Dealing and Coping With Change in a Time of Uncertainty at the Workplace: Tips and Strategies for Success - A Case Study of the Catholic University
Evaristus Nyong Abam*
Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Catholic University Institute of Buea, Cameroon
Submission: January 30, 2017; Published: March 29, 2018
*Corresponding author: Evaristus Nyong Abam, MSc, International hospitality management College of Business, Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Walter EpieNkem, MBA in project management, Tel: 674-21-39-99; Email: [email protected]
How to cite this article: Evaristus Nyong Abam. Dealing and Coping With Change in a Time of Uncertainty at the Workplace: Tips and Strategies for Success - A Case Study of the Catholic University. JOJ scin. 2018; 1(1): 555551. DOI: 10.19080/JOJS.2018.01.555551
Some of the forces that impact your business (small or large businesses) are more challenging to master than others and the degree to which you can control them varies; at the same time, you can improve both the state of internal and external factors that affect your business. When you provide sufficient instructions and training to your subordinates, you enable them to do their jobs effectively and equally when you help employees identify with your company's mission and goals, you are probably to keep them long-term. Employees who accept change with a positive attitude and work hard to cope with the difference in their work environment are those you want to retain. Change compels employees or individuals at the workplace to think in new and exciting ways thus creative thinking benefits the workplace with the development of many innovations and ideas that can be utilized to keep the company fluid, exciting and fruitful. The catholic university institute of Buea (CUIB) has during this crisis or uncertainty period in the two Anglophone regions been organising workshops or seminars all aimed at helping its employees to identify with CUIB mission and goals.
Change management is the procedure, utensils and methods to manage the people side of change in order to achieve the required business result and change management tries to integrate the organizational tools that can be utilized to help employees to make successful personal transitions that result in the adoption and realization of change especially during periods of uncertainty. A part of change management is also managing transition (www.smallbusiness.chron.com). A crisis is a situation in which something or someone is affected by one or more very serious problems (www.collinsdictionary.com).
The Anglophone crisis began on 10 October 2016 with claims from trade unionists, but it quickly transposed into the political arena (Anglophone Archbishop, 2016). This was supported by the fact that some fellow compatriots whose confessed purpose was none other than the partition of Cameroon for the most extremists, or the revision of the present form of the State, saw it as a kind of panacea to the issues raised (www.allafrica.com).
The Catholic University Institute of Buea (CUIB) South West Region, Cameroon, was approved as a non-profit making university in two separate letters.
The authorization to create CUIB on 09/01/0194 of 11 June 2009 and the authorization to start was signed by the Honourable Minister of Higher Education Prof Jacque Fame Ndongo by decision no 10/02173/N/MINSUP/DDES/ESU P/ SAC/NJE/ebm dated 26th of May 2010.
Its primary purpose is to train professional servant leaders with moral and spiritual values so that they may be responsible to their communities. The proprietor/chancellor of the Catholic University of Buea is the Bishop of the Diocese of Buea.
In June 2011, another arm of the University, the Business and Research Park was created as a legal entity of its own by the Cameroon laws no RC BUC.2031-B023 with the name CUIB- Centre for entrepreneurship research and innovation (Atem, 2014).
The Catholic University Institute of Buea Sport Academic (CUSA), Went operational in December 2014 with authorisation no 1106/G37/C84/VOL II/SAAJP with the main aim of assisting young, talented and excellent skilled Cameroonians in the various field of sport like football, volleyball, basketball, handball etc. (www.cuib-cameroon.org).
Change is an act or process through which something becomes different, it is also the process of causing a function,
practice, or thing to become different somehow compared to what it is at present or what it was in the past. A business or company can undergo change in a specific division, such as a marketing division, or as a whole or during periods of crisis or uncertainty (www.businessdictionary.com).
Change is important in organizations as it allows employees to learn new skills, explore new opportunities and exercise their creativity in ways that eventually benefit the organization or business or company through new ideas and increased commitment. Change is also an organizational process aimed at helping employees to understand, commit to, accept and embrace changes in their current business environment (www. smallbusiness.chron.com).
Change is often necessary but can be terrifying for your employees. Some common reactions to change often noticed in businesses or companies include anger, denial, opposition and depression. As a manager or the chief executive officer (CEO) or the President of a business or company, you must illustrate to your employees or staff the benefits of change so that they, hopefully, develop an excited and positive attitude. Point out how change brings with it new ideas and opportunities as well as the chance to shine as an important part of the company (www.smallbusiness.chron.com).
Changes constrain employees to think in new and exciting ways as monotonous job bores employees who need to be given variety to excel and therefore creative thinking benefits the workplace with the development of many innovations and ideas that can be utilized to keep the company to excel or move forward. Change is often a way to refresh a worker's need to refocus his energy and increase his interest. Directors and/ or Managers should always talk about change in a positive, energetic manner and compliment workers on their flexibility.
Veal (2006) indicated that an empirical approach is the collection and analysis of data; it could be quantitative or qualitative, primary or secondary. No research is purely empirical; it is usually informed by some sort of theory or conceptual frame work. Some researchers are of the opinion that a single research method may use both quantitative and qualitative techniques and procedures in combination as well as use primary and secondary data. The quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques and analysis procedure each have their own strength and weaknesses.
For this research work, the researchers used both primary and secondary data that was information collected from the Catholic University Institute of Buea bulletins and other University documents and websites. Primary data was collected from the CUIB - leadership forum seminars and workshops which the researcher also participated.
The Catholic University Institute of Buea (CUIB - leadership forum) organized the following workshops and seminars during the uncertainty or crisis period, this a way of keeping its employees clue to its mission and goal:
Dealing and coping with change in a time of uncertainty - tips and strategies for success -Fidelis Nkeze. (These five leadership practice inventory - model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, and enable others to act and appeal to the heart. Also some problem solving strategies in time of change - PDCA-plan-do-check-act, alternate analysis and root cause analysis.
I. The Catholic University Institute of Buea with its two campuses (Wokaka and Molyko) decided during this uncertainty or crisis period to bring all its students in one campus i.e. the Molyko campus as it is fenced and has adequate security both from its campus security men and from the public security.
II. During the crisis period CUIB management instituted different students pass at different periods of the 2016 - 2017 academic years namely: Berakah pass and Nehemiah pass all having distinctive features for security access into the Molyko campus.
III. Admission during the 2017 -2018 academic year was done via online; in this way management tries not to expose its employees to any form of danger during this crisis period.
IV. The president of CUIB and leader of the change Rev. Dr. George N. during the crisis period decided to enable others to act; this was seen in the creation of many vice president positions to handle the administration - horizontal management strategy.
V. Constant weekly meetings for staff and faculty as a means to keep them abreast with the current situation.
VI. Organisation of block classes to avoid the rampant movement of students in and out of the Molyko campus.
Change whether during periods of uncertainty or a crisis or during normal period shows the true colours of your employees and there are those who accept change with a positive attitude and work hard to cope with the difference in their work environment, these are those employees which management will want to retain. Regrettably, there might be cases of employees who refuse to accept the changes and work against the goals of your business. Management must illustrate to your employees the benefits of change so that they, hopefully, develop an excited and positive attitude and they should point out how change brings with it new ideas and opportunities as well as the chance to shine as an important part of the company.