Organisational Restructuring is Necessary
Organisational restructuring may go by many names – realignment, reconstruction, reform, renewal, reorientation, and some even silly names, such as “Project Phoenix” or “Construct”. But don’t insult the intelligence of employees – if it quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it probably is a duck.
If the elements that need changing are cultural, with all the inbuilt perceptions and beliefs that bind cultures, then merely changing organisational structure will not address this. Moving the deck chairs only prolongs the time you have left sitting on the Titanic.
Challenges When Restructuring
Resistance from employees is usually the most common challenge, and certainly almost universally present in any restructuring.
While successful restructure requires the support of employees from all levels, accept that you will not be able to keep all employees happy throughout the entire process. In fact, if you try to do this, your restructure will fail. Most people do not like change, and people within changing workplaces are no different. Each employee has certain emotional, physical and psychological limitations, and long-standing habits and beliefs, which may not fit within the new organisation’s structure.
The other main challenge for successful restructure is organisational leadership capability and capacity. This is hard work, and without the right leadership, both at a management and governance level, the work will be made harder and possibly fail.
Terms of Restructure
Don’t “work around” current staff and their skills in developing the new structure. Focus on what is needed by the organisation to achieve its objectives, and then consider what staff mix and skills are needed to meet the business’ goals.
A true restructure will not have the same or even similar position descriptions (PDs) for positions that are ear-marked as changing or disappearing under the restructure. The greater the difference between current PDs and new PDs, the better – this proves that change is real and the restructure legitimate.
Employees whose jobs are disappearing should be encouraged to apply for new positions that are being created. However, make clear (if this is the case) that those employees are not guaranteed to be re-employed in new positions, and that the positions will be advertised widely and external to the organisation.