Respond to Change in a Business Environment - Understand the causes and effects of change

Respond to change
Respond to change | Source

In a business environment changes can happen all the time for various reasons and mostly for positive outcomes. Not many of us like change. We do not wish to get out of that comfort zone, adapt to changes and go through all the sometimes traumatising effects it may create, but one needs to stop worrying and panicking about changes, take it as a positive factor and work towards accepting and adapting it.

What is change?
What is change? | Source

So what is change? Change is something that pushes one out of their comfort zone and is a transition from one state (current state) to another (desired state). Changes (in a business environment) are implemented when the existing factors and working practices are no longer profitable or beneficial.

Change can be difficult initially but with change, one learns a lot, gains experience and in the end creates positive results that one will appreciate; after all that is why the change was implemented. The results and benefits greatly depend on how well you take positive steps and resist any hurdles that work against the change. The change process is

Present state -> Transition state -> Desired state

This is an NVQ unit at Level 2, with a credit value of 3. We will look at

We will be looking at the first part "Understanding the causes and effects of change in a business environment" in this hub.

Please follow the link below for the second part of this unit.

Respond to Change in a Business Environment - Role in Supporting Change

Please follow the link below for the third part of this unit.

Respond to Change in a Business Environment - Role in Supporting and Responding to Change

1 Understand the causes and effects of change in a business environment

1.1 Give examples of changes in working practices in a business environment, and explain why they are happening

As discussed previously, changes happen or are implemented in a business environment for many reasons so that they contribute to the improvement in quality of the business performance, the way in which employees work and for the organisation to stand out in the competitive industry. Organisations should go through and accept changes in order to be successful. It should also upgrade products and services, improve technologies and train employees to help them upgrade their skills to implement in the new changed system.

Transformative change
Transformative change | Source

Some of the examples of changes in working practices in a business environment can be:

  • Changing the way of working, reducing or increasing the number of hours, increasing the number of trading hours per week, increase in working hours, reduction in staff - due to less work, down turn in business, expectations from customers, seasonal trade, refurbishment of systems and installation of new systems (can be temporary)
  • Changes in contracts of employment
  • Restructure of teams, departments or the whole organisation – change the way employees work to suit their business needs, improve performance within the team and organisation as a whole
  • Changes in laws, policies, procedures, legislations


The reasons why change can happen in a business environment are:

  • Recession
  • Increasing market pressures
  • Less budget
  • Development in technology, to keep up with the advancement in technology
  • Improve customer service
  • Change in government legislations and regulations
  • To improve the operations of the organisation
  • Increase in competition
  • Improve efficiency

  • Globalisation
  • Reduction in profit
  • Loss of finances
  • Expectations of customers
  • Decrease in performance
  • Change in departmental or organisational structuring

1.2 Describe the possible effects of changes in working practices on people within a business environment

While changes are implemented in a business environment, these can have both positive and negative effects on the people working in that environment.

The possible effects of change can be:

  • Feeling of fear about the job status, whether they will still have the job or not
  • Being unstable due to too many changes or processes happening all at once.
  • Sometimes skills built and trainings undertaken may no longer be needed for the changed working practice and this may create frustrations and also waste of time and money
  • Emotional stress and uncertainties, decreased performance
  • Conflicts or worry that we may be asked to work with people who we may not get along well with or losing existing relationship with colleagues or team mates with whom you work with.

  • Fear and panic about having to learn new skills
  • People may lose their self-confidence and become confused about the purpose of their duties, have low self-esteem, lose their sense of belonging.
  • Anger, resistance to change, losing motivation to the changes implemented.
  • Sometimes employees may leave, and as a result, the organisation will lose well experienced candidates.
  • Change can be exciting rather than have boring stable work practices all the time
  • It can be expensive to implement changes
  • Employees may feel threatened and insecure about their jobs and this can lead to low performance.

1.2 Explain how change can benefit an organisation, team and individual

While there are many negative effects due to change within an organisation, these diminish with time or at least reduce gradually and any change implemented for the right reasons in the correct methods will have huge benefits for the organisation, departments, the teams and each individual working in the organisation.

Change is Good... You Go First

Some of the way as to how change can benefit an organisation, its teams and individuals are,

Benefits of change on an organisation:

  • The organisation has got rid of the old technologies, old working methods and kept up to date with the latest innovations
  • Changes in laws and legislations according to current one lowers the risks involved
  • The organisation keeps either in pace or is at an improved level from its competitor.
  • New and successful procedures and models can be implemented.
  • New services and products are introduced and as a result new customers are gained
  • Risks are eliminated or at least reduced
  • Efficiency improves completely as an organisation and also for individuals
  • Improves the turnover of the company thereby increasing net profit
  • Good customer feedback, quality status in the business field
  • Investors invest in the organisation with confidence
  • Maintenance and other expenses decrease when quality machines and technologies are introduced.
  • Improves the relationship between the organisation, its staff and the customers
  • Improved and faster customer service
  • Improves employees’ performance

Benefits of change on a team:

  • Improves team working and helps build new relationships.
  • People skills improve; they feel motivated and are committed to their work
  • Helps with effective planning and communication between teams, departments and team members
  • Efficient change management will decrease resistance to change
  • Improves the cooperation between teams
  • Teams are able to work up to their mark and feel supported
  • Reduces negative outcomes and any disruptions in work or performance

Benefits of change on individuals:

  • Individuals learn new techniques and skills and have improved efficiency
  • Opens up new career opportunities and possibilities
  • Employees have improved ways of working with improved technologies for working
  • Increase in employee benefits which lead to improved quality of life
  • Change is exciting rather than having an old stable process or way of working
  • Helps to be creative
  • Issues are resolved as a result of change
  • Employees are put in the right place within the right teams and departments based on the skills and knowledge they possess and the techniques they have mastered.
  • Helps people use their talents beneficially and effectively

Please follow the link below for the next part of this unit:

Respond to Change in a Business Environment - Role in Supporting Change

Please follow the link below for the last part of this unit.

Respond to Change in a Business Environment - Role in Supporting and Responding to Change

I hope you found the information here useful and interesting. Please do not hesitate to feedback and share your thoughts and experiences.

Thank you for stopping by.


A kind note to NVQ candidates:

This is only for reference and please do not reproduce. Also, please relate to your business environment and job description while writing down your units. All the best!

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Comments 14 comments

livingsta profile image

livingsta 10 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Suzanl,

Wow, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and experience. It is very interesting and useful to hear others' thoughts and experiences. I hope the morale in the company improves as what you have mentioned will neither help the company nor its employees. We hear things like this a lot and hopefully there will come a time when the company looks into and rectifies the flaws. All the best. Sorry for not responding earlier. Have a great week ahead :-)

livingsta profile image

livingsta 10 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Aviannovice, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. Sorry for the late response. Have a great week ahead! :-)

Suzanl profile image

Suzanl 2 years ago

You bring up many valid points regarding the “possible effects of change” in the workplace. Covering the positive and negative aspects that individuals may encounter is intriguing because people have different ideas, beliefs, habits and personalities.

Several years ago when I was working with a fortune 500 company that was undergoing change in order maintain their profit margin, it became quite recognizable, to all employees, that there was a rather equal split between those onboard with the modifications and those that were not. This particular company was implementing Kaizen and Lean Manufacturing procedures. Ironically, most of the management team on the floor (plant manager, supervisor and employees (twenty to thirty year veterans) sabotaged the program.

Corporate would make quarterly visits, and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to retain on site Kaizen and Lean Manufacturing consultants. However, when corporate did visit we put on a show for them to encourage the corporate officers that everyone was onboard with this new technique of manufacturing.

The security guard outside the plant would broadcast on the PA system, “corporate is in the house.” As soon as corporate left, it was business as usual. When leaders do not give clear objectives and do not provide the means to support attaining set goals, it causes poor morale. I enjoyed reading your article.

aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Change can be necessary in all aspects of life, though it tends to occur more in business, especially with a poor economy like we have now. Nice material.

livingsta profile image

livingsta 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Teaches12345, thank you. Yes, I do agree with you and as a manager you would have had to deal with changes and provide support on many occasions. I am glad that you enjoyed reading this. Thank you for stopping by. Have a good weekend :-)

livingsta profile image

livingsta 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Joedolphin88, thank you so much. I am pleased that you found the information here useful. Thank you for stopping by. Have a good weekend :-)

livingsta profile image

livingsta 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello FlourishAnyway, so true as change can be a haunting experience for many. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a good weekend.

livingsta profile image

livingsta 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Torrilynn, thank you for stopping by. I do agree with your thoughts and I am glad that you found this useful. Thank you for stopping by. Have a good weekend :-)

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

When I was a manager, one of the biggest obstacles to moving forward was the fear of change for staff members. It makes a big difference on how it presented. Great topic and well covered.

joedolphin88 profile image

joedolphin88 2 years ago from north miami FL

Very important article for anyone without a business degree. I like how you tapped into economic information to get your point across without being confusing.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Although change is really the only constant, it can be difficult to adjust to. Some people unfortunately ave a strong prefence for routine.

torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 2 years ago

changes happen because adaption is needed in order for a company to grow and to become more efficient. your causes and effects are very thorough and accurate. thank you.

livingsta profile image

livingsta 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Aww, Bill, I'm glad to see your comment. Sorry, I've been caught up with so many things and haven't been here for ages. I know I have loads to catch up with here. I'll be visiting your page sometime soon as your hubs have always been an inspiration for me and many other people. Hope you are well. Sending you smiles and a hug :-)

I am glad that you found the information useful. You too have a wonderful weekend.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

It is good to see you writing again my friend. Great information here...thank you and have a wonderful weekend.

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