When you’re undertaking a restructure at your business, it’s easy to wind up down a rabbit hole. But the right oversight and advice can really help streamline delivery and reduce risk.
MyHR has worked with a lot of clients on restructuring (especially since the global spread of COVID-19 and the economic fallout), and our experienced team of HR consultants knows how to get the best results, whether it’s realigning various roles or rejigging whole businesses.
So I sat down with Emma Dorset, HR Advisor at MyHR, and asked her to highlight some key areas where getting sound guidance can make a big difference and ensure you steer clear of common mistakes.
Getting the rationale right
Like so many people processes, doing the right preparation saves a lot of headaches down the track.
Emma says that it's essential to make sure the justification for the restructuring is solid and there are no red flags. “The commercial imperative is key.”
A common misconception is that restructuring and redundancy are the same as firing someone, but any changes to roles or teams must be based on genuine business reasons.
Thanks to MyHR’s close working relationship with each client, the advisory team has unique insight into the company, its background, and day-to-day operation. This makes it quick to determine what each member needs to achieve and helps anticipate any hurdles.
“It’s so valuable knowing our clients, how they work, all the managers - it really helps us guide them and nail down the justification,” says Emma.
Shaping the restructure proposal
Many employers come with a restructuring plan that has been developed with senior management and MyHR’s advisors will fine-tune it with them.
“Occasionally, clients don’t know how to do it, so we’ll work closely with them to determine how best to restructure the team or business,” Emma says. “There can be lots of tweaking of the proposal.”
Personality clashes or elements of performance management can crop up and they’re a common way for a restructuring to get derailed. Restructuring should always start with the organisation’s goals, which define the work that needs to be done to achieve the goals, which in turn shapes the roles needed to do the work.
“If there are any potential issues, we’ll help the client clarify their objectives and better define the business case and new structure.”
Once the foundations are nailed down, MyHR’s team prepares the proposal documents and delivers them through the innovative software.
The core of the restructuring process is getting feedback from all employees whose jobs are affected. It is often an emotional time for people, especially if the proposal involves disestablishing roles.
MyHR’s advisory team keeps in close contact with clients during the consultation process, checking on progress and providing advice.
This can be particularly valuable if an employee (or employees) provides information that alters the course of the restructure, says Emma.
“The employer must fairly consider feedback, and sometimes an employee will come up with a really good, viable idea that the business hadn’t considered.”
Emma cites a recent, multi-team restructuring at a large retail client, where employee feedback led the business to reassess its original proposal. MyHR worked closely in adjusting the proposed restructure, with further due diligence and employee consultation.
Emma says that without MyHR, any change of tack could have made the process significantly longer or even lead to the whole restructure being shelved.
More cost-effective than ad hoc advice
Typically, businesses that need restructuring advice would go to an HR consultant or lawyer, which can get expensive.
It can also be piecemeal. As part of a broader service, MyHR’s involvement is far more comprehensive and cost-effective.
“That includes helping with implementation,” Emma adds. “There may be redundancies, recruitment for new roles, new job descriptions and employment agreements - all provided for as part of MyHR’s service.”
Looking after remaining team members or any new staff is vital once a restructure has been implemented, to minimise any disruption to the business.
MyHR always checks to make sure employers are following up with team members and doing what they should, whether it’s onboarding new employees or offering employee assistance to remaining team members.
“The whole process is much more thorough than it would be with a consultant,” says Emma.