To survive in business all companies must evolve and be able to adapt and move with the times. Business change has been rather ironically described as the one constant for organisations. The size of your company makes no difference, you will require an organisational restructure sometime. Many people are scared of change, but this can bring many benefits to your business. There are a number of key points that must be covered in all potential restructures. This is when expert HR advice and support offering guidance which keeps your company within current employment law legislation.
1. Appoint someone to lead the reorganisation who has the skills and experience to deliver the expected results.
2. You must identify the goals and set timescales for each part of the reorganisation and get regular feedback over its progress.
3. People need to understand why the restructuring is taking place. This should be done by explaining why the restructure is happening, what will change and how it will affect everyone and when this will happen. Communication at every stage is the key. In the absence of information, people will fill the vacuum with rumours and speculation
4. People managing the process must be proactive positive and not undermine the organisations message through their own actions or behaviour. They must be honest and open and deliver the company plans at all times, remember the importance of transparency to a healthy workplace.
5. To keep your business within current employment legislation you must consult and engage your employees whether your workplace is unionised or not, you should consult with your employees throughout the entire restructure. There are legal obligations for collective and individual consultation, depending on the size and scale of your proposed restructure.
Genuine, open consultation often leads to creative solutions and builds an atmosphere of trust and collaboration. If there are no union representatives, you could provide training to employee representatives thus establishing guidance around consultation and negotiation. This will help them understand their roles and improve their communication with their fellow workers, which will in turn raise the level of employee engagement.
6. Your company’s plans over management style, competencies, opportunities to advance careers and your reward and recognition policies should support the culture that you are aiming to create. Simply moving employees and processes around will not change the culture of your company a proper restructure will not succeed unless behaviours of the people within it change. If you wish to change the shape of the future of your company, you must give people a reason to behave differently.
7. There will be many difficult decisions during any restructure, there will be many issues to deal with before you achieve a successful restructure. These include differing personalities, issues with long-serving employees who could be opposed to change, existing agreements with trades unions and expensive compensation precedents set during previous restructures.
To make the restructure effective all obstacles must be addressed quickly and efficiently by the management team. Failing to deal with these issues quickly and in an open and honest manner could lead to managers and employees becoming disillusioned and cynical, which will slow down the whole process. Consideration must be given to the employees who survive the restructure they will have to be re-engaged and motivated before the new organisational structure can start to be effective.
8. Usually restructures are implemented to cut costs. However, your business must ensure that it can still meet all client expectation both during and after the restructure is completed. You must ensure that you are left with employees who will be focused and will deliver the performance that you expect you should focus on keeping the right people, as much as cutting costs.
There are tried and trusted methods of choosing the people that you want to remain in your company after the restructure is complete. Again, you must be aware of all redundancy selection processes that must be followed. Failure to follow these processes could lead to your company being cited at an Employment Tribunal: your HR advisor can support you over this.
9. You must remember that this whole process could be long and protracted that is why you must stay focused over-achieving timescales set out at the start of the process. Once you have made the decisions over who will stay and who will leave the company you must keep the process moving forward. It is easy to relax then thinking that the job is done: However, this is not the case, it will not be finished until the restructure delivers the results that you expected when you implemented the plan.
10. During the restructure it is important to recognise any successes achieved. This could be promotions gained due to the restructure, cost savings, customer satisfaction maintained or improved and employees buying into the process.
Some key points to remember:
- If your vision and goals are clearly identified, you are much more likely to achieve them;
- With clarity and dedication, your new structure will be up and running more quickly; saving costs, improving efficiency and delivering better service and profit;
- Your organisation will have retained the right people for the future;
- The risk of expensive, time-consuming employment tribunals will be significantly reduced;
- All in all, you’ll be left with a happier, healthier and more profitable business.