Organisation Management and Change Management in Virgin Trains

Background of Virgin Train

Virgin was enjoying a bureaucratic structure of management in the first days of its inception being truly a part of the public sector It offers completely revolutionised just how railway system operates Back the old days the trains system in Britain was manipulated by British Railways and whatever the most notable management decided in those days was the order of the subordinate plus they would need to follow it with no objection. . Today it only takes a few hours from London to Manchester which was unimaginable some 10-15 years ago. Currently there is absolutely no centralised reporting of the regional performance of British Rail. This task was taken particularly to meet the demands and needs of travellers and tourists in several parts of Britain. Each region has its plan of development and upgrades that allows them to gain competitive advantage over other rail systems. The strategies designed to maximise the profit and reducing costs of every regional office is the purpose of the British Rail.

(A)Relationship between Virgin Train's vision and culture of the company

Vision is a permanent strategy of an company. A vision does not define the goals an organisation will be looking to achieve in the near future but there is a mission that is expected to be achieved sooner or later of energy. Vision is usually held by the top management of the business because they are the acting stewards of the business. Vision allows the company to create a business plan which will include formation of small goals and formulating ways of achieve those goals. It keeps on reminding the business about the direction in which it has to move and invite it to motivate itself. Mission statement is also part of the Company's Vision. A vision goes further. It paints a picture in clear language of where the organisation is certainly going, linked to the behaviours it expects of everybody in the organisation. Vision is a wide perspective of what company wants and their approach to achieving their needs.

Culture is defined by the way things are done in an organisation. The guru of an culture in an organisation is the very best management they will be the ones who govern the culture of the organisation. It is the behaviour and rules set by them which serve as a role model because of their subordinates. The culture as explained in the case study of virgin train is "Collaborate (Clan)" Culture. This culture pertains to the thinking about the management acting as parents to the employees. All of the employees irrespective of the amount of hierarchy they participate in Includes a say in the management decisions and are a team. The development and training of the staff are also given importance and care of their needs is taken of so that the outcome is always a win-win situation.

The CEO says that to be able to check out the organisational vision the strategy is to breakdown the company vision into small achievable and measurable targets, so to adhere to the performance management facet of the business. The CEO of virgin train has obviously described to its staff that he wants them to own the virgin railways. He wants employees to account for their own action, asses how effective these are in obtaining organisational goals and result in improvements in their work so to attain the organisational goal. In practise vision is a way broad term when compared to a mission.

The three main elements of the Virgin Trains Visions is their strive to provide safe and reliable travel, to become and keep maintaining a profitable business and last but not minimal instigating a host that allows its employees to talk about their opinions about the progress of the organisation and that their views receive weightage in your choice making process.

[Hofstede, Geert (1977]

(B)Influence of culture on the change management of the Virgin Trains

What is Change Management?

There are three important steps of change management namely planning, implementation and control. These steps are with regards to all those people who are affected by way of a change in the organisation. Change should always be brought after consultation with the all the major stakeholders because they are the medium through which the change will be brought and their non-involvement can lead to a resistance in change. There are a few serious money and time invested in order to bring a change so that it is expected that the change can be measurable, achievable and reliable. Infrastructural change will not require as much time and effort as to bringing an alteration in the mind-set of folks. For people to simply accept the change they have to find out why the change is brought and what's in benefit for change how it will be implemented and how it is sustainable. Change be implemented and could it be sustainable for future developments and research.

One of the healthiest exercises for change is to own private meeting with the key staff of the organisation who serve as the ingredient of the change and invite them equal participation in the change process so the task of implementing the change becomes easy.

It is interesting to learn that differing people have different acceptability levels to improve for some it is merely a matter of energy and understanding the new means of doing things but for a lot of people that change is completely incompatible. Usually all the low level staffs is communicated indirectly about change with memos and brochures. But there are people in this degree of hierarchy as well who thinks that it's a demand those to leave the organisation. For those who have such mind-sets there should be workshops and other training sessions being held in order that they get the larger picture behind the change brought. But if still there exists resistance to improve the organisation will have to consider firing that employee but inly as the last resource, following a philosophy that what will not align with the organisational goals is into a secured asset of the company but act as a liability.

All in every change management is "an activity in which individual or organisation most importantly are invited to bring a transition of their current position to a desired position in the future". Example of change management includes change in mission, strategy, technology, operations and in the behaviour and attitude of the personnel.

[Robert A. Sevier, July, 2003], [Jayme Alexandre, Jan 2009]

Virgin trains have always kept a good and forward looking approach. They make plans as to what they can do in their foreseeable future and try to implement the learning off their past to their future. It really is a view prevailing available world that there is a solid link between your vision and the culture of your organisation. There is no doubt in the notion that the behaviour of the managers of an organisation set the tone for the subordinate and the approach in which the organisation wants their employees to go about things. Virgin trains value their employee and thinks that customer service is a CSF (Critical success factor). a as giving an answer to the ever changing environment and changing customer needs with it. To bring a change in an organisation a specific vision is necessary for the change to occur smoothly. The managers of virgin train assume that the way for his or her organisational success is to hear their customer feedback and then try to implement what's lacking in the current management structure. They believe that I is the lower level staff i. e. the technical support and logistics which will come in to interactions with the clients and in order to bring change these people those get the duty of implementing the change.

It is the culture of virgin train is to delegate authorities to its staff so to permit them the bring change. They believe their lower level staffs are technically and commercially most skilled and competent to bring the change. Managers assume that employee would actively be a part of the running of the business. They feel that employees should be asking question, bring new ideas, and become prepared to disagree and give better options on how to operate the business and bring change. FOR INSTANCE: The employees of virgin train as their look after the environment and sustainable development urged the management to encourage recycling in offices and trains and Virgin train complied with it.

The Change in Virgin train is aided by using ways of support and bring the change. The principal motto of virgin train is to stay a profitable organisation. The main element to the I customer retention which can only just be done by providing the clients with a high notch and cost effective service. Virgin train realises that to achieve its objective they might have to cater to the needs of these customers. There usually two bands of customers person who value cost that the cost leadership model is followed and the other ones who value quality of service being provided and there they participate in the market and want specialised and unique customer service which is in fact the reason these are paying the premium for.

The management gets the try to train their front line employees as individual and independent leaders. They are given the possibility to study from their job i. e. given face to face training and development. The brand new strategy of Virgin Train is to place 'Customer First'. The front line employees are expected to enhance customer experience by responding and catering with their needs and using their company interaction with the customers make an effort to devise and recommend new methods of procedure to top management so the customer experience can be further improved. The role of the managers in this scenario is to boost the morale and confidence of tits employee, motivate them with incentives and make an effort to receive the best out of these and whatever feedback and new ideas they get from their workers they should make an effort to implement that.

[Joanne Martin, 2001]

(C)Contribution of the Virgin Trains Organisation Structure in the Change Management

The organisational structure of an company plays a essential role in the change management process. Virgin Train has to adopt different strategies that may adjust to their organisational structure that allows flexibility, empowerment, independence, delegation of authorities and participation in decision making to its employees. The hierarchy of management in such organisation is although quite extensive but is immiscible so that the work of a higher level could in a few circumstances be done by a lesser level with regards to the authorities and responsibilities of the person at lower level. Some of the Examples of the way Virgin Trains Operates will be discussed from here on. To discuss the current and future strategy thee are regular meetings held between the employees and the management. In these meetings the priorities for the business enterprise is rethought if, important matters needing management attention are discussed and the implementation of any new best practise into the business model. Inside the meeting every region brings something new and important to talk about which allows the management to use decision based on past data for future years so that Virgin Group can gain an advantage over their peers. Each region May have people who have different cultures and values so that it is important that Virgin train responds to the needs of every region separately and bring such business strategies into play which benefit both customers and serve the organisational purpose as well. Feedback from customers and mangers in various regions of procedure of virgin train are always welcomed by managers as it allows them to know what elements of their service needs improvement and which with their current service is highly rated by its customers so that management know what areas need additional time to be spent to improve their overall performance. For Example Feedback from customers on matter such as, what should be the menus of the flight and how much is the current ticket packages are suitable for them. Apart from this what new destination should virgin start flights for and exactly how often these flights should happen, this and many other related information helps management for taking things at once which is usually one factor for a customer when making travelling decisions. All these Ideas are used by the manger sand people which seems to be the most important and brought to the table with other top management and lowers staff as well to decide those will filter through the consensus in your choice making process and then how these can be implemented. This activity instigate a feeling of intrinsic reward in the employees who brought forwards the theory sand the feedback in the first place and it encourages those to do their work efficiently and consult with the management as they believe their say hold an importance to the business.

Besides welcoming change and giving feedback, the management of virgin also encourage constructive criticism i. e. challenging the ideas of other in an appropriate way. Employees receive 3 days workshops to teach them how to get and deliver constructive feedback. They are also taught about the vision of the Virgin Trains and the way the leadership style currently undertook by the management of the Virgin Train impacts them at workplace. Apart from this a few of the top outcomes of the workshops are mentioned below.

It supplies the employees a host to talk about their opinions and thoughts about the organisation. Employees at different degrees of the hierarchy come across each other, become familiar with each other and create a social environment that allows them the time to share things given that they have been employed, so erasing personal distinctions if any. Employees get a concept of why the change is brought, how it will affect them and an chance to share individual concerns about the change if any.

The HR Department go Virgin Train actively be a part of the development and training of their workers. They consider themselves as the drivers of the change and also have always followed the organisational strategy will focus on people. They tend to reward employees where they have got performed well and such employees are then presented at various levels as a token of the achievement and an appreciation of the work they did for Virgin Trains. Various award ceremonies are also held to reward individual and teams where they had performed well.

Virgin Train also plays their CSR role (Corporate Social Responsibility) as they believe dignifies behaviour towards their environments and also in a way towards their employees. This approach shows their customers and staff that they care about their environment and does not always act in their personal profits. But in Essence what Virgin Trains is doing here is to earn the respect of people and for that reason it allows these to retain customers. A good example of the charitable work done is to make donations to the CLIC Sargent which collects money to be allocated to child cancer patients. It is therefore not wrong to state that Virgin Trains flow it's organisational with Bottom to top Approach and their workshops helps in in this technique.

[Cameron, Kim S. & Quinn, Robert E. 1999]

(D) Strategies Implemented For Change Management Process in the Organisation and its Effectiveness

There few strategies that your management has adopted to be able to manage the change process in Virgin Trains. Again any strategy made will be in alignment of the vision.

At the recruitment process it is important to observe that folks who share the same vision and promote he same behaviour as encourages at virgin Trains should be selected.

The appraisal process is another crucial stage ways of realising the work an employee has done in a fixed period of time. Usually a 360 degree appraisal is the most popular method of appraisals, as it involves the customer, the employee and the manager, all of whom play a essential role available process. In discussion with the employee their contribution and development to the business should be notified and what personal short term and long term goals hold the employee set for themselves.

A tool made by virgin train to determine the need for promotion for a person is the 'Talent Wheel'. That is a set blend of behaviour, motivation, passion and knowledge and skills requirement which when fulfilled by an employee claim that that employee is currently worthy of a higher post or designation.

There is plenty of learning opportunities for employees at various levels in the organisation. Internal and external courses are regularly held remember working out and developing needs of individuals and the departments where the employee is working. In these courses simply the coaching skills are taught and how to be a part of discussion and the value of accepting responsibility.

For front line staff and managers leadership programs are held to equip them to take care of issues in a better way.

The change management program of virgin Train can be an on-going process which would have to be reviewed regularly to ensure that the change in the culture is smooth transition and is also will be meeting the organisational objective. The motive behind the cultural change is not only to handle employees in an improved way but it is to use the business in the most efficient way securing the organisational goal of maximising it profits.

KPI's or key performance indicator is an effective tool foe measuring the performance of your organisation. Every organisation's business is based on some key indicator or elements the fluctuations in which serious affect the business enterprise so if virgin train could track such indicators than it could know in what direction it is moving.

Some of the KPI's that Virgin uses are: Sickness days/ days off, Staff turnover rates, Customer satisfaction and complaints. There can be many other indicators but they are the most crucial ones.

Due to the strategy and the vision of Virgin Trains there has been cost saving reported in recent years due the discussion of management with the frontline employee and more often the employees challenge the managements decision which are then reviewed and implemented therefore which company saves some valuable money. A recent example of this type of work is the fact done by the Manchester division. What they did was to make a new ticket consequently of the problem face by a person who was going to and fro from Huddersfield. The customer had to produce a new ticket for the second part of the journey and this problem was sorted out by the folks working in front line and a new ticket was issued which could work both ways.

[David Herold, Donald Fedor, (2008)]


There is without doubt that virgin train is constantly on the provide its customer with high quality serve and leisurely travel. The business's focus on their customers and employees has served as a booster for his or her performance which is the reason they are really way forward than their competitors.

The involvement of employees in your choice making and their ability to bring way to the business enterprise problems which are thought of from the client perspective is another reason for virgin train's success. The management has fed the employees that they must continue to challenge the current practises and keep trying to come up with new ways of more effective ways of doing things. All in All it's the caring of employee, concentrate on client satisfaction and the management leadership skills that have put Virgin Trains on the path of success.

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