When organizational change is needed, the process can be arduous; however, planning the message and consideration of what channel of communication to use is important. To address the employees of RIM, Jim Balsille and Mike Lazaridis must consider the now communicated open letter by the anonymous employee to rebuild a transparent culture to regain trust within the organization and the now betrayed employees. Taking responsibility for the actions that have occurred rather than placing blame will help to execute the examination of what led up to these events and those that may have contributed to these events (Reina & Reina, 2006, p. 134). To address the organization, the co-CEOs would benefit from using a memorandum. This medium should clearly address the outstanding issues and present a clear and concise course of action that management intends to take to rectify these issues. Though, communication of a change process is best delivered face-to-face, using a written form of communication can also have advantages. With written communication, there is more control of the message, creates a document of the message, can provide as a reference, and can deliver the message to more people efficiently (Cardon, 2016, p. 319). Though the written message could create more concern throughout the organization, supporting these concerns through an open-door policy and offering one-on-one meetings without retaliation would begin the process to regain the trust that has been lost.
For this internal communication, the target audience is that of the internal employees. As management must continue to focus on building trust, increasing transparency, and accept feedback, communication must be addressed to begin proactive change between RIM employees and management. The target audience will consist of those employees open to change and those that are discontented. When organizations are focused on change, it can be a challenge to communicate to even a well engaged and positive workforce. Additionally, when disgruntle employees become part of the transition with a clear purpose and plan, with an understanding that a cooperative process is encouraged, will be a key to the successful buy-in to change (Mulkeen, 2015). When there has been an attack to an organization’s reputation, it is important to gather the facts, avoid using force, respond quickly and adequately, always use communication channels that match the audience, rely on trusted supporters for defense, and rebut with testimonials (Cardon, 2016, p. 624). With the prior lack of understanding and transparency, the internal communication must also take into consideration the genuineness that the management team desires for the changes needed.
According to Aguirre, Calderone & Jones (2014), organizational change comes from the top down, requiring strength, endorsement, and guidance to motivate and challenge the rest of the organization. Though it is imperative for management to admit to his or her role creating the current environment, a positive outlook should not be dismissed. Management must maintain an optimistic view using this as a learning experience and forming a plan of action to change the future of the organization (Cardon, 2018, p. 63).
To: All RIM Employees
From: Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO & Mike Lazaridis, Co-CEO
Date: November 27, 2019
Subject: Changes within the RIM Organization
Recently, there was an unidentified letter written by a top-level executive within our organization. The letter was published by Boy Genius Report and identified honest disapproval of RIM’s leadership team (Bigus, 2012, p. 1). While this letter came as a surprise, we feel that this opens an opportunity to discuss and review what being a dedicated RIM employee means.
In 1984. We never imagined becoming a dominant leader within our industry. When we started, we operated with only two employees; buy 2007, we grew to become a well-known billion-dollar organization (Bigus, 2012, p. 3). Though we have proven that we are a well-established organization and can operate at maximum capacity to exceed growth; this anonymous letter however, has shown us that we have failed in creating an organizational environment for employees to sustain us during the most challenging times. For this, we apologize.
As part of the executive team, we are responsible for establishing the organizational environment. Realizing our errors, we must now focus on addressing the issues to reshape RIM into a gratifying organization as it once was. Respectively, there are several contributing factors that we must focus our change plan on. These factors include:
- A deficiency of accountability
- Defensive, Reactive Culture
- Lack of creativity
- Lack of interaction and encouragement between management and employees
As we move ahead, our goal is to develop a transparent environment by listening to our employees to ensure his or her voice is heard and appreciated within the organization. To create the ideal workplace, our everyday operations will begin to change. We will begin implementing team and individual meetings to address his or her performance to see if there are gaps within the roles that they hold. We as leaders must also encourage, support, and offer feedback without fear of retaliation or termination using technology and media to gather private information and diminish public humiliation (Crommelinck & Anseel, 2013, p. 239). Additionally, using an open-door policy, CEO briefings, lunchtime and team meetings, we will create a culture of transparent communication and increase innovative listening. When a transparent environment exists, employees are encouraged to share his or her opinions helping create a motivated and adoptive organization to change and challenges (de Lange & Mulder, 2017, p. 29). Finally, to incorporate our employees’ creativity and ideas, team meetings, CEO briefings, intranet articles, and brainstorming sessions will take place. These channels will allow innovative and redesigned ideas to be offered by our employees to increase competitiveness and support the future of the business.
With the changes ahead, we hope that we have communicated our common goal, to make RIM a more pleasurable place of work and succeed through the many challenges that have presented themselves. We must take all feedback, innovative and creative ideas, and hold employees and management accountable to ensure these changes occur. If you have any additional suggestions, please know our doors are always open and we look forward to hearing from you. Thank you all for your continued dedication and persistence during these upcoming changes. We look forward to working together to renew and revitalize RIM.
Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO
Mike Lazaridis, Co-CEO
Needs and Development
The anonymous letter brought attention to the changes needed from RIM management in structure, culture, communication, and products of the organization (Bigus, 2012, p. 11). With these now communicated issues, it is important that management takes an active role to create the needed organizational change. The main issue to address at RIM to become a transparent and enjoyable workplace. To reduce fear and penalties, management and employees must communicate well to collaborate on improving the purpose and value of the organization. With the use of disclosure and feedback can create an honest and transparent line of communication, can clarify the transmission of information to avoid misunderstandings, and ensure the information is received correctly (Wienclaw, 2019). By focusing on the key issues written in the letter, Balsillie and Lazaridis are looking to create a culture change within the organization. This will not only show appreciation for the accomplishments of the employees in the past, but also express a gratitude for what the future holds. Additionally, with management now addressing the stated issues and focusing on transparency, the rebuilding of trust can begin. When there is a strong presence of transparency within an organization, there is a positive effect on the work-life balance of employees, builds and maintains employee trust, and develops confident feelings that the employees could transfer into his or her other roles of life (Jiang & Men, 2017, p. 239).
To ensure successful organizational change, it is important for senior and middle management as well as the frontline staff to be involved in, be responsible for, and understand the reasons why the change must occur (LaClair & Rao, 2002). Persistent support is also important to the success of the organizational change within RIM. When management and employees continue to collaborate openly and transparently, feedback and disclosure will create an inclusive, empowered, and motivated culture. Without involvement from one or more departments of the organization, modifications will not occur and RIM will continue to struggle to become an enjoyable place to work. Though support can be difficult in times of stress, which can create miscommunication and exclude many ideas from those within the organization to participate in decision making; it is when employees feel the most supported that change is efficient (Smollan & Morrison, 2019, p. 333).
The issues to be addressed through changes within the organizational culture are meant to create a more balanced work atmosphere; however, there will be many that resist the future reality and make it impossible for the organization to make changes. Though these challenges will exist, it will be important for the guiding team from every position of the organization to communicate what the future will look like and inspire others to remove obstacles to make change happen (Kotter & Rathgeber, 2017, p. 132, 133). Another conflict that could result in the delivered internal communication is that employees could draw conclusions, make assumptions and pass judgement especially in once less than transparent organization (Mayer, 1974, p. 5). With the use of an open-door policy and technology and media channels, this will encourage employees and management to engage in feedback and disclosure and create the transparent and enjoyable workplace that the employees of RIM are striving to obtain.
- Aguirre, D. A, Calderone, M, & Jones, J. (2004). 10 Principles of Change Management. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://www.strategy-business.com/article/rr00006?gko=dab72.
- Cardon, P. W. (2016). Business communication: Developing leaders for a networked world (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
- Crommelinck, M., & Anseel, F. (2013). Understanding and encouraging feedback‐seeking behaviour: A literature review. Medical Education, 47(3), 232–241. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1111/medu.12075
- de Lange, L., & Mulder, D. (2017). Towards more effective leadership communication. Communicare, 36(1), 27–46. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=hlh&AN=129553247&site=eds-live&scope=site
- Jiang, H., & Men, R. L. (2017). Creating an Engaged Workforce: The Impact of Authentic Leadership, Transparent Organizational Communication, and Work-Life Enrichment. Communication Research, 44(2), 225–243. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1177/0093650215613137
- Kotter, J., & Rathgeber, H. (2017). Our iceberg is melting. New York, New York, United States of America: Penguin Random House LLC.
- LaClair, J. A., & Rao, R. P. (2002). Helping employees embrace change. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/helping-employees-embrace-change.
- Mulkeen, D. M. D. (2015, January 19). Effectively Communicating Change To A Disgruntled Workforce. Retrieved from https://talentculture.com/effectively-communicating-change-to-a-disgruntled-workforce/.
- Reina, D. S., & Reina, M. L. (2006). Trust & betrayal in the workplace. [electronic resource]: building effective relationships in your organization. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat04477a&AN=snhu.b1655129&site=eds-live&scope=site
- Smollan, R. K., & Morrison, R. L. (2019). Supporting Others through Stressful Organizational Change. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 55(3), 327–351. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1177/0021886319832518
- Wienclaw, R. A. (2019). Communications in the Workplace. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers&AN=89163589&site=eds-live&scope=site
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