Any business reorganization presents a tough challenge for HR. Employees are left disgruntled and often bitter, new roles must be filled, old employees must work in new ways, and many suffer from demotivation and guilt or anger. These problems are exacerbated when leadership roles are emptied by reorganization, through either restructuring organization, changing teams, or removing old leaders. Employees may be left feeling confused, unproductive, and unmotivated, all of which can dramatically hurt the company.
In fact, one study showed that 74% of employees who maintained their roles through restructuring were demotivated afterwards. Managing a business reorganization and keeping everyone on track means recognizing these issues and working to correct them by reestablishing trust in leadership.
Employees who stay on after a reorganization feel sad and even guilty. They may have lost friends, leaders, and people they worked with for years. They may be anxious about their future role, changing roles in the company, and even the future of the company. Recognize this, and act accordingly.
As a result, many employees are left feeling unconfident and unmotivated. To balance, try offering resources to help employees deal with the transition and to boost their confidence, even when they’ve lost trusted leaders. Consider training, classes, seminars, or projects that will get employees excited about working there, offer opportunities, and help everyone understand the value they bring to the table so that they are self-motivated.
You’ll also likely have gaps. Take the time to assess missing skills, equipment, and resources before moving forward.
Restructuring is about moving on. Use it to offer opportunities, like stretch assignments, training, and the ability to take on new and bigger tasks. Even if restructuring is part of a sale, it can be used as an opportunity to allow existing employees to move up or across so that they feel the restructure benefits them. This is especially important when changing how teams work because it gives workers something to grow into.
Building personal leadership and helping employees to take initiative and lead themselves is often a big step for improving productivity and the quality of the workforce. Spend time helping individuals to adapt and to gain confidence in new roles. Reorganization needs to be about employees, and that means communicating upfront, treating people with respect and dignity, offering opportunities to help those being let go to find new job opportunities, and so on.
Getting Restructuring Right
A good reorganization should involve considerable planning, needs and gap analysis, and training for employees. Consolidating roles, removing teams, and changing how work is completed changes infrastructure and leadership completely – you need to know when and why it is happening so that you can communicate to the people it affects.
Modern companies restructure completely as they change direction, move to meet changing technologies, and adjust for targets. Your workforce should be driven, self-motivated, and capable of personal leadership to help you meet these challenges – so that your company remains productive and motivated throughout changes.