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future. Similarly, as the leader communicates the future state more clearly, employees form a clearer picture about how the change relates to their jobs and responsibilities. "No. 1 is to always communicate, communicate, communicate," advises Randall Dearth, CEO of chemical manufacturer Lanxess Corp. "If you're bringing in change, you need to be able to make a very compelling case of what change looks like and why change is necessary."36Learning Learning is an important process in most change initiatives because employees require new knowledge and skills to fit the organization's evolving requirements. For example, learning was an important strategy for change at CSC. The U.S. business and technology consulting and services firm's executive team recognized that the company's culture required better alignment with its growth strategy. To achieve this, CSC launched a leadership development program, which would minimize resistance to the change by equipping managers with the skills to coach employees toward emerging attitudes and values.37Employee Involvement Unless the change must occur quickly or employee interests are highly incompatible with the organization's needs, employee involvement is almost an
essential part of the change process. In the chapter on decision making (Chapter 7), we described several potential benefits of employee involvement, all of which are relevant to organizational change. Employees who participate in decisions about a change tend to feel more personal responsibility for its successful implementation, rather than being disinterested agents of someone else's decisions.38 This sense of ownership also minimizes the problems of saving face and fear of the unknown. Furthermore, the complexity of today's work environment demands that more people provide ideas regarding the best direction of the change effort. Employee involvement is such an important component of organizational change that special initiatives have been developed to allow participation in large groups. These change interventions are described later in the chapter.Stress Management Organizational change is a stressful experience for many people because it threatens self-esteem and creates uncertainty about the future.39 Communication, learning, and employee involvement can reduce some of the stressors. However, research indicates that companies also need to introduce stress management practices to help employees cope with changes.40 In particular, stress management minimizes resistance by removing some of the direct costs and fear of the unknown about the change process. Stress also saps energy, so minimizing stress potentially increases employee motivation to support the
change process.With brand-name clients and more than $500 million in sales, Lopez Foods Inc. has become the 10th largest Hispanic-owned company in America. To further improve its quality and efficiency, the Oklahoma City-based beef patty and sausage manufacturer recently involved employees in thechange process. The current production process was mapped