Organizational Transformation: Are Managers Sufficiently Supported?

CoachHub · 23 November 2021 · 11 min read

What is the role of the manager in promoting successful organizational transformation? Consider the following factors to promote positive change.

Today’s digital revolution is disrupting French companies, forcing them to consider organizational transformation in order to maintain their competitiveness. In this regard, managers have no choice but to change also. Becoming competent in agility and leadership has, thus, become one of the most important managerial priorities. Yet, 85% of managers do not have adequate training to support internal transformation. However, it would be inappropriate to believe that this disturbing figure is an end in itself.

One of the most suitable solutions to drive change is managerial coaching. Up to 65% of managers are willing to take a professional coaching course to develop their skills. The opportunity for organizational transformation is, thus, wide open.

Different Types of Organizational Transformation

The transformations witnessed in organizations directly affect the operational modes of the management and modify business processes to improve production. There are different types of organizational transformation. These include:

Organizational transformation

This involves the improvement of structure, operational processes, and professional practices with the aim of attaining managerial vision of an organization. Apart from the restructuring and reorganizing, the commitment and support of every employee is critical to the success of a professional project.

In a distribution sector, transformation would involve the introduction and development of new products or services to create unique work processes that enhance production.

Management transformation

Workers of the new generation have changed the way work is done. This paradigm shift is illustrated by the type of management adopted in the company. There is no longer tyrannical leadership within the organization, the numbers of intermediaries have shortened, and there is re-assessment of management functions across different departments, this is introduced as proximity management. Through discussions, mutual aid and autonomy, today’s managerial positions not only identify talents, but also work towards retaining them. Thus, management transformation is a prerequisite in regards to information sharing, persuading, and explaining in order to create a comprehensive change.

Transformational leadership enables the manager to take a lean approach in which employees develop company strategies, set their objectives, and hold meetings to address their fears, doubts, and mistakes. The main goal of this type of transformation is to promote accountability, trust in management, fun, commitment, and well-being.

Cultural transformation

Cultural transformation entails changing an organization’s way of thinking and values as well as behaving and organizing. Through the change of mindset, managers are able to come up with rules and concrete facts in both operational approaches and managerial practices. This means that changing corporate culture results in changing the individual and collective states of mind to strive for better quality at work and in performance. Thus, cultural transformation leads to the development of strong team cohesion, which is supported by managers who endorse new corporate values.

Cultural transformation can only occur once a company successfully implements managerial transformation, with clear vision and values. With sensible values, the organization will take action, reaction, cooperation, and confrontation that leads to the successful restructuring of activities to achieve accountability, meaning, and greater scope. The management team should assess the maturity of the current company culture, and then create new values and vision which lead the path to cultural transformation. This path is the real change in itself.

Cultural transformation is witnessed when there is a merger between two companies, and the different cultures are assessed in a manner that promotes cooperation, cultural risk assessment, and conflict management.

Digital transformation

As an essential driver of growth, digital transformation not only promotes creation of new products and services, but also leads to improved internal creation and communication processes. However, the main challenges of transformation include reconciling human and digital capital to create efficient and innovative companies. The digital transformation projects should also make sense to company employees. As a recent organizational way of work, digital transformation can slow down the efforts of employees who do not value the company or their own growth. It is the role of managers to inform employees about the existing situation, the “whys” and “how’s” of taking action.

This form of transformation gives a company the opportunity to identify distribution channels, including multi-channel, e-commerce, and web services. Transforming information systems in a company has several benefits, including improved customer relations, physicalizing digital workspace for employees, and expanding sales outlets.

Profession transformation

This involves the transformation of the profession in order to make the daily life of employees easier. Business transformation comprises the securing and automation of recurring and time-consuming tasks that have low added value. The idea of this process is to lessen the work of employees so that they can focus on the major goals of the business. As such, the company becomes more efficient and productive to remain competitive in the market.

The Process of Organizational Transformation

How does a company go through a successful transformation process? The Change Management model invented by Kurt Lewin identified three stages of successful organizational transformation. These stages include:

Stage 1: Unfreezing

In the first stage, the management team establishes a perception of change in the organization. This occurs through recognition of the need for a transformation and encouraging new behaviors among the employees. As such, human resources input is critical at this point for information sharing and addressing transformational needs. With support, employees are able to drive change towards increased productivity and profitability.

Stage 2: Changing

In the second stage, an organization moves beyond any potential objection towards the proposed change. Employees are ready and begin to adopt new behaviors in exchange of old undesired actions.

As part of the change process, hierarchies are divided and leadership transformations occur in different departments. A change action, therefore, occurs with experts, mentors, and role models presenting employees in all ways. At this stage, everyone in the organization is encouraged to learn new concepts related to the suggested transformation.

Stage 3 : Refreezing

After changes have occurred, the organization makes efforts to stabilize and accept the new norms. Every employee and all managers integrate behavioral changes with new expectations and values. The employees are also coached and monitored upon any difficulty.

Regardless of the target of the company transformation, the change process aims at strengthening the competitiveness of the organization to ensure survival. Because the commitment, engagement and empowerment of employees are linked to the success of the change, it is important that they become the central part of the change process. All the employees need personal support to ensure that the transformation effectively impacts management, and corporate culture.

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The Role of HR in Organizational Transformation Process

How can HR and leaders of a company support the organizational transformation process? Studies show that HR professionals have the major role of creating a successful organizational change.

Here is how leaders can promote positive transformation.

1. Being a visionary and having clear goals

Unlike most leaders, transformational leaders set realistic and attainable goals for their organizations. They use effective organizational strategies to communicate these goals to the entire workforce. Further, they are able to get all stakeholders to buy into the common organizational vision and guide the organization to the direction that they want it to go.

2. Being proactive

While transformational leaders encourage employees to be creative and open to communicate their ideas, they are keen to always take an active role in managing and growing the organization. They are always ready to adapt to new market conditions to ensure the company moves in the right direction.

3. Being inspirational

The ability of employees to work and attain required performance metrics is dependent mainly on their level of motivation. A poorly motivated employee would attain minimal productivity as compared to highly motivated employees. Transformational leaders seek to ensure their subordinates stay motivated through employee acknowledgement and regular appraisal. They treat each employee as a valuable organizational asset and try to understand what motivates each of them.

4. Ability to take the right risks

The business environment is faced with numerous challenges including stiff competition and rising cost of resources. A transformational leader uses his intelligence to analyze information gathered by his team members to make effective business decisions. The leader must often seek input from the team to be able to evaluate every situation appropriately prior to making vital business decisions.

5. Organizational consciousness

Every transformational leader should understand the shared organizational values and culture. This is intended to help them empathize with the feelings of the team members and in turn enable them to have clear ideas of what actions to undertake to elicit desired feelings in their subordinates. They would equally be able to make decisions that spur organizational growth.

6. Come up with a strategic plan

A leader should be able to prepare the steps for implementing transformation. This should involve forecasting the end-results, and working backwards through the processes that should be put in place. Using a plan with a timeline can make the transformation process more precise and efficient.

If, for instance, you want to stop using tools that are outdated and replace them with more automated, efficient platforms to improve productivity and performance, the timeline plan will involve potential tools for replacement, checking demos from vendors, choosing and purchasing the right tool, then implementing them before onboarding employees to adopt them.

7. Measuring progress

During the implementation of change, it would be easier to monitor the work and assess what has been achieved and what should be done. The line manager should consider employees and customers feedback, and observe if the transformation is working better than the previous work.

When the organization is planning to change the working tools, for instance, it is important to measure the adoption of the software and the changes in experience of employees, productivity, and performance.

8. Holistic change management

Transformation can never happen in isolation. It must involve adoption of holistic strategies that consider several areas or departments of the business.

As an example, if the goal of a company is to transform processes and make them more collaborative, there is a need to consider how the change will impact the structure of the organization, the existing talent gap, and technology used.

Are Managers Equipped to Meet Challenges?

Managers are the strategic leaders in business transformation projects. Yet, they still face many challenges during the movement, despite their years of experience. Key questions they often ask during transformational change include :

  • How do I manage my schedule?
  • How do I keep my employees engaged?
  • Will I hold on for the long term?
  • How can I take care of myself when I am taking a risk?

Learning to prioritize their missions, give meaning, and communicate timely through efficient communication remain the strong managerial priorities.

Although managers are the determinants of successful organizational transformation, they are not prepared for the responsibility. In fact, only 15% of them have received adequate training to support business transformation. The main risk of this lack of preparation is failure, due to poor groundwork.

CoachHub coaches, explained the paradox of poor transformation skills among managers. Noting:

“We are facing a paradox. Companies rely more than ever on managers to carry out their transformation, but often forget that the first thing to transform are the managers themselves. As we know, competent managers have a direct impact on team engagement, collaboration and ultimately, the overall performance of the company. This is why it is essential to support them, and to give them the resources to be up to the task.”

Supportive Leadership: Importance of Supporting Managers

While only 20% of company leaders have offered coaching to support their managers, up to 65% of managers have expressed their desire to follow business coaching as part of internal transformation. Of those who have been supported by a coach, 86% are content with the support they got for themselves and 84% for a member of their team. An even higher proportion of supervisors believe that professional coaching can help to develop collective intelligence.

To elaborate on the significance of coaching on managers, CoachHub coaches claimed:

“Developing individualized support helps develop the potential of managers and optimize intra and inter-team synergies. Coaching allows you to define concrete transformation goals to achieve tangible progress, in just a few sessions. This allows a rise in overall competence on all soft skills (non-technical skills) and factors that influence the organizational and structural aspect of the company. In this way, companies will allow their managers to become real actors of transformation” Internal coaches at CoachHub.

Addressing change through coaching

Supporting managers through transformational change means understanding their confidence when considering the operational and technical aspects of change. Although leaders or managers communicate constantly with their staff, change is not an easy process for them. This means that emotional conflict can result in change resistance. With this in mind, it is important to explore the confidence level of the manager by asking the following questions:

  • How do you think the employees will react to the proposed change?
  • What are your thoughts about change?
  • What will you do to handle any upset employee?
  • What concerns do you have about the change?
  • What are your experiences in relation to the change?
  • Explain the challenges you foresee?

When coaching a manager, it is important to focus on two or three areas that can lead to employee acceptance of the project. This should involve preparing a list of topics and timelines and making the manager familiar with the possible impacts of impending change.

Key Considerations

During coaching of development professionals to promote organizational change, there are key factors to consider.

  • Convey change as a positive effort : Coachees will pick up on the coach’s tone throughout the process of transformation. It is important to communicate about the benefit of the change towards the company’s growth.
  • Listen to different levels of employees : A coach needs to listen to what is said from all the employees and managers. This is important to identify any potential risks associated with the transformation.
  • Be ready for a challenge : Change is a very challenging process. It is important to plan for the unexpected in order to embrace obstacles that come during the change process.
  • Coach to acceptance levels : The managers who are being trained should have the coaching skills needed to generate confidence during communication. The confidence has a direct impact on the attitude towards organizational transformation.

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