This resistance is being overcome through education, communication, participation, facilitation and support.
Education has been promoted through the use of in-services on the product, its benefits and how to use it. Each unit within the organisation of Nepean Hospital utilized a Hover Mat liaison officer, who assisted with the ongoing education, and promoton of the product/ procedure. Education was further utilized by engaging each employee, who would actively utilize the product, by allowing him or her to experience the patient comfort benefit when being transferred from a bed to a chair by physically having a go of being the ‘pretend’ patient.
Communication was established between the employees and the organisation allowing both parties to discuss their concerns and their views of the new product and the procedures that were being implemented with its use. Some methods of communication included the use of employees filling out specific product questionnaires, and the use of Hover Mat liaison officer who actually participated in the use of Hover Mats within the unit allowing all concerns and viewpoints to be communicated at an informal, as well as formal level.
According to Robbins et al, ‘it is hard for an individual to resist a change decision in which they participated’ (2004, p. 579). In this circumstance, many employees within Nepean Hospital were given the opportunity to participate within the decision making process by trialing the product before it was implemented, writing suggestions for what they would like the organisation to implement, and a problems that they could see with the change.
Facilitation and support were offered to all employees, with specific attention to those who were resisting or opposing the change based on difficulty, or a lack of desire to learn new skills. Methods such as ensuring help was offered to use the new product when required, the use of a paid compulsory in-service, and continual positive reinforcement of the product were developed.
Strategies that could be implemented to make the change go more smoothly
One of the main factors that could have made the change go more smoothly was if
employee participation was better utilized. Robbins et al notes that it is ‘difficult of individuals to resist a change decision in which they participated’ (2004, p.573). Management at SWAHS involved in the decision making process that ultimately decided in the use and implementation of the Hover Mat utilized this concept, by suggesting several means of overcoming the problem and allowing the employees to communicate which ones they would prefer. Other methods of involving individual employees in the change decision, included the use of employees on the Hover Mat Implementation Committee; the downside to involving individuals of all levels within the organisation to participate within the decision making process is that they may not have the expertise required to objectively choose the best product and ultimately, this process will be more time consuming.