Organizational Culture Analysis: Understanding and Responding to Rapidly Changing Business Environments
Continuous loss of talent at Sambian Partners indicates a trend that has started as a coincidence of employees’ relocation and search for better jobs. However, later it has become a concern. Its worst part is the fact that some of company’s talent is moving to its greatest competitor J&N. The loss of senior employees to the competitor has rung the alarm. The question remains: what makes employees to leave? If Sambian gets answers to this question, it will probably retain the rest of its talent. Therefore, this question has become a challenge. Sambian’s management has been working hard in order to create the best working environment and avoid employee dissatisfaction. It is possible that management has been blinded by this vision and thus, failed to understand the dynamics of a business environment. It is important for an organization to be a visionary, but it should not be a limiting factor that restrains it from adapting to the changing business environment. Employees’ expectations change along with the environment and if an employer does not grasp it, then a gap between the workforce and the management can arise. Management should constantly keep track of every slight change in personnel’s behavior, which often acts as an indicator of people’s perspectives and expectations. In Sambian case, management must identify the problem at first, and then make ajustments to avoid losing more talent. Therefore, this paper argues that Sambian’s management does not meet employees’ expectations for growth and work environment.
When thinking about employee relationship management at Sambian, one is left wondering about the missing link. The company seems to be ready to make all changes, which will endorse employees’ happiness and comfort preventing them from looking for employment elsewhere. However, the more management is trying to close the gap the more it is expanding. The Human Resource manager and the CEO have been trying to get the answers, which could help them retain company’s current talent. However, their attempts have not been productive. Employees comment on the problems to one another and non-Sambians, but never to the management. The management does not seem to notice the problems of employees and the cause of the lack of connection between the two parties is unclear. Nevertheless, it is evident that Sambian needs a change, which is very tough to implement due to the uncertainty. Therefore, the antithesis in this paper states that the problem leading to talent loss at Sambian is not directly management’s fault to satisfy employees’ expectations, but it is rather a miscommunication between both sides.
According to Sambian’s management, it has been doing everything possible to keep employees happy and provide opportunities to grow. Whereas according to employees, management has been very stringent. Moreover, the situation does not improve as the environment requires (Lewin, 2012). As a result, employees are not happy and comfortable with the place. Management has been trying to collect information from the workers through surveys and exit interviews of those that are leaving. These attempts haven’t been successful. There is little information coming to the management that can help change the scenario. Obviously, the trend of employees leaving Sambian for other firms has awakened everybody’s attention calling for change. In this case, unfreezing, as Lewin calls it, has taken place (Brisson-Banks, 2010). People have already been provoked to implement the change. Sambian needs to enact the ending phase according to Bridges (Brisson-Banks, 2010). Sambian’s management ought to find the problem that makes employees feel left out and uncared. However, it feels that the company does everything to appreciate its personnel and offer them growth opportunities. Identifying this problem may be impossible since even the employees leaving Sambian do not agree to speak up. The truth is that workers are not comfortable with the way management runs the company, and for some reasons, they do not express this dissatisfaction. Probably, if they shared their dissatisfaction, management could respond. The communication breakdown makes it impossible for the situation to improve. Therefore, the synthesis of this paper suggests that Sambian must change its systems, management methods and even some managers (if needed).
According to the case study, employees do not express their dissatisfaction to management that is evident as they talk to each other. Management should approach the ending phase that implies eliminating all current systems and modes of management at work (Brisson-Banks, 2010). It is crucial to admit that Sambian’s workers are not comfortable, but they do not say what the problem is. Therefore, the company should end former operational processes to enable the implementation of new ones. Since the employees are not ready to create a common ground for the change, management can approach it from their point of view. The HR manager reports that her survey did not yield much. However, she notes that some departments scored below the average. This could be a starting point. In such complex cases, it is difficult to know what to address. Departments with low records should be the first to start a change and see if employees will be satisfied.
After unfreezing and implementing the ending phase method, the transition stage at Sambian is ineviatble. The top management should act upon liquidating the barriers to effective communication. Therefore, the first change to introduce is one that will allow employees to express their concerns to management anonymously. It is possible that workers face mistreatment if they voice their dissatisfaction. The CEO of Sambian says to Adrienne, one of the workers, that there would be no consequences for speaking outloud (Lawler, 2008). However, this has led to employees remaining quiet in fear of victimization. Anonymous communication, on the other hand, protects the employees from bad treatment. Also, management should ensure the implementation of a new system to react to the leads that employees give. It is impossible to respond to every single concern, but paying attention to them is worthwhile. The management should also approach Bridges’ neutral zone method (Brisson-Banks, 2010). It should introduce every new way that will possibly end the stalemate at Sambian. For example, it can recruit new staff to help with the new systems in order to ensure that the communication breakdown ceases.
Lastly, the management should implement freezing and Bridges’ new beginnings methodology (Marquis, & Tilcsik, 2013). Freezing will ensure that every new system or way of doing things are incorporated as parts of Sambian’s culture. It may lead to the point of eliminating some senior employees, who have been creating hurdles and are not ready to accept the changes. The point where communication worsens, those employees should be strictly monitored to prevent them from disturbing change implementation (Skelsey, 2013). If they resist and act adamant, then they ought to leave Sambian . The fact that employees refuse to express their concerns even when have nothing to lose implies that they must have been offended earlier. For example, Tom refuses to say anything to Mary, but calls his wife and says he does not care if the place gets screwed (Lawler, 2008). This clearly demonstrates that employees could have tried to communicate but received no response from the management. As a result, they let things go. Therefore, to avoid such a situation in the future, freezing the new beginning is important.
In conclusion, the Sambian case raises company’s awareness about an urgent need for change. Major problems evident in this case study are the communication breakdown and disconnection. The workforce does not trust management, while the company is trying to understand the problem of employees to solve the riddle. Sambian can implement both Lewin’s change model and Bridges’ steps of change. Approaching these two methods will help Sambian facilitate effective communication and end the misunderstanding therein. Moreover, it is important for Sambian to be alert to changes in the work environment to be able to react before employees raise concerns. The process of change is rigorous and sometimes it results in the loss of certain senior employees. However, it will be worthwhile to lose senior workers that create problems to retain real talent at Sambian.
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