The impact of change communication on the relationship between employees and the organisation during the implementation of organisational change in Transnet and Transnet housing
Van Jaarsveld, Johanna Petronella
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In the twenty first century, companies are forced to transform and adapt continually to ensure their survival and to stay competitive in a demanding and challenging business environment. Yet, 70 per cent of all change initiatives fail and 28 per cent of the variance of change successes is directly linked to employees. Research shows that one quarter to one third of the reasons why change fails or succeeds, is directly linked to employee communication. Change implementation failures come at a high cost to organisations. Research shows that poorly communicated strategies are the reason for approximately 14 per cent of lost financial value and that poor communication is the second largest factor that contributes to the failure in implementing strategic change. This mini-dissertation aims to investigate change communication has and impact on the relationship between employees and the organisation. The communication approach of Transnet during the implementation of its Four Point Turnaround Strategy was investigated. Employees indicate that organisational change cannot be introduced without regular up-ta-date communication to employees. Once the Executive Management of Transnet actively communicating started with Transnet employees, employees became more positive and supportive of the changes. However, concluding the sale and belatedly informing the employees of Transnet Housing thereof increased employee resistance, negativity and non-commitment. The contribution this mini-dissertation will make to the public relations field lies therein that through proper change communication, change can be implemented successfully within an organisation. Inadequate change communication however negatively impacts on the employee/organisational relationship and this in turn affects change implementation negatively. Change implementation failure ultimately added costs to the company in terms of time and money. This understanding could assist organisations to save millions, and in cases like Transnet, it could minimise huge losses and negative impacts on the economy during organisational change implementation.