During the restructuring process, there are five R’s of change you need to manage effectively to maintain productivity, performance, and profitability in your organisation – resistance, redundancy, redeployment, re-engagement and retention. Here’s how to set your organisation up for success through change.
No word can spread fear through an organisation like “change”. Resistance can be as inevitable as change itself, however, there are ways that you can manage and even minimise the amount of resistance you encounter through your organisation.
The first is open communication. Communication builds trust if done transparently. Understand that most resistance towards change is the fear of the unknown and a loss of security, so to address this you need to communicate what is happening and reassure your team. While you may not be able to reassure staff that their job will be intact, you can reassure them that you are there to help no matter what the outcome.
Another fundamental way to overcome resistance is to involve your staff in the change. Communicate the problem and give them the opportunity to be part of the solution. Acceptance of change is a lot easier when you have ownership over it.
When change is happening due to restructuring, there is often the need for voluntary and involuntary redundancies. While redundancy can bring about many concerns for your staff, careful planning and preparation can reduce the stress on them as well as yourself.
Once you have reassured staff it’s only the job that is redundant, not them; you can help restore some of their confidence and help them focus on other opportunities they wouldn’t have considered if they were still ‘safe’ in their job. For the wellbeing of transitioning staff as well as your surviving staff, employment brand and own peace of mind, offer the support of outplacement services or career transition programs.
In the separation meeting or subsequent meetings if more appropriate, find out what they want – perhaps it is a similar job, further training to climb up the ladder, a desire to start their own business or retire and provide them with the proper career coaching and outplacement programs that will meet their needs. Support and showing interest will go a long way to helping them adjust.
To ensure a smooth redundancy period, redundancies should be planned for weeks if not months in advance to provide transitioning staff with the support and resources they need immediately after the separation conversation. Consider offering some professional Career Decision support, affording impacted employees the opportunity to investigate their career options, helping to decide a well thought through decision, especially where there are options for voluntary redundancy.
Where there is the opportunity to, you will likely redeploy some of the staff whose roles have been made redundant and get them working in a different role or department. While they may have been saved from exiting your company, their shift in position and team can be quite an adjustment.
This is a great time to sit down with the staff who will be redeployed and offer support and training as they adjust to their new role. Also, take this opportunity to communicate the organisation’s new vision and how they fit into the future of the company. Valuing your staff will encourage them to want to give their best, and be part of moving the organisation forward.
Even those on your team who have come through change with their role intact can be profoundly affected by organisational change. It can make them feel vulnerable and less secure in their role. They can also be left with the guilt of surviving in their role when others didn’t and feel less confident in the direction the company is now taking.
There is no time for uncertainty during this stage of change. You need your survivors to champion your new vision and get your business performing better than ever. It should come as no surprise then that communication is also crucial at this stage too. Acknowledge any fears or insecurities, reassure survivors of their role and importance within the organisation and ensure your new vision is clear.
How you handle changes, treat transitioning staff and re-engage survivors, can have a significant impact on employee retention for both the short and long term. When managed well and respectfully, change can unite your team and create a winning culture. However, the opposite is also true. When handled poorly, nothing will divide your team faster.
Know that your team will be observing you through change, so lead by example. Be confident, communicative and approachable. Champion change efforts and let your team see that you too are making sacrifices. Keep your door open for them to raise concerns and ask questions. When you act respectfully and mindfully and encourage a supportive and inclusive environment where everyone is heard, retention will naturally be the result.
Is change or restructure on the horizon? At Turning Point Partners we help you manage your team, navigate career transition and maintain business continuity through periods of high change and growth. Call the transition experts, Turning Point Partners today on 1300 27 83 45 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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