The urge for a consumer-driven economy has recently been rising as many companies striving to achieve it. Due to globalization and increased competition rates, the market has transformed rapidly, and most organizations have continuously altered their operations to adapt. Subsequently, change management has become an essential aspect of firms today. Change is often introduced to a company for long-term gains; however, it can impact negatively in the near term, such as staff layoffs and merger crisis (Clayton, 2015). Therefore, competency is necessary in managing change and the subsequent results. Apparently, leadership has been considered the only factor that could balance change and its outcomes. This includes administration measures, styles leaders use, and management practices. Personnel involvement is of utmost importance while addressing the topic, and for employees to show commitment, effective leadership styles should be applied to supervise and inspire them.
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Change has become a process that requires periodic review due to the continuously emerging technology; thus, an implementation procedure is required. I remember a situation in the retail store where I work as a Human Resources (HR) manager; one day, the director asked me to lead a change initiative. He informed me of the need to introduce a clothing section in our company and outlined a list of areas that were to be altered within the next six months. They included a new layout of the workplace to create space for the clothes, a shift of operating hours, and the introduction of employees’ uniforms. At first, it appeared unusual and unattainable within the given time frame until after taking a task evaluation and self-assessment.
An online quiz on leadership styles helps in assessing managers’ character to show them the techniques they apply. By using the assessment tool by Perrotta (2019), my answers showed that I lean towards a democratic or participative leadership style. Even though I set work parameters and have a boss-say on deciding, I actively involve my team members. Comparing my top two leadership styles did not create much of a difference as I use coaching leadership, which engages my subordinates, helps me understand their opinions, and also familiarize with their source of motivations.
The democratic style is of significant influence on change management and employee motivation in an organization. According to Mansaray (2019), leadership will continue to be the test for an organization’s future, and regarding the change, managers are viewed as supporters and influencers of development. In this light, they should engage workers in communication and allow them to participate to familiarize themselves with the intended idea. Democratic style increases employee commitment since they feel that their contributions and efforts are valued. They are offered reinforcement positively, thus get to learn what is expected of them. As staff input is encouraged, their loyalty increases, and credible operational outcomes are obtained.
In the store’s change initiative, Supervisor B (Brooke B. Haven) and D (Deryl) are the best fit. Leaders’ effectiveness is determined by what they do or how they behave (Mansaray, 2019). Brooke, a behavioral leader, is a good listener and is always inspiring employees to do better. In this initiative, she is suited for a communicator’s role where she will be assigned to represent the face and voice of the change as well as passing information and keeping the staff updated. Similarly, Deryl believes in applying diverse tactics to handle different situations, a delegation of duties to workers, and including employees in decision making (Mansaray, 2019). The supervisor will be the advocator based on his knowledge and application of various techniques. An advocator will not let the change program get disrupted and is willing by all means to make it happen.
To exploit their strengths and work on their weaknesses, the supervisors should be introduced to training programs. Kuligowski (2019) states that workers need a person who guides them instead of a boss; further, if a supervisor uses such a leadership style, they are excellent. However, improvement is recommended if their style does not conform to these principles and may be achieved by learning how to set clear expectations when dealing with their subordinate staff members. While it is crucial to involve employees in making decisions and trusting them to work under less supervision in democratic leadership, it does not mean that the supervisor should not set individual employees’ goals (Kuligowski, 2019). They must introduce each team member’s vision and desired output in alignment with the overall corporate goal.
The application of motivational theories could be of success to the change initiative through inspiring employees to push it, and in this case, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory is fit. Employees’ needs are categorized as psychological, safety, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization, and each set has to be fulfilled before proceeding to the next (Bui, 2020). Worker’s full potential at work is related to their self-actualization, implying that managers should assist staff in performing to their maximum and, in return, employees offer competent results.
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Even though the democratic method is fair in application, I should improve my skills to enable the change initiative to succeed. For instance, even though I believe in the employees’ participation and consider their needs, it does not imply that I should expect the same from them. It is impossible to always depend on employees to know the needs of the company. To improve, some control should be taken back from the team. While it is true that employees respect strong leaders, they are more comfortable with a democratic one.
In conclusion, leadership is an essential aspect for the successful incorporation of change in any organization, especially in the face of growing market competition and global trends. Leaders in top management levels must keep the change ongoing as they are viewed as supporters and advocators. Moreover, they should direct and motivate their employees towards the achievement of corporate goals. Maslow’s Hierarchical theory of motivation explains that fulfillment of employees’ needs is essential to keep them engaged and fruitful. Finally, there are several leadership styles, but it is vital to explore, which can be most effective in change management.
Bui, Q. (2020). Determinants of employee motivation and their impacts on performance. [ Unpublished Bachelor’s Thesis]. Laurea University of Applied Sciences.
Clayton, S. (2015). Change management meets social media. Harvard Business Review. Web.
Kuligowski, K. (2019). 6 leadership weaknesses and how to fix them. Business News Daily. Web.
Mansaray, H. E. (2019). The role of leadership style in organizational change management: A literature review. Journal of Human Resource Management, 7(1), 18-31.
Perrotta, A. (2019). Take our quiz | what’s your leadership style? Idealist. Web.