Rebuilding after a restructure


Whilst restructuring and redundancies are never pleasant, for many organisations they have become necessary to survive in such a challenging financial and business landscape.

The ultimate goal of any restructuring process is to make a business more efficient, productive and competitive.

Reflecting on the process, the weeks leading up to a restructure cause a significant mental and emotional load. Businesses often put their focus and energy into the planning and facilitation of conversation stages, with less emphasis often given to the final step of re-building teams. Re-energising your team following a restructure and keeping your remaining employees engaged, motivated and productive is critical to the process and should not be overlooked. We all understand the risk around the loss of key team members as the ‘unintended’ fallout following a process of change. A proactive, honest and consistent approach to positively contribute to the team wellbeing and culture is key.

Here are some practical tips to help begin the process of re-engaging and re-focusing individuals and teams who have just been through change:

Consistent communication – restructuring can bring about a complex set of emotions for all involved. Communication is key; have an “open door” policy and “walk the floor” as a leader, ensuring you are a visible and accessible. This allows staff to voice their concerns and ask questions. Sharing information regularly and consistently will restore calm, rebuild trust and confidence, and fill the void for negative speculation.

Recognise reactions – Employee feelings can range from fear to relief. Remaining employees may feel guilty that they were able to keep their jobs, whilst some may feel anger. Provide a safe space and sufficient time for your team to come together and talk about the after-effects and recognise how each individual is feeling. Acknowledge that the restructure was difficult but necessary for the ongoing stability of the organisation.

Creating clarity Effective leadership is critical post a restructure. Employees may be unsure what they are responsible for and who they report to. Take time to provide clarity, to reduce role conflict and stress. Ensure everyone is “on the same page” and provide clarity about their contribution to the organisational purpose.

Rebuild trust A mix of formal and informal team-building activities will all go a long way to creating a healthy and happy team culture. Team building activities, social events, and shared experiences can help to foster camaraderie and a sense of community.

Resilient mentoring and leadership – Work to ensure that your employees can trust the company and leadership as consistent, resilient and dependable, along with being committed to developing both the team and a culture of continued excellence.

Re-address workload demands – Often departed employees’ responsibilities are shared out amongst those remaining, causing extra pressure. Coaching, mentoring and training is critical here to retain your top talent. Present these additional tasks as opportunities for learning and growth.

If your company has had to reduce headcount in order to remain viable, it is key to think about how to bring your new team together. How you treat your people during tough times matters.

It’s actually the recovery and beyond which is the most beneficial and influential factor rather than the process itself.

These processes are often a necessary part of the evolution of business – they are challenging to go through, emotional and disruptive for all. The key element to rebuilding is how well you look after your people, to recover and grow post-restructure. This is where the value is added and will determine the success around your process of change.


Related: The cost of recruitment

Talent ID are Recruitment Specialists and can support you through your recruitment process.

Kellie Hamlett
Kellie Hamlett
Director, Recruitment & HR Specialist, Talent ID Recruitment Ltd. She can be contacted on kellie@talentid.co.nz or 027 227 7736. Talent ID are Recruitment Specialists and can support you through your recruitment process.

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