These refer to changes that occur within the organization such change in organization culture, structure and operations. In the current business environment there is rapid change in social and market structures that require all organizations that want to remain in business to develop flexible structures that are adaptable and quick to respond to market changes. These changes include reduction of bureaucratic procedures that slow business processes for instance are reducing the sizes of their management therefore employing managers who can multi task to minimize on cost and also reduce procedures. Secondly organizations are changing their operations by incorporating technology, hence shifting from traditional manual production processes. For instance the using computer assisted mechanisms to check quality of products, produce in bulk and increase productivity. Companies have also changed their cultures such how they relate with their employees. Today employees are viewed as partners rather than objects used to accomplish certain tasks. Therefore organizations are investing heavily in their staff in order to have skilled and motivated workforce (Fassoula, n.d)
External Organizational Changes
Most organizations have changed the way they relate to their external environment, which include suppliers, customers, the government and the surrounding communities. For instance companies have entered in to partnerships with their suppliers that have them draw mutual benefits of constant supply and credit facilities. Companies can even partner with other organizations in producing their raw materials. Relationship with customers has also changed drastically, whereby customers are no longer viewed as a market to dispose goods that have been produced but as partners who have needs to be met. Therefore businesses seek to identify customers’ needs and then come up with ways to satisfy those needs profitably. In addition companies have formulated relationships with consumers that enable them to make improvements on products. This is done by inviting consumer suggestion on ways they would like to see improvements in a company’s offering (Kortter & Heskett, 1992).
Relationship with the government has also changed in that they relate with the government as partners in developing the economy. Therefore the companies can influence the government to institute some laws that provide conducive environment and this in turn promotes the businesses. Companies on their part start projects to support communities such building schools, hospitals and other necessities. This promotes development of a country as well as assisting the government in improving the well being of its citizens. On the same note companies have change how they relate to the society around them, whereby they create opportunities for members of the society as a means of having a cordial relationship with them. For instance organizations have set aside a given percentage of job opportunities to give to the locals as a way of giving back to the society from which they draw their resources (Kortter & Heskett, 1992).
Business environment refers factors surrounding a business that have an impact on its quest to achieve its goals and objectives. The company has no control over these factors and they include; social, political economic and technological environments and each has an impact any company anywhere in the world in this twenty first century.
This refers those characteristics of the society within which the organization operates and they include; values, beliefs, demographic features and literacy rate. When social change occurs that is when people change the way the live business in that environment will also be force to change their product offering so that they can meet the needs of that society. For example if parents in an area discourage their children from taking foods with a lot fat content then all businesses dealing with preparation of fries will have to adjust or be phased out of business (Brown & Sneider, 1998).
In addition businesses in the current century have an obligation to meet their social responsibilities such ensuring that they do not destroy or make non-conducive the environment within which they operate. For instance every business should ensure that they deposit waste material in appropriate places. This means therefore that any company that does not meet it responsibilities which at times might be defined by the expectations of the inhabitants of that society may find it hard to operate. Particularly because a business will only amass wealth if the social environment supports its growth, for example if the community within which an organization operates is against it existence then it might shift or enter in to agreement with that group whereby it can make concessions to provide social benefits to that society’s members (tutor2u, n.d).
This refers to the overall political situation in a country such as political stability, government policies and ideological inclinations of political parties. For instance if a government is democratic that means that its citizens have control over decisions made, however if dictatorship, then the businesses in that country face a lot of risk as the leader of state can even nationalize private property without any consultation. In addition whenever there is no political stability, operations of businesses are hampered because of insecurity whereby demonstrators can take advantage of lawlessness and loot businesses. At the same time businesses that depend on foreigners will be disadvantaged during instability because no one is willing to visit a country that has political chaos (Wagner, 2000).
This refers economic factors that affect any business in a given economy such as consumer incomes, inflation rate, corporate profits, gross national product etc. These factors affect how a company will perform economically. For instance consumer incomes determines whether the targeted market will purchase the products of a company and that means that businesses must first evaluate the levels of income before they produce. Inflation will also affect the performance of a business in that as the cost of operation increases due to inflation rates then the prices of products will have to go up or worse still a company may experience reduced revenues and profits (Wagner, 2000).
This refers to the laws that are passed by the legislature, municipalities the judiciary and other law-making organs. Laws that are enacted in a given country will affect business either positively or negatively. For instance taxation whereby the parliament can pass laws to give incentives to some businesses this will be a boost to the concerned ventures. However if the incentives a given against competitors, then the competitors will be disadvantaged for instance if incentives are given to local companies this always harms foreign investors (Wagner, 2000).
This refers to technology standards that are within a given country that is the type of new technologies that are used. Consumption characteristics are largely influenced by the existing the technologies for they determine how much informed a market is about different products. (Cuts, n.d).
Training and Development
Traditionally training and development was done with aim of enabling employees to do their jobs effectively. However today that view has changed in the light of changing business environment which has put pressure on businesses to stay ahead with competition by embracing reinvention and innovation. Some of these new developments in the environment which include customers who are now demanding goods and services of high quality and therefore employees must be able to identify the needs of customers and constantly improve on the quality products and services. Businesses are attempting to introduce new goods and services and employees need new techniques like just-in-time and this states the importance of training (Noe, 2008).
Operation of companies have changed whereby institutions have embraced decentralization and work stations are no longer restricted within the company but at times people work at home, while traveling and also at different times. New technologies have also come up such manufacturing processes that are computer assisted. Therefore as much as a company might want to use these new technologies and practices it might be unable because its employees do not have the necessary levels of skills to effective use these systems (Noe, 2008).
As a result training and development comes in handy to help companies counter these challenges. Training and development which refers to the process of acquiring knowledge, skills and abilities required to accomplish a specific activity will be important in meeting current and future demands. This process ranges from training for tasks and sharing of knowledge to making improvements in customer service and development of career, therefore developing effectiveness of an individual, a group as well as the organization. As a result trained employees in various aspects will be able to work with people from diverse cultures which are important for multinational companies, employees will be able to effectively use new technologies such as computer assisted work systems and lastly training on interpersonal skills will make adopting effective practices such as teamwork possible (HR magazine, 2008).
Businesses that want to make it today, need to ensure that its goals and objectives are up to date by adopting new processes and operations that promote efficiency and effectiveness. As results employees are an integral part in instituting these changes and achieving the set goals, particularly because this will involve change of behavior and probably stretching efforts than was done before. In addition there will introduction of new policies and equipment which in many cases may face major difficulties as employees react to the changes in organizational processes and relationships (Chan, n.d).
Motivation of employees means meeting their needs such that they become psyched up to do what they are needed to do and as required. Though these needs differ with every individual an organization must develop various motivational tools that will bring out the enthusiasm in employees that will drive them to put necessary effort and hence increase company’s productivity. In view of changing workplace and increasing market competition, motivated employees can key factor to ensure it survives and drive it to its success (Chan, n.d).
Some of the ways to motivate employees include: Providing and purpose of work where by the workers have a reason to the existence of their company which surpasses stock prices or even end of tear profits can be a mission or vision that they find exciting and are proud to associate with hence they will work to achieve it. Being work/ Life friendly is the second way particularly because a large percentage of the workforce today has family responsibilities and therefore a company can motivate their employees by services that ensure employees life outside work is smooth. For instance providing benefits like flex times, on-site child care and dry cleaning. Thirdly there is sharing of reward precisely because in the current market employees’ value is based on the knowledge and skill that can be utilized to create innovate or produce rather than in hours expended. As a result reward schemes should be based on skills and competency rather than working hours or position held. Lastly employers can have an open book system as a way of motivating employees whereby employees are allowed access to company’s financial information and operations data hence they can know how the company is fairing and what their contribution to the company results to ( Boyett & Boyett,1999)
It therefore comes out that when employees’ needs are met they will be motivated to perform effectively and as a result company goals will be met. Hence when goals and objectives are attained the company will be able to keep pace with the changing market conditions, adjust appropriately and within time which would enable it to have an edge over competitors. Training is also an integral part in empowering employees to be able to incorporate necessary change that will make an organization to be competitive in the current market both locally and internationally.
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