Haraqisha grocery store is an example of a real business that has responded quite well to external factors for the past few years. Before the outbreak of the corona pandemic, the company was physically serving its customers face to face where they could visit the store to buy groceries. Service to customers was relatively easy and fast without any challenge. However, when Covid-19 broke out in 2019 and became a threat to everyone, many governments introduced a compulsory lockdown stopping the regular running of many businesses. Those that used old technology of face-to-face service to customers were adversely affected since physical interaction was banned. Old technology was no longer effective, so shifting to advanced technology was the only option. Haraqisha grocery store reached customers online using their website under the strict lockdown rules. The best kind of change model that can fully describe the above-described change process is Lewin’s change model, which represents three stages of change management. External forces influencing the change have been discussed to evaluate the transformation undergone by the Haraqisha grocery store.
Unfreezing is the first stage that entails creating an awareness of current acceptability that prevents the organization from reaching its objectives. There must be a thorough examination of old behaviors, processes, and even peoples and structures to show employees the importance of change for the organization to have and keep a competitive advantage in the marketplace full of many competitors. When Haraqisha grocery realized that they needed change, they began researching some of the companies doing retail online. They got many ideas on initiating and maintaining strong online retail and other delivery services on their website.
In this stage, the company’s perception of the forthcoming change and the natural resistance is applied. A sudden change will only cause resentment, and so the team ought to be alerted of the new elements to allow them to take hold upon deploying. A changing work demographic will need a change in the organizational culture. Political factor was the driving force towards the difference in this stage due to the strict measures the government had set to reduce the continued spread of the coronavirus. Technology was another external factor that pushed the change since it was the only method that could be used to carry on business during the period when gathering was prohibited. Accepting technology as the only means to sell their product was the only thing they could do.
The second stage after unfreezing is making changes where the organization transitions to a new state of existence. The critical thing under this phase is implementing the changes and making them real, which is not easy since many people struggle to adapt. It is characterized by uncertainty as people empress new behavior processes and new ways of thinking. Haraqisha store team made changes and directed employees to access support once stuck while trying the new project started in the first stage. They ensured that their employees had both adequate training and education regarding the idea of advancing technology and marketing ideas. Employees were interviewed with a degree in technology courses as a requirement for the job.
Lewin’s third stage is called refreezing to reinforce, making the new state stable and solid after the introduced change. The changes made in processes, goals, structure, and even people are taken as the new norm with no diversion to the old ways of carrying on organizational activities. In strict adherence to the new normal, there is a need to positively reward and acknowledge the efforts of those impressing the recent change. Regular reviews were conducted in the Haraqisha grocery store to check if the new methods were followed after having what they needed to change.
Lewin’s change management model is helpful to a business that needs drastic change to be successful. It aims to open the covered mistakes taken for granted by carefully analyzing and searching for every aspect being changed (Memon et al., 2021). In the case of the Haraqisha grocery business, there was a sudden change of things that was brought about by the outbreak of coronavirus; but despite there being steps taken towards enlarging the market to online orders. The change did not shock employees and other business stakeholders because previous ideas were worked on about digitalizing market methodology. The situation faced made it the only quick, helpful transformation. Currently, people enjoy ordering products like groceries and services in the comfort of their houses using computers and telephones. The change has reduced the spread of the pandemic by reducing the crowding of people through service delivery to their specific locations. The environment has remained clean since the number of people coming to the grocery store with vehicles reduced emissions of harmful gases to the atmosphere.
The discussed change model has been integrated into many organizations. It has helped in effective planning by educating and communicating to the employees and engaging them; targets and goals have been achieved. Training, coaching, and mentoring employees have made objectives easy to reach by addressing keenly the problems that are likely to hinder the organization.
Memon, F. A., Shah, S., & Khoso, I. U. (2021). Improving Employee’s Engagement in Change: Reassessing Kurt Lewin’s Model. City University Research Journal, 11(1), 144-164.