressure that the managers may be operating under due to top management's wish to see the organisation reach the desired future state overnight.
On the other hand, there are implementation issues that may arise among the employees. For a company like Mercy Medical Centre, the obvious employee issues that will arise are staff resistance and doubt or denial. It is usual for employees to find change as stressful and they begin to worry, ultimately resisting the change (Gray and Wilkinson, 2017, p. 336). Employees, like the physicians in Mercy Medical Centre, are used to their current jobs, and the chances that they will resist new changes are high. Similarly, employees in their current comfort zone will doubt and even deny if the change will occur (Sessa and London, 2015, p. 456). Employee denial during change implementation process is because employees do not want change or do not have confidence in the management and they do not think if they will achieve the desired change.
Managing Change Implementation Issues
For change to be effected in organisations like Mercy Medical Centre, implementation issues that may arise for managers and staff need to be addressed. There are various ways to address the issues such as those discussed above. For example, communication issues are addressed through establishing a good company-wide communication during the change implementation process (Cummings and Worley, 2014, p. 234). In achieving a company-wide communication process, the managers need to draw up a communication plan. The communication plan should outline what is to be communicated, who is to be informed, when, how and how frequent is the information to be delivered. In addressing issues relating to swift change, managers need to draw change management plan that breaks the change into steps (Booth, 2015, p. 124). A good change management plan can employ flowcharting change management tool. Flowcharting entails sketching organisational processes to create a visual chart of how every process should be undertaken (Booth, 2015, p. 124). Flowcharting is the simplest way to show the employees where the company is and the future desired state.
In addressing the issues that arise from change implementation for employees such as resistance and denial, change theories, and leadership styles will be useful. In particular, managers at Mercy Medical Centre need to adopt Kurt Lewin's change theory which is based on the understanding that employees will resist change and the management first needs to unfreeze their current state. According to Lewin's theory, there are three steps in effecting change; unfreezing, changing and freezing (Burnes and Cooke, 2013, p. 415). In the first stage, the managers come up with strategies to communicate the need for change, change the employee perspectives about change by informing them about the need for change and convince them of how the change will benefit them in the future state (Burnes and Cooke, 2013, p. 412). The unfreezing stage helps the employees to understand why change is needed and anticipate the outcomes so that they can accept the change and reduce chances of resistance and denial during change implementation. The second and third steps, changing and freezing respectively, ensures that change is effected permanently without employees reverting to the previous information systems.
Also, the management at Mercy Medical Centre can embrace democratic leadership style. Democratic leadership style involves employees in decision making and enhances the chances that people will accept and implement the proposed changes as they incorporate their input (Fullan, 2014, p. 56). In this case, physicians and other staff members would get a chance to provide their suggestions on how the new information systems should be installed and operated for their convenience and successful implementation of the change process. With their inputs, there is little likeliness that they would deny or resist the change.
Advantages/ Outcomes of change to an organization
Undoubtedly, change is advantageous to an organisation as it allows it to recoup competitive advantage in the marketplace (Cummings and Worley, 2014, p. 89). For example, Mercy Medical Centre will retain its competitive advantage in the healthcare industry in the Pacific region if it successfully influences their employees to embrace change and see through the adoption of modern information systems. Also, change process allows an organisation to cope up with the ever-changing world and business environment (Benn, Dunphy and Griffiths, 2014, p. 45...
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