Changemanagement Galley café
It is often said that change isthe only constant. Though ironical, the phrase captures exactly whatis happening and what needs to be done in the modern business world.Firms are reinventing themselves and their products daily. Thesechanges are made necessary by changes in business environment such aschange in consumer preferences, economic fluctuations, lifestylechanges, internal changes, changes in government and so forth. Forother firms, these changes are part of their long term vision and thedesire to improve and do things better. Galley Café as part ofLunchbox UK has joined the bandwagon of raging undergoing change.However, the change initiated at the firm has not delivered desiredoutcomes despite the fact that more change is on the way. There arecritical issues that the management of Galley and other managers canlearn from change management theory as presented in this report usingthe Galley case study for reference.
Fluctuations in the businessenvironment trigger change in firms. Businesses do this to adaptbetter to the new environment. Rapid technology change, highercompetition, economic fluctuations and globalization etc have madefirms to be continually on a change path. Although most firms mayacknowledge this, many of them view change as “disruptiveor desequilibrating and related to resistance, loss of security andfear of uncertainty” (Liebhart & Lorenzo 2010, p. 216). One ofthe main reasons for this negative perception toward change isincreased level of uncertainty associated with emergent change asopposed to planned change. Emergent change is defined as reactionarychange to an occurrence which is forced upon an organization whileplanned change is change initiated voluntarily as a strategic option(Hayes 2007). The current situation facing the Galley Café iseminently disruptive. There is increased competition from neweateries, drop in sales, change in employee motivation and morale,new ownership and leadership at the outlet which have all altered thestatus quo.
Giventhe recent developments, Galley’s greatest challenge is managingemployees to accept and adapt a change mentality. It is already clearthat some employees at the establishment are not comfortable beingmanaged by Jean just because she is younger than them. They interpretthe new leadership as a threat to the status quo and their vestedinterests (Kotter 2013). Again, increased competition from newestablishments has led to a drop in revenue at Galley. While mostbusiness scholars cite marketing approaches to boost sales includingpricing and product evaluations, Kirkpatrick(2001) suggeststhe adoption of change management strategies in responding tocompetition. Service oriented firms may consider reviewing the humanresources (Nickson,2013).Therefore, how firms respond to environment changes depend on theirindustry, resources, context, structure, culture leadership amongothers.
Changeundergone by the organization
Galleyhas undergone considerable change in a relatively short period oftime. The most critical has been the change of ownership from a caféselling subsidized meals to company staff to being part and parcel ofthe Lunchbox chain of hotels. Such change is transformational as itintroduces new ways of doing things. This affects authority,organizational structure, pricing, and management approach. Thischange affects the leadership of the facility as there is a neworganizational structure in place. Decision making is also taken awayfrom Galley to the Lunchbox headquarters. This means that menus andother key decisions made by the manager at the outlet may have to beapproved by head office. The other change introduced at the café isincremental in nature. This is because it introduces moderate changeswhich are practically modifications of existing practices. Theyinclude serving hot breakfast snacks, having a new manager, and theabolition of the coffee break.
Somechanges have been determined by external forces and othersvolunteered by the management. From the case study, Jean employsdeterminism change to respond to declining sales by introducing hotbreakfast snacks and themed meals. Determinism change is defined achanged forced upon firms by changes in the business environment.Again, the planned reduction of the wage bill by 5% in six months isa strategic option influenced by lower profits. If such reduction ofthe wage bill was planned as part of ongoing company-wide changes,then it would be termed as voluntarism. Voluntarism is defined as theprocess of making strategic choices to influence the externalenvironment. Galley has employed voluntarism through acquisition byLunchbox which was triggered by internal forces and perhaps desirefor growth. This change gives the firm more financial muscle tocompete better in the market and allows it to tap in to theexperience, expertise and brand equity of Lunchbox. A blend ofvoluntarism and determinism can be employed. This third approach ofimplementing change called logical incrementalism calls a flexiblelong term vision. Businesses adapt and compromises on the long termvision in response to environment changes and in the process learnand apply knowledge obtained in making strategic choices (Hayes,2007).
Employees’reaction to the aforementioned changes has been largely negative.Some of them fail to recognize Jean as the rightful manager becauseshe is younger than most of them. The employees have engaged indeliberate activities to frustrate her and sabotage the operations ofthe café. Where actions are not deliberate, employees’ motivationand morale is down. Scholars in change management reveal that suchdevelopments are to be expected where employees are not comfortablewith change (Kotter,2013 Hayes, 2007).One of the reasons attributed to such negative reactions to changeare low engagement in the change process. Employees feel that changesin work processes are just being imposed on them without necessaryconsiderations. Changes without consultation violate thepsychological contract. A psychological contract is defined as“individual beliefs, shaped by the organization, regarding terms ofan exchange agreement between individuals and their organization”(Rousseau, 1995, p.9 cited from class notes). They are unwritten butexpected to be fulfilled nonetheless. For instance, employees havegrown to understand that they serve particular dishes at specifiedtime. Again, Galley employees believe the café’s operationsrequire a workforce of 20 people. The new changes include serving hotbreakfast snacks, eliminating the 30-minute tea break, reducing thestaff by two and new themed meals. All these changes go beyond thepsychological expectations of the employee’s job at Galley Café.
Thechange process at the café has violated the psychological contract.Although the legal contract that sets the terms of employment has notbeen violated even after takeover by Lunchbox, it is the violation ofthis psychological contract that has had the greatest impact. Firmsin the hospitality industry or the service industry in general aremost affected by the psychological contract issues while undergoingchange. This is because these firms are heavily reliant on the peopleelement to create and develop their products (Boella& Goss-Turner, 2013).By the look of things at Galley, the violation of this contract andopposition to change has been reflected in the product and servicedelivery. It is reported that some employees have been rude tocustomers. To address such issues, business must be willing toincorporate human resource management strategies to pool humanresources and direct them towards a common goal (ibid).
Theexchange theory expounds on the psychological contract works. Thetheory posits that individual invest time and effort in return for aparticular reward or outcome. For Galley employees, they have certainexpectations such as a coffee break in exchange for their services.Nonetheless, this coffee break is not necessarily included in theiremployment contract. Another theory, the expectancy theory alsoexplains how psychological contract works. The theory clams thatindividual’s expectations influence motivation. Failure to meetexpectations has caused low morale and motivation. The equity theoryalso explains psychological contract and says that individuals remainpositive as long as they feel that the treatment they receive is fairin comparison to others (Mullins2007).The appointment of Jean as a manager may have felt unfair to somesenior employees who probably have served longer at the facility andthus expected to be promoted.
Suchreactions to change are not unique but are to be expected. In mostcases, reactions to change undergoes five major steps namely denial,defense, discarding, adaptation and internalization. In the denialstage, employees deny the need for change and working conditions. Inthe defense stage, employees defend their job territory. These seemto the current stages being experience by the employees at the galleyin relation to the adapted changes. Employees feel that there is noneed to serve the new hot breakfast service. The employees are alsokeen to defend their coffee break and workload. The abolition ofcoffee break and the failure to replace two employees has increasedthe workload for employees. However, there is no evidence that theabsence of the two employees or the absence of the coffee break hasmade work unmanageable. With time, employees are likely to adapt wellto these changes if some issues are addressed.
GalleyCafé should take a different approach to the change process thatemploys organization-wide communication. There is need for Jean toinstitute communication, dialogue and participation among employees.Given that the café has considerable autonomy from the headquarters,Jean has the authority to introduce new measure and approaches tointegrate change in the operations by engaging employees. First sheshould set up efficient communication channels that allow upward anddownward flow of information. For instance, memos and staff meetingcan be adapted through which she can discuss and introduce change(Hayes 2007). Employees should be encouraged to voice their concernssuch as opposition to abolition of the coffee break and thus works asa team towards an alternative solution.
Itis recommended that employees should be engaged in the change processand a clear strategy formulated with short term and long terms goalsclearly indicated. Engaging employees pertain to indicating therelevance of change to the employees and how it affects themindividually (Kotter& Schleinger, 2008). Therefore, change should be broken down to smaller tasks withbenefits and expectations clearly outlined. The manager should be athand to supervise the progress in these small changes and offeradvice where necessary. By setting short term goals relevant to theindividuals, employees own the process and make it easier to keeptract of change. Again, accomplishment of short term, goals boostsmorale and motivation to achieve the bigger change goals (Carnall(2003).
Anew organizational culture that is supportive of change should beadopted. As a pattern of entrenched and unconscious assumptions,employees should learn that promotions in the firm are awarded onmerit and ability rather than age (Schein,2004).The fact that some employees are not comfortable to have a managerwho is younger than them illustrates absence of a meritocracyculture. To achieve this, Mullins(2007) recommends thatsuch promotions should be internally advertised for all to apply withthe required qualifications clearly indicated for employees tounderstand that individuals are assigned various roles according totheir abilities and qualifications.
Thecafé should invest in training employees to help them adapt tochange. Training not only sensitizes employees on the importance ofchange but also prepares them on what to expect and the variousstages involved. Training will also equip employees with neededskills to succeed in implementing change (Nickson,2013).The training process should be also directed at equipping employeeswith the necessary level of competence and support to embrace change,new skills and competence to deliver new products and services. Forinstance, it is important the management at the Café introducesintensive training on Chinese culture to help employees performbetter in delivering Chinese themed dishes and services. The trainingis likely to boost their confidence in delivering service and improvemorale and motivation.
Thecase of Galley Café clearly points to poor change management. someomissions in the change process. One of the key omissions is employeetraining and suitable communication channels through which employeescan voice their concerns. Though the firm has survived change in theform of ownership, it is clear that there is no general acceptance ofchange among the employees. The low motivation and morale among staffis also suggestive of indiscipline and disregard for Jean as amanager. The ability of the manager to maneuver the organizationthrough change successfully can help also change this negativeattitude towards the manager as she will earn the respect of theemployees. In general, the case indicates that organizations need toprepare for change in advance. Creating the necessary environment toachieve is very important. Communication and training are some of thebest approaches in creating an enabling environment to achievechange. Successful organizations are those that can change inresponse to changes in the environment. The most successful ones arethose than can change their processes to influence the externalenvironment. This way, organizations can actively chart their futureand control it.
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