Big Problems Require Big Changes
The relationship between employee satisfaction, motivation, and happiness and a business’s bottom line is a profound situation that challenges many leaders. In this week’s case study JLB Enterprises is experiencing measurable productivity and profitability impact. The case study notes that a neutral party identified evidence suggesting the decline of employee morale, motivation, and satisfaction. Reportedly, all other factors that could contribute to productivity remain unchanged. The case study presents statistics that show a directly proportional relationship between the decline of employee satisfaction and the profitability of the company. Based on the data provided, JLB Enterprises appears to be in a downward spiral. Big change is needed.
Genesis of Change
As presented by this case study, the root cause for productivity decline at JLB Enterprise is employee centered factors. According to Harder, Hayes, and Schmidt (2002) a strong and empirical relationship exists between an individual’s satisfaction and their job performance. If all other factors remain unchanged for JLB Enterprise, one could surmise that JLB’s leadership must make changes to increase the motivation, happiness, and therefore the productivity of its employees. An abundance of leadership theories could guide this process; however, Lewin’s change theory emerges a logical framework to guide JLB Enterprises leadership. Lewin’s theory is based on a simplified three step approach: prepare for change, make the change, and finally, achieve stabilization and desired outcome, contemporary known as freezing a situation. (Colorado State University-Global Campus, 2014).
Step One: Prepare for Change
Once change has been identified as necessary, it is incumbent upon leaders to make careful preparations. In the case of JBL Enterprises, the evidence summited is that leadership had initiated data gathering and had determined a root cause for their productivity issues. The case study does not present possible resolutions; however, JBL leadership must also establish a series of actions with proposed outcomes in order to recover from their state of decline. These are great first steps; however, it is not sufficient to proceed with change without clearly engaging, communicating, and obtaining the by-in of followers.
According to Lewis (2012) one of the most complicated parts of step ones is that leaders must look to strengthen follower support for the change while managing forces that oppose change. Lewis (2012) states that “the factors for change must outweigh the factors against change; if not, there’s low motivation to change” (p.7). Once the conditions for change have been established and opposing forces have been mitigated it is then possible...