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Essay: Solving Apple Inc HR Challenges with Kotters Change Management: Steps to Success

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Kotter Change Management Model

Darlissa Malone

Strayer University

May 12, 2018

Kotter Change Management Model

How Each of The Steps Applies to Apple Inc.

When evaluating Apple Inc, it was evident that the company had some HR practices and policies which needed change. Notably, the company is among the leading companies with the highest number of employees. Despite it being a good employer, the electronic and IT company does not meet the expected human resource prospect. One of the notable malpractices is that the employees do not grant its employees a life-work balance. Secondly, it favors excellent performance at the expense of developing managerial skills among its employees (DelCampo, 2011). Some employees have reported not getting job satisfaction from working for Apple Inc. The company also encourages a high level of secrecy within the organization. Various teams could be assigned a specific task and not allowed to discuss with other groups within the organization. This strategy is helpful to the company since it helps it safeguard its new inventions. The management goes ahead to threaten the employee with punishments for disclosing any information regarding the company. This policy has been noted to be ineffective since it has led to redundancy in the performance of specific tasks leading to wastage of time and resources.

The company needs to implement a change process that would focus on employees as the priority. Apple Inc. should focus more on people rather than the methods. All the operations should focus on the work-life balance for its employees. The work environment should also foster job satisfaction among the workers. They should also not expose the employees to punishments and threats. Furthermore, the change should see to it that the employees develop their management skills in the organization. Kotter's change management model provides a practical framework to implement this change in Apple Inc. The model contains eight critical steps that the organization must follow to achieve and sustain the decided change (Komives & Wagner, 2012). Each of the steps applies to the Apple Inc HR change process as illustrated below:

The first step includes the creation of urgency. This initial phase is essential as it prepares all the stakeholders for the change. It opens up the process by creating avenues for discussions to point out problems facing the employees and the future implications of the continued challenges. This step applies to the Apple Inc case because it addresses the need to make the stakeholders of the company see the urgent need to make the change.

The second step of the model involves the creation of a guiding coalition. The company comes up with a team to spearhead the process. In the Apple Inc. situation, there is need to create a group of individuals who will oversee the change implementation process. The second step applies to the company since the HR change process will bring together different stakeholders to form a committee which will oversee the change. Furthermore, the action is vital since the coalition helps to collect all the relevant information from all facets of the organization, concerning the employees for effective change.

The third step of Kotter's change model involves the formulation of the vision of change by the leadership committee. This step applies to Apple Inc. when the company creates a view to change its Human Resource. The level is relevant since the steering committee comes up with a mission outlining all the steps necessary to achieve the change. The team must also articulate the purpose among all the employees in the organization.

The fourth step in the Kotter's model involves communication of the vision. This phase is necessary to inform every member of the organization about the desired change in the organization. After formulation, all the steps required to meet the desired goal, the company's leadership would use every available forum to sell the vision and mission to its members. The stage is vital because people can only participate in the process is they are convinced it is beneficial to them.

Implementation of change by taking the necessary action is essential in achieving the set goals in any organization. After formulating the vital steps, Apple Inc. would make an effort to change the processes in the organization. The fifth step in the Kotter's model involves empowering action. The stage is therefore applicable to the change process in Apple corporation.

When the company achieves little improvements, it rewards those who are responsible for the actions. This step is necessary to motivate the employees for further work. The measure represents the sixth phase of Kotter's change model which entails acknowledging and rewarding small change. The next step requires building on the move. It involves recognizing the improved areas in the HR policy and working to further improve on them. Using this idea, Apple accesses its policies and practices to note the changes and improve on them. The last step in Kotter's model involves making the change stick. This stage is applicable in the Apple HR situation since the technology company will need to sustain the change.

Strategy to address the change process

As mentioned, Apple Inc. needs to change its human resource policies and practices to shift the focus to the development of its employees. This change requires formulation of a strategy that entails the various steps. This change strategy uses the eight levels of the Kotter's change management model. Below is an illustration of the procedure with the eight stages of the model.

Step one: Creation of urgency.

This is the first step of the model. It entails developing a sense of urgency in the need to change. Apple Inc. will create platforms for discussions about the desired change. The company's management contacts all the stakeholders to inform them about the importance of improving the HR policy. Part of the reason for this change is that it will enhance an effective human resource in the company.

Step Two: Creation of the guiding coalition

After sensitizing the stakeholders about the need to change the HR practices, the company's top management will ally with few individuals who would drive the change. The team will comprise of all sections of the company including the design, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution. The team should also incorporate members from all levels of the organization. The team will develop the blueprint for the change.

Step Three: Development of a vision for change

After, forming the coalition with representatives from all levels of management in the organization, the team formulates the vision and mission of the company. The concept would involve a short statement which gives people a mental picture of how the organization will be after the goal is achieved. The team would come up with a vision like, "to be an organization that values its employees and develops their wholesome growth." The team will also outline all the steps necessary for the vision to be achieved.

Step Four: Communicating the vision

After formulating the idea to improve the HR practices in Apple Inc., the team goes ahead to articulate the vision to all the stakeholders. The company's management uses every available opportunity to inform all the stakeholders about the mission to prepare them for action. Furthermore, managers will tell all the employees about the vision and convince them to accept and take part in it. In this phase, the employees will welcome the idea since it seeks to improve their welfare.

Step Five: Empowering action

Since all employees and stakeholders will have bought the vision, it is time to take action. The implementing team will execute the idea step-by-step action. The actions taken in Apple Inc would include training the employees on management skills, encouraging interaction as well as team building among the employees. Furthermore, the company would increase the pay for its workers according to their jobs. Apple would compensate the employees who work overtime and make the workplace more appealing to the employees.

Step Six: Generating short-term wins

After taking the recommended action, the company then evaluates the outcome of the effort made. Notably, there will be some improvement in the practices. As such, the company rewards those responsible for the development. Celebrating little successes will inspire more stakeholders to do the right thing towards achieving the ultimate goal.

Step Seven: Building on the change

Based on the previous step, the company could tell what went wrong or what went right. Those actions in the right direction will be encouraged. For instance, if the new policies and practices motivate the employees, the company promotes those new policies. The company would then set more goals to continue improving the performance of its human resource.

Step Eight: Making the change stick

The primary objective of this step is to ensure that the company sustains all the improvements it has achieved. At this point, all the challenges that were facing the company's employees will have been addressed. The employees will be enjoying their work and be getting job-satisfaction. Furthermore, they will be enjoying a life-work balance. Most of the employees will be able to develop their managerial skills building their skillsets and future employment prospects (Noe, 2013). Additionally, they will feel that the company is the best employer, hence work hard to meet the employer's goals. This step ensures that the changes implemented by the organization become a routine for posterity. References


DelCampo, R. G. (2011). Human resource management demystified. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Komives, S. R., & Wagner, W. (2012). Leadership for a Better World: Understanding the Social Change Model of Leadership Development. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Kotter's 8-Step Change Model: Implementing Change Powerfully and Successfully. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_82.htm

Noe, R. A. (2013). Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

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