Managing Change

Orange S.A., a leading global telecommunications conglomerate, is renowned for its sizable patronage, delivering landline and cellular services to nearly 200 million users. The firm possesses significant interests in Viatel and GTS, in addition to stakes in six further telecommunication enterprises (Marino, 2017). With its considerable user base, Orange S.A. garners impressive revenue through its communication operations. The enterprise’s progression has been propelled by significant capital injections into the telecommunications sector. Looking ahead, Orange S.A. intends to concentrate on escalating its Internet service provisions, advancing mobile communications across the European continent, and extending its fiber optic infrastructure. However, the firm has grappled with issues pertaining to occupational stress. This manuscript will scrutinize the existing predicament at Orange S.A. and appraise strategies of organizational transition to efficiently tackle the challenges.

Present State of Affairs

One of the paramount hurdles encountered by Orange S.A. is the chain of employee suicides during organizational realignment endeavors. The self-inflicted deaths of 24 personnel at Orange S.A., which were ostensibly correlated with occupational stress, ignited societal outrage (Lerouge, 2021). In 2007, Orange S.A. exhibited a suicide rate nearly twice the national norm, primarily due to augmented demands on personnel to fulfill performance objectives and cost-reduction initiatives (Waters, 2017). The enterprise’s attention veered towards cost containment rather than satisfying customer necessities. Orange S.A. employees have been subjected to intense levels of workplace stress, instigated by substantial work demands, rigid managerial strategies, and difficult labor conditions. Although occupational stress is a common issue across many sectors, it is particularly accentuated at Orange S.A. For instance, employees were frequently assigned unachievable targets, and superiors held them responsible for accomplishing these objectives, despite knowing their impractical nature (Chabrak, Craig & Daidj, 2016). Moreover, numerous personnel felt unjustly treated by the firm, as undue expectations were levied upon them without adequate rewards or acknowledgment for their contributions. These struggles climaxed in a significant number of employee suicides, underlining the drastic repercussions of these complications. While Orange S.A. has instituted various reforms in response to the crisis, such as bolstering health and wellness resources for staff, specialists argue that more comprehensive interventions are requisite.

Organizational change encountered obstacles at Orange S.A. due to the steep expenses related to safeguarding labor rights and the French “Savoir-vivre” (Letovsky, 2013). The corporation acknowledged that eliminating personnel, restructuring, and retraining the labor force to adapt to evolving market demands was a challenging endeavor. They underrated the influence of workplace stress and the necessary modifications, which greatly factored into employee suicides.

Change Management Perspectives

Personal change constitutes the foundation of instigating transformation within a corporation. Once individuals are stimulated to adopt change, the procedure commences. Four primary strategies of change exist: cognitive, behavioral, humanistic psychological, and psychodynamic strategies. The behavioral strategy centers on altering an individual’s conduct through penalty and incentive. Cognitive psychology underscores problem-solving competencies. The psychodynamic strategy assists in comprehending unconscious behavioral patterns and sentiments. Cognitive, behavioral, humanistic, and psychodynamic strategies are the predominant forms of psychological therapy, each addressing unique facets of mental health. Cognitive therapies delve into how individuals perceive, act, and interpret their surroundings. Behavioral therapy encourages positive conduct while eradicating negative ones. Humanistic therapies accentuate the potential for personal development, while psychodynamic therapies probe into unconscious processes and concealed motivations.

France Telecom has engaged both behavioral and cognitive methodologies to aid employees in managing stress. This approach utilizes cognitive techniques such as mental reconfiguration, problem resolution, and objective outlining, in addition to behavioral tactics such as tranquility training, biofeedback, and advocacy instruction. The corporation also offers seminars on stress control to enable employees to comprehend stress origins and acquire effective coping tactics. These seminars are designed to help staff identify stress triggers, devise potent coping strategies, and comprehend the importance of personal wellbeing.

Strategy for Managing Change

A strategy for managing alterations implies defining the necessary shifts for a corporation to operate efficiently. It necessitates a restructuring of work conduct to circumvent disorderly situations where decisions are made haphazardly in response to emerging scenarios (Belias & Koustelios, 2014). An adeptly crafted strategy for managing alterations aids in tracking advancement, appraising outcomes, and evaluating the effectiveness and productivity of the executed shifts. Anticipating the modifications required to attain efficient operations is an essential element of any successful strategy for managing alterations (Markiewicz, 2011). The primary aim of change management is to ensure that every stakeholder affected by organizational change understands and appreciates the necessity for change and its accompanying benefits.

Model for Managing Change by Lewin

France Telecom plans to apply Lewin’s Model for Managing Alterations to oversee change and address workplace stress. Lewin’s model incorporates three stages: Unfreeze, Alter, and Refreeze (Shirey, 2013). The figure below depicts the three stages and the process of change. Lewin’s model offers a structured protocol for organizations to adhere to when effectuating change, thereby allowing them to analyze the current situation, formulate an action blueprint, and execute the necessary modifications to attain desired results (Galli, 2019).

Figure 1: Model for Managing Alterations by Lewin

The primary concern at France Telecom is workplace suicide. Lewin’s Model for Managing Alterations serves as a potent tool for overseeing change in a structured and methodical manner (Rosenbaum, More & Steane, 2018). It provides a framework for understanding the steps and processes required for successful organizational transformation. By employing Lewin’s model, France Telecom can address the suicide crisis by enhancing employees’ capacity to cope with change, fostering a feeling of security, and endorsing effectiveness.

The Unfreeze phase involves assessing the current protocols, processes, and procedures to pinpoint areas in need of improvement or modification. It necessitates creating an awareness of the necessity for change and establishing a shared vision for the desired result. Unfreezing aids in understanding the rationale behind change and identifying the necessary actions to address the issue of workplace suicide at France Telecom. The goal of the Unfreeze stage is to create a sense of readiness for change. Open and honest dialogue between managers and employees is crucial at this phase. Management should actively attend to employee feedback and foster open dialogue to cultivate a sense of ownership of the change.

The Alter stage concentrates on implementing new systems and processes that support the desired change. Tasks in this stage encompass training, policy formulation, process reengineering, and communication initiatives. The Alter stage entails identifying and executing necessary changes to prevent future issues related to workplace stress at France Telecom, the primary trigger of workplace suicides (Hassan, 2018). This might involve introducing new processes or systems, offering training for personnel, and cultivating a positive work atmosphere. The aim is to develop a comprehensive plan for executing the desired changes.

The Refreeze phase involves integrating the change into the organization’s culture to make it a part of routine practice. It entails conducting reviews and audits to identify areas that may necessitate further reinforcement or refinement. France Telecom will reinforce and stabilize the new changes, making them an integral part of the organization’s culture and operations.

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