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Developing a Change Management Plan for Coles

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Task: Your task is to perform a thorough research and prepare a change management plan for Coles supermarket.

Answer

Executive Summary
The present study is focused on developing a change management plan for Coles. The companies like Coles are aggressively investing in automation technologies for reducing costs and attaining operational efficiencies which also improvise the profit margins. The technological advancement is very beneficial for Coles Supermarket as the company can provide products at relatively low- prices from the competitors due to operational efficiencies reduced costs and trained employees. However rapid changes in the environment can disrupt employee relations thereby impacting retention capabilities, productivity, wastage, and business performance. Hence, Kotter’s 8 step change management plan will help in reducing risks related to the implementation of changes.

Part A Introduction and context (Change Management Plan)
In the technologically developed era, each aspect of personal and professional life is attached to technological tools and devices. AI and Disruptive Innovations like robotics are replacing humans thus destroying career paths for teeming populations in many developing nations of the world. The introduction of technology in the workplaces might exert two types of reactions, some workforces might seek new opportunities for growth and development while others might fear losing a job due to lack of technical skills and capabilities (Qureshi&Syed, 2014). The technology advanced tools equipped with AI and machine learning are becoming the future of almost every industry specifically health care and retail. The technology tools have increased the fear of elimination of current and future job opportunities for many of the workforces in the retail sector (Dobre, 2013). Every year 10% of employees are eliminated from the job roles due to technological advancement in the organizations. In this view, due to the technological changes in the retail sector decision on hiring has also changed thus impacting the morale of working and potential candidates. In the organization, rapid technological changes impact existing working habits and efficiencies established by the workforce.

Coles Supermarket is a renowned
Australian company that is facing issues like costs of operations along with high employee turnover. The company has been investing in digital tools for managing its operations that increased speculations and job insecurities amongst the aged population. This has impacted the work productivity and mental health well being of many middle-aged and aging workforces.

Coles Supermarket sells products at discounted rates due to which its profit margins are less, hence the use of automated machines will be done in the warehouse and other operational fronts for efficiency and costs reduction thus improving customer satisfaction and business performance. Some of the machinery is semi-automatic and needs supervision from the workforce for completing tasks while equipment robotics are future technological tools that will be used for eliminating redundant operations that also replace humans. The employees have become skeptical as the majority of night operations are done by middle to aged workforce that is not comfortable in managing technological tools. Job insecurities have increased which has impacted the productivity and mental health of many of the workforces of the firm.

An appropriate change management plan is required for implementing the changes successfully while addressing employees’ issues. First of all, the managers are required to conducts meetings and counselling sessions for all employees to reduce insecurities related to job loss. Secondly, change culture has to be implemented swiftly and steadily for eliminating issues like resistance to change from the employees that might hinder changes in management plans while also impacting productivity, retention intentions, and morale. The managers and leaders have to employ effective change management plans for coping with external market changes while also minimizing the impacts of change on the business processes, employees, customers, and other stakeholders.

Part B Developing Change Management plan
Technological Expansion by Coles

In recent times, Coles has been implementing digital tools for managing its offline and online operations. In the year 2020, online sales revenues increased by 57% due to the restrictions of the pandemic thereby contributing 6% of total supermarkets sales. Services like perfect order rates help in measuring the products that are ordered and delivered on time. the company wishes to expand its online shopping experience by introducing single-click checkout services with customization and personalization features (Acar et al, 2012). The company saved approximately 32 million after eliminating delivery of printed catalogs instead digital marketing is used. The entry and exitofdistributioncentres and onboarding processes work on automated and digitised systems. In the four investment strategies, an automated distribution centre will be built along with Smart selling transformation programs.

Importance of Change management Strategies
The development of change management strategies helps in providing directions for all the activities that are covered during change management processes. In the organization, there is a workforce with varied capacities and mindsets, hence changes in the working environment might impact employee morale, commitment, and productivity (Botschen et al, 2013). The implementation of changes might lead to varied employees related risks like slow adoption, low utilization, resistance to change, and others that might result in failures of the change strategies thus impacting costs, reputation, and business performance (Seen et al, 2012).

In this view, Coles Supermarket requires various changes in the organizational culture to enable the employees to adjust accordingly.

Kotter's 8 Step Change Model
As said by someone in the past "Change is only constant", hence organizational changes a part of the prosperity of employees, businesses, and society as a whole. Organizational change is one of the strategic plans that help companies to cope with external market changewhile also aligning the business objectives with customer insights and satisfaction. The leaders as well as the employee face challenges in implementing changes for managing the issues on operational fronts (Hayes, 2018). If organizations like Coles are planning bigger changes, the role of leadership might play a high huge difference in planning and implementing changes that further create a competitive edge.

Dr.Kotter developed a change model after observing leaders and procedures of the transformation strategies. In this view, the model considers employees' factors that should be considered while planning and implementing changes. The 8-step change management plan of Kotter’s are

Creating a Sense of Urgency
The managers or leaders of Coles should assess potential threats that might arise in the future which include technological advancements, changes in the market demands, and others. Potential opportunities in the internal and external environment should be capitalized on (Hayes, 2018). In this view, Coles has experienced a surge in online sales and planning to implement changes according to improving services. The operational fronts like warehouse management, managing workforces requireupgradation in existing practice for reducing costs and maintain efficiencies.

Forming Powerful Coalition
It is very important for forming a powerful coalition with all the stakeholders of Coles for sharing and communicating the vision through support can be gathered (Hayes, 2018).

The key stakeholders of Coles will be employees that will be majorly impacted thus public and consistent coalition should be created. Thus, the managers of Coles should assess the weak areas while also involving the members for strengthening the vision of operational efficiencies and the creation of a competitive edge (Chebbi et al, 2020).

Creating a vision for change
The implementation of change should involve clear objectives about how tasks will be done. In this view, the managers of Coles should involve employees in discussing technological changes and implementation in warehouse operations and fulfilling online orders. The managers of Coles can create a mission and vision statement for communicating change vision effectively and concisely (Hayes, 2018).

Communicating Vision
All communication platforms of the organizations should be open to engaging and communicating the changes to all the employees. In this view, the change management plans and vision of Coles should be communicated convincingly and persuasively while linking the visions to every aspect of operations (Hayes, 2018). In this stage, concerns and anxieties of the employees regarding job loss or inefficiency to cope with changes should be addressed in a candid and public manner (Fernet et al, 2012). The aging workforce has to be addressed and reassured about the changes so that they can overcome their anxieties and concerns about the impacts of technological changes on their job.

Removing Obstacles
The resistance to change might be encountered while communicating the vision to each employee. In this stage, all obstacles should be removed like providing training and educative platforms especially for elderly employees for adjusting to new working standards (Hayes, 2018). The industry leaders and CEOs should be introduced for delivering the values about the changes.

Technical obstacles like designing software and automation should be created and implementation should be implemented. In addition to this, the concerns and anxieties of the most resistant employees working in Coles should be addressed while rewarding & recognition programs should be implemented for the employees and workforces that have to support the changes in Coles Supermarket at every phase.

Creating Short- Term Wins
The implementation of the change is not successful if the working culture of the organization doe not sustain the changes. Hence, the managers and leaders of Coles Supermarket should implant short- term wins for motivating the employees who have been supporting and adjusting to the technological and operational changes (Hayes, 2018). It is very important for selecting the right targets so that the employees can easily attain them while rewards can be accordingly provided to the workforce.

Building Changes
It should be determined that early victories might not be sufficient for sustaining changes within the organization. The team members might consider the short wins as completion of the change process (Hayes, 2018). The managers and leaders of Coles supermarket should analyse wins and failures at each phase for setting the ambitious goals that will help in building exponential momentum within the workplace. At this stage, Coles Supermarket managers should identify the employees that have been resistant to change or be exerting negative values and beliefs. Additional influencing stakeholders and change agents should be introduced at this stage for sustaining changes.

Anchoring Changes
The changes that havebeenimplementedshould be embedded in the organizational culture. The changes in the organization might evaporate easily in changes in periods, leadership, and staff management.

In this view, Coles Supermarket has been a technology driver in the retail sector for reducing costs and operational efficiencies. However, Coles Supermarket has been investing aggressively in AI and Robotics thus, innovative and working technology should be embedded in the organizational culture so that the company can easily incorporate technical advancements.

In addition to this, the change management plan discussed aboveshould involve various considerations that are
Consideration of Laws and policies in Australia– Since the technological tools are being established within the functionalities of Coles Supermarket, all devices must be secured and protected from theft and cybercrime. In addition to this, monitoring the activities of the staff is important, however, the managers should undertake consent of the staffs. The digitisation of the company should be done in alignment with the Privacy Act of 1988 for protecting privacies and identities of all stakeholders. Considering employee agreements: In the existing HRM practices, employees are hired on a full-time or part-time basis while all workforces are obliged to follow ethical standards and best service qualities under employee agreements of Coles. In future changes like digitisation will require employers to modify the agreement that digital tools should be not be used for official purposes while utmost measures should be undertaken for the protection of sensitive information

Considering Industrial Negotiations:
Industrialnegotiation to be done for training the employee according to changes in the operational fronts of Coles Supermarkets. Training and education will help workers in gaining technical skills due to which they adjust with rapid technological changes within Coles while the productivity of the workforce will also increase.

Considering Employee Wellbeing and Harmony: Since Coles has been planning and investing in digital tools, hence many employees are exposed to mental health issues due to anxiety and fear about job loss. The employees must be trained and reassured about the replacements of digital tools for improvement in the working environment. In addition to this, if the automated systems installed by Coles are replacing human resources, adequate compensations or job rotations should be done for preventing job loss and maintain employee wellbeing.

Consideration of internal organizational policies- The use of AI and automation techniques have increased unethical conducts and cybercrimes due to which data management and collection is at risk. The internal policies must shape employee and manager attitudes and behaviour for protecting the information through passwords and other protocols. Negligence or misuse of data collected should result in penalization and a punishable offense.

Consideration of internal and External Factors: The changes in the operational fronts might lead to resistance from employees that might severely impact the change management plans of Coles. Thus, it is important for communicating and reassuring employees on each stage of changes for allowing the employees to adjust to implemented changes (Scherle et al, 2014). Since the automation techniques require huge investment hence, stakeholder confidence and lack of sufficient funds might impact technological expansion.

Part C Evaluation, Summary and Conclusion
In the retail sectors, technological development is rapidly advancing as the industry is embarked with stiff competition and all the retailers wish to create a competitive edge over the firms. Human resources are one of the major costs of the retail industry due to which profits margin are lowered. The companies like Coles are aggressively investing in automation technologies for reducing costs and attaining operational efficiencies which also improvise the profit margins. In the era of rapid expansion in the industry, the use of technology in varied operational fronts have raised several issues of employee relations and management. The commercial organizations (like Coles) have been adopting automation techniques for reducing inefficiencies and dependency on the workforce.

The use of technology has been impactful in changing the working patterns of workforces while also reducing the burden of repetitive and tedious tasks. The technologies have helped in simplifying the job functions, thereby strengthening performances along with the improvement of job satisfaction. However, the technologies have impacted the aging workforce as they lack the skills and expertise of working through semi- or fully automated systems thus increasing unemployment. In addition to this, the unemployment and high competitiveness of firms has also increased mental health issues of the employees in retail companies like Coles. Hence, a change management plan has to be established for implementing, monitoring, and maintaining the changes by the organization like Coles.

Companies like Coles Supermarket that thrive on technological developments should engage in continuous training and educative programs for all its workforce for retaining changes while also boosting employee morale and satisfaction. In addition to this, the job design should be updated and redesigned in alignment with the demographic composition of the workforce. Since the aging population is increasing change management plans, job designs should be aligned for employee productivity and well-being.

Kotter's 8 step change management plans will be reducing risks related to the implementation of changes as the change can be conducted in different phases and stages. The employers of Coles Super Market should design new job descriptions for adjusting the aging workforce while also balancing operations through technological tools. The issues that are faced by the current workforce like anxiety, fear can be easily addresses and eliminated through an effective change management plan. The change management plan iscreated considering different internal and external factors that are covered in varying stages, hence issues related to employees can be addressed and managed. The technological advancement is very beneficial for Coles Supermarket as the company can provide products at relatively low- prices from the competitors due to operational efficiencies reduced costs and trained employees. However rapid changes in the environment can disrupt employee relations thereby impacting retention capabilities, productivity, wastage, and business performance. ?

References
Acar, A. Z. (2012). Organizational culture, leadership styles, and organizational commitment in the Turkish logistics industry.Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 58, 217-226

Botschen, G., Combe, I., &Thelen, E. (2013).Brand-driven leadership for Change Management in Retailing.

In European retail research (pp. 1-18). Springer Gabler, Wiesbaden.

Chebbi, H., Yahiaoui, D., Sellami, M., Papasolomou, I., &Melanthiou, Y. (2020).Focusing on internal stakeholders to enable the implementation of organizational change towards corporate entrepreneurship: A case study from France.

Journal of Business Research, 119, 209-217.

Dobre, O. I. (2013). Employee motivation and organizational performance. Review of applied socio-economic research, 5(1).

Fernet, C., Austin, S., &Vallerand, R. J. (2012). The effects of work motivation on employee exhaustion and commitment: An extension of the JD-R model. Work & Stress, 26(3), 213-229.

Hayes, J. (2018). The theory and practice of change management. Palgrave.

Qureshi, M. O., & Syed, R. S. (2014).The impact of robotics on employment and motivation of employees in the service sector, with special reference to health care. Safety and health at work, 5(4), 198-202.

Scherle, T., Botzenhardt, F., &Pätzmann, J. U. (2014). The Connection between Change Management and Internal Branding: Analysis of the Compatibility of Internal

Branding and John Kotter's 8-Step Change Process for Change. Markenbrand, (3/2014), 36-45.

Seen, N. Y., Singh, S. K. G., &Jayasingam, S. (2012). Organizational culture and innovation among Malaysian employees. The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning, 8(2), 147.

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