We have recently been helping our clients carry out change management for their businesses. We know that restructuring can bring a sense of stress and worry for the organisation and can be complex and emotional. Therefore, it is important to focus equally on the changes and how the business makes the changes.
When planning a restructure, build a business case/proposal to get a good understanding of the reason for change. Ask yourself questions like how will the change impact the organisation? Who will be impacted by the changes? And, does the financial structure need to be changed? It’s useful to put together the key facts of the organisation to understand the financial and team dynamics. Creating organisation structures is a useful visual tool that helps track the change and impacted people.
Employers should be able to give evidence of genuine business reasons for change. Examples may include:
- technology changes
- more productive business processes
- product changes
- loss of suppliers or markets
- shifts in customer or market requirements
- financial reasons
Communicate, Communicate and Communicate!
Talking regularly to your employees is perhaps the most important part of restructuring. This process is complex and if not communicated clearly, often leaves employees feeling anxious and uncertain. Make sure you set some time aside for addressing employee concerns and to allow considerable time to gather feedback. Making regular announcements about any change or update is very important. Before any final decisions are made, circulate the business proposal for change to all employees likely to be affected. Remember that transparency is crucial in these communications.
Check the Employee Entitlement
Make sure you check each of the impacted employees’ redundancy entitlements. The Individual Employment Agreement or employees’ relevant contract should indicate this. Creating a ‘people impact spreadsheet’ often helps get an idea of the cost and changes related to restructuring.
Once the final announcement is made, make sure there is a designated space for receiving feedback form employees. One way to do this is to book individual meetings with your employees after the changes are announced. If you see a pattern in employee concerns, it may be beneficial to organise another group meeting to address such concerns. Make sure the employees understand the changes that are about to happen and why the change is needed.
The Little Things
Restructure involves so many processes. Here’s a list of those little things that make a big difference:
- Create a FAQ document; this will help answer most of the employee questions and will free up some of your time
- Book rooms for final restructure presentation/proposal
- If needed, book flights and accommodation in advance
- Draft employee scripts for one on one and group meetings so these are well planned and put employees at ease as much as possible
- Talk to the impacted employees before the final announcement; this way, they would have time and space to prepare themselves emotionally
If you need any assistance, support or advice around any of these things and more, please don’t hesitate and get in touch with us today!