There are several strategies that can be used to influence people in an organization. The first strategy is education and communication. This strategy was applied in my place of work when it was required that all systems should be automated and digitized by the use of computers. The top management of our company hired IT experts to first educate employees on the importance of digitizing the companys systems. Training programs were started to make people computer literate. The outcome was that employees in the company were able to appreciate how embracing technology in the company would, in the long run, make their work easier (Serra & Kunc, 2015). Many people started showing interest in wanting to learn how to use computers. Had this strategy not been used, most probably people in the company would have shown strong resistance to changes in technology.
The second strategy is participation and involvement. This strategy was aptly applied in my place of work whereby the top leadership of the company decided to involve employees at the lower levels of the organizational structure in decision making (Bolman & Deal, 2017). Employees would be allowed to hold meetings at scheduled times to deliberate on some of the critical issues in the company and give remedies or solutions of such issues. Their recommendations would then be forwarded to the managers who would evaluate their feasibility. The outcome was that there was increased participation of employees in the affairs of the company and many employees had a sense of belonging and responsibility (Serra & Kunc, 2015). If the influence strategy had not been applied, there would most definitely be increased demoralization of employees, which, would in turn, adversely affect their output.
Thirdly, facilitation and support is an influence strategy that has been effectively applied by the management of my company. At a time when there was a unanimous decision to embrace technology in the companys systems, it was apparent that many people were not able to get access to computers for training. In that case, the company resolved to purchase new computers and set up a small computer laboratory where employees of the company would be taught how to use computers as well as how they could apply computers in their work (Bolman & Deal, 2017). The response was quite encouraging since most people were very eager to learn how to use computers in a bid to make their work easier at the place of work. Had this influence strategy not been used, it would have been futile to require people to abruptly start using automated systems, which they knew very little about.
Another strategy that can be used to foster smooth change in an organization is negotiation and agreement. This strategy was applied at my place of work to facilitate the delegation of duties by the managers to departmental heads within the organization (Serra & Kunc, 2015). It was desired that instead of managers working with the subordinate employees directly through memos, they would instead delegate some of their duties to departmental heads who would, in turn, communicate directly with the employees. For this to happen, there needed to be a negotiation between the managers and departmental heads about the kind of duties that were to be delegated. The impact of this strategy was that there was increased unity of command and clarity of instructions passed either from the manager or departmental head to the other employees (Bolman & Deal, 2017). If this strategy hadnt been used, there would have been conflicts between managers and departmental heads regarding who is supposed to give what instructions and to whom and at what time.
The fifth influence strategy that can be used in an organization to foster change is manipulation and co-optation. Manipulation has been used in the company to influence certain employees to do work that is not supposed to be theirs. Some employees were found of manipulating others to be working in their stead while claiming to have a lot of work to do. This encouraged laziness among some employees since they would use others as scapegoats. Had this form of strategy not been used by some of the companys employees, there would be no blame games and unaccountability since everyone would stick to doing their work.
Lastly, explicit and implicit coercion can be used to foster change in a company. For instance, in my place of work, there was a time when people tended to report to work late and leave earlier than is required. For this reason, the managers decided to explicitly require people to physically register their check-in and check-out times to ascertain the time that one reported working and left for home. This strategy, though unpopular among many employees, dissuaded people from absconding duty (Serra & Kunc, 2015). Had a contrary method or strategy been used, it would not have been effective in compelling employees to report to work timely.
Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2017). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons.
Serra, C. E. M., & Kunc, M. (2015). Benefits realisation management and its influence on project success and on the execution of business strategies. International Journal of Project Management, 33(1), 53-66. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0263786314000519 on November 8, 2017.
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