Working condition is a major factor that determines the performance of employees. That is good working conditions enable employees to produce high performance while severe/hard working conditions lead employees to produce a lower performance. There is always need to change working conditions for employees. This is because changing working conditions help employees to improve their performances. However, changing working conditions can have a positive or negative impact on employees depending on whether employees view the change to be positive or negative. Therefore, changing working conditions can have negative or positive effects on employees as discussed below:
It encourages employee performance and productivity
If the new working condition is viewed by employees to be better than the previous one, it will encourage them to improve their productivity and performance. It is difficult for employees to deliver their best whenever they are working in a hostile/difficult condition. Hence, changing working environment will motivate them.
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Motivates employees and eradicate boredom
Working in one condition for a long time can be boring. Thus, changing working conditions will help employees to overcome boredom and start to improve their performance in return. If the change is viewed to be positive by employees, they will be motivated to work hard so that the condition can be changed to a much better.
It makes work attractive to employees
Working for long periods at one place makes the work to be less attractive as time goes by. This makes employees be less motivated and make friendship with each other and supervisors that can affect their performances negatively. However, if working conditions are changed, the job will always be attractive to employees as they will not have time to make friendship- given that they will be in new working conditions. In return, this will enhance their performance and make the job more attractive to them.
Demoralization and quitting
If employees view the new working conditions to be hostile in contrast to the previous working conditions, they will be highly demoralized. As a result, they will start to put in less effort as a way of coping with the new working conditions. Those who view the new working conditions to be extremely hostile or unfavorable to them will quit the job hence paralyzing the whole operations in the company/organization. It is, therefore, essential to always ensure that changing working conditions is positive by ensuring that new working conditions are viewed by employees to be better than the previous working conditions.
The eight steps of Kotter's 8-Step Change Model are:
1. Create urgency
2. Form a powerful coalition
3. Create a vision for change
4. Communicate the vision
5. Remove obstacles
6. Create short-term wins
7. Building on the change
8. Anchor the change in corporate culture
Based on these steps, Kodak failed in almost every step in the efforts to change to digital photography. For instance, while the first step is creating urgency, Kodak did not create urgency towards changing to digital photography. This is because Steve Season, Kodak engineer, was the first person to invent digital the camera in 1975. When he asked Kodak to implement it, Kodak was hesitant stating that it was the filmless camera. Even when Sony started to use digital cameras years later and it was proved that Kodak would be out of business in 10 years if it does not embrace digital camera, they did not take that as urgent issues in spite of the fact that they wanted to change. They did not form any coalition even when digital cameras were already in use, a fact that led to their collapse ten years later as predicted by researchers as stated by Sarangi, A. (2016).
Even though Kodak created a vision for change as required in step 3, they did not communicate it as required in step 4. It was also a long-term vision that did not consider the urgency of the project as required in step 1. Before Kodak could implement its project and start to use filmless cameras, Sony introduced the first electronic camera and researchers predicted that the electronic was capable of moving Kodak out of business with ten years. As a result, the digital camera of Sony became a major threat to the existence of Kodak. While step 5 of Kotter's 8-Step Change Model, calls for the removal of obstacles, Kodak did remove its obstacles- Sony and electronic cameras.
Step 6 calls for the creation of short-term wins. In spite of threat that Kodak was facing, it did not create any short-term wins as it waited until ten predicted years elapsed before we saw it trying to strategize and come up with short-term wins, though they failed to lead to its collapse. Step 7 calls for building on the change. While Kodak had the upper hand in creating filmless camera/digital/electronic camera, they did not build the change. They waited until the last hours of its existence before they even started to build the change. At the time of its collapse, Kodak was still conducting research. The last step, step 8 of Kotter's 8-Step Change Model, calls for anchoring the change in corporate culture. Sony did not have a chance to anchor their change in corporate culture even if they wanted because they collapsed before making the change (Sarangi, 2016). If Kotter's 8-Step Change Model were used, it would have assisted Kodak significantly. It would have made it a giant company that would be still dominant global market up to now. This is because it would have enabled Kodak to implement the change immediately/urgently hence, gaining the upper hand against its competitors. Kodak would still be the giant company it was before the invention of the electronic camera. Social cognition model will play a significant role since it emphasizes cognition, from sense, making to institutionalism and then to imagination. The changes in this two companies will still be in place as stated by Sarangi (2016).
Let’s consider Kotter and Kodak Company that aim is to reduce costs by creating an independent purchasing group. The CEO of the Kodak and the chief purchasing officer communicated their bold expectations for their initiative, and stakeholders at all levels that are involved. In Kotter, the CEO did not mandate the change and was described as, “invisible” during implementation. Other senior leaders were also silent including middle managers and frontline staff. Kodak Company exceeded its expectations particularly for the initiative in less than a year while Kotter Company gained barely half of the expected savings. Other factors in this two companies have contributed to the difference in the realized expectations. It includes everything from relations with suppliers to industry conditions. However, if any single level of the Kotter’s Company had been better primed to implement the changes, then it could have released a better incentive on its change initiative. Therefore, for these two companies to renew themselves, they have to develop new strategies or operational initiatives. This will preserve competitive advantage and stimulate platforms for long-term success. Therefore, preparing a company for a change by making the level of the company better. Both the companies have a flexible and incentive to customize solutions particularly for their markets, functions, and competitive environments since they will preserve competitive advantage and stimulate platforms for a long term success.
There are several pros of using organizational development theories. Since most organizational are complex, there are simple models that often fail to predict accurately what will happen in the real world since there are too simple. For instance, the process of performance management tend to make employees perform worse, not better, and the OD theory helps us to understand why. The OD theory can also produce a huge, and positive effects due to leverage. Also, this theory helps when it comes to innovation whenever they cross the boundaries of the system. The cons of the OD theory is that there are complicated and doesn’t have the intuitive appeal of the change equations (Asumeng and Osae-Larbi, 2015). Sometimes, the theory can be the quality of promising more than it can deliver. Lastly, there are situations when using this model to control change will not make sense. Instead it is better to apply to tools like “appreciative inquiry” that helps us to guide emergent change. On the other hand, the pros and cons of using the steps vary depending on their changes. For instance, the step six and nine helps to choose an option. In this models, the authors seem to be very pessimistic, thus preparing people that sometimes they can make bad decisions. Furthermore in this steps, there is a stage that considers assessing and reviewing whether the decision is bad or good. Therefore, for this reason, I highly recommend the company to use OD models for change program.
The Kodak change process program involved cost structure reductions so that to reflect on commercial activity, packaging, enterprise business, and Document Imaging business. Antonia M. Perez was the leader of the change process. Perez managed to reduce their current cost structure that was designed for a much larger, and more diversified set of business. However, he did not manage to reduce the workforce by approximately by 1000 employees during that financial year. He as well managed to emerge the company as a growing sustainable and profitable company that continues to meet the need of their esteem customers as per their mission and vision.
Sarangi, A. (2016). Creating learning organisation: An OD Practice. IRA-International Journal of Management & Social Sciences (ISSN 2455-2267) , 3 (3).
Asumeng, M. A., & Osae-Larbi, J. A. (2015). Organization Development Models: A Critical Review and Implications for Creating Learning Organizations. European Journal of Training and Development Studies , 2 (3), 29-43.