Is your organisation going through a corporate restructure?
This can be a stressful time for both management and employees alike. In fact, according to “The impact of restructuring on employee well-being: a systematic review of longitudinal studies” a report in Work & Stress: An International Journal of Work, Health & Organisations, corporate restructuring can negatively affect employee wellbeing, even if no jobs are lost.
While researchers found that not all employees were negatively affected, the majority were. This is due to multiple factors, including employees:
- Now being responsible for tasks they’re not familiar with
- Not getting the training they need
- Feeling insecure about their role
- Not able to adjust to change
- Having a negative perception or experience of the restructuring
But there is still hope! Here are some things researchers found can help team members more easily make the transition.
During the Restructure
Management should regularly communicate with all team members regarding the status of the restructure, as well as what can be expected as the process develops. This makes everyone feel more a part of the process rather than simply affected by it.
If roles are expected to shift, it’s important to make sure the company has the proper training in place to help your people make the transition and acquire the necessary competencies. This will make them feel more prepared and ready to take on the roles and responsibilities you expect of them.
Fairness of Procedures
According to Karina Nielsen, Professor and Chair of Work Psychology at Sheffield University Management School–and one of the authors of the study, “Researchers and occupational and human resource management practitioners should work together in developing interventions and evaluating the intervention process and its impact on well-being and company results.”
Researchers found that some groups of workers reacted less negatively if they had more of a chance of influencing the process. This input gives them some ownership of the process overall, making them feel more like a change agent and less like a cog in a corporate machine.
After the Restructure
The period post-restructure may be the most critical to the health of your business.
Town-hall style meetings post-restructure can help team members more easily voice concerns and hear from one another. Whether you decide to do this team or department-wide, it will provide your employees with an open forum to ask questions, offer suggestions, and receive straightforward answers from management.
Focus on Goals
Bringing the focus back to the big picture can help people regain perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in the minor details and everyday stresses of a corporate restructure, so gently but continually reminding people of the big-picture objectives can help your team members regain clarity. What is their purpose in achieving the organisation’s goals? How do their roles directly contribute to the overall purpose? Make this connection clear and explicit.
Nielsen notes that “Organisations, managers, and employees should be supported in dealing with changes in a healthy way, for example by training, coaching, and other on-the-job programs aimed at the individual, group, and management level.” As the dust settles and people begin settling into new roles and structures, introducing a mentorship program could do wonders, connecting team members to one another and giving them clarity with regards to the next steps in their personal careers.
Note that periods of organisational change or restructuring, such as during a merger and acquisition, aren’t good times for mentor-mentee relationships. During a period of business uncertainty, a mentor relationship could start, only to be interrupted by a flurry of due diligence activities or a mentor or mentee’s reassignment to another division or elimination from the workforce altogether. This is why it’s important that your mentoring program begins post-restructure.
The Bottom Line
While corporate restructuring and layoffs are unfortunate, they’re inevitable. That’s why keeping your remaining employees engaged, motivated and productive after a restructure requires managers to be proactive, honest and consistent.
A mentorship program can help.
Learn more about how a mentoring program can benefit your organisation, with Mentorloop.