It’s been a tumultuous time over the past few years, and that means every business has had to adapt and change. As we know this can be exciting but also challenging. As a leader this means restructures, shifts in senior leadership, and changes to roles within the business.
Change is necessary and can be great, but the change process itself can be difficult and if you get it wrong the risks are high.
Mishandling can disrupt your culture and morale, cause you to lose people, or open you up to personal grievance. At Sprout we want to help you and your leaders do right by your people. Drawing from our work with many of the growing businesses you know, here are some key insights to help you effectively navigate change within your business.
There are many reasons but they always boil down to the current organisational structure isn’t fit for purpose. Common drivers for this are a downturn in work, financial reasons, business growth, and a refocus of roles for greater efficiency/productivity.
You shouldn't restructure to deal with Performance issues OR remove an employee from the business - it should always be about the role - not the person.
Four ways to mitigate the risks that come with a restructure
Follow the process!
Have a solid/genuine reason
Use a reasonable timeframe
Act in good faith
A step by step guide to organisational change - seven steps to a successful restructure
The typical timeline of a restructure is around four to six weeks. You want to allow time for due consideration.
Employee consultation pack - in the initial pack be sure to; define the why behind the restructure, include the current structure and the proposed structure, job descriptions for new roles, selection criteria, timeline and milestones, restructure letters.
Invite to initial meeting - send a meeting invite to each impacted employee, we recommend 48 hours notice "we want to meet with you regarding a proposed structure change and you're welcome to bring a support person."
Comms to wider business advising of the process - when there are employees in the business who are not impacted, where appropriate let them know on the same day as the impacted employees.
Proposal presentation and feedback minutes - present a consultation pack in person to the impacted employees and allow time for them to provide feedback. We recommend 5 days. Hold meetings in person.
Consideration of feedback - once all of the feedback has been received, take three days to consider the feedback. You may be tempted to speed this bit up, but it is important that time is taken to actively consider the feedback. If major changes are made as a result of the feedback then the process begins again.
Make final decision - once the changes have been decided, prepare a decision document. This is very similar to the consultation document but includes the feedback and the employer's response.
Redeployment process OR confirmation letters of redundancy - if there is going to be redeployment options, send confirmation letters to employees that their role is going to be made redundant and that they're invited to be considered for one of the redeployment roles. Give employees time to confirm if they want to be considered for a redeployment role.
Restructures should never be about the person, it's always about the role
Navigating change can be daunting and it can be risky, however these shouldn’t be reasons not to do it as at the end of the day, for your business to succeed you need to have an organisational structure that is fit for purpose now and for the future. It can be an emotionally-charged time for both parties, so reach out to an experienced partner that can take you through the process and be an objective voice. If you need help in this area contact us.
Sprout assumes no responsibility or liability for errors or omissions in this information, this is a high level guide and when considering a restructure we encourage you to always seek professional advice.