Organisational restructuring is a common occurrence in the current economic conditions. It can happen for many reasons – new business acquisitions, low business performance, market conditions or simply to stay relevant, to name a few. Regardless of the cause of restructures, the process of restructuring is complex, and can make or break a company. In this week's HR Blog, we examine restructure from an HR best practice perspective in an effort to understand the key concerns for HR managers.
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HR plays a critical role in this process, as it is the one department that both management and employees rely on to manage the issues that arise from restructures.
According to HR Professionals Magazine, HR may be required to guide employees on the methodology of the restructure, and aid management in outlining the entire restructure program including expected costs, timeframe for each stage of the restructure and potential litigation / claim assessments.
But one of HR’s biggest responsibilities during a restructure is to manage the workforce. HC Online points out that the way a company’s workforce is handled during a restructure can ultimately result in survival or extinction.
In this blog, we discuss the top four concerns for HR Managers during an organisational restructure:
1. Communication with stakeholders
Restructures bring out anxiety in both employees and management, so it is important to ensure constant communication to these stakeholders. Talent Readiness advises that HR’s role is to communicate with management and any external stakeholders on the direction and progress of the restructure.
For employees, on the other hand, HR should clearly build a communication strategy to outline the purpose of the restructure, as well as address concerns and reaffirm business goals to maintain employee commitment. It is also important to communicate information on job implications (compensation / benefits / redundancy) and the supporting HR programs or policies in place to help address employees’ concerns.
2. Managing employee productivity
During the restructure, it is important for the business to continue running and performing at its optimal level, so a critical component of HR’s role is to manage employee productivity. Restructures are a time when employees lose focus on their work, brought on by the fears of being made redundant.
At this time, HR’s motivational programs become more important than ever. So HR Managers must invest in the time to develop plans, and set measures and incentives to keep employees engaged. Talent Readiness recommends that HR Managers use celebrations, rewards and visible scorecards to ensure employees are focused, committed and that client projects aren’t negatively impacted.
3. Retaining critical employees
Restructures may provoke sudden departures of employees or management. It is HR’s role to develop employee retention strategies to compel remaining employees to stay with the organisation.
Demand Media recommends that HR Managers do some research and identify the most appropriate retention tactics. Thhis may include bonuses, employee training, internal promotion opportunities, as well as improving workplace policies and procedures.
Executive employees, or those employees who are key to the organisation’s success, will need a tailored approach, according to Workplace Info Australia. HR Managers must take into account their entire package including compensation, benefits, provisions, tax issues, etc.
4. Managing payroll and records
Whilst payroll and record management are mostly administrative responsibilities, it is one that must not be overlooked. Workplace Info Australia notes that some organisations fall into the trap of underestimating the role of the HR back-office and responsibilities such as payroll.
Payroll transactions and record management are very important to manage, especially during restructures as the company’s credibility is at stake. Proper management of this will help restore employee confidence in the organisation. HR Managers must make sure the HR team is clear on their roles during the restructure.
Of course, an HR Manager’s responsibility during an organisational restructure extends beyond the four we covered. But these four concerns highlight the significance of the role of the HR Manager in an organisation. It is therefore important that HR Managers have the right support system in place (through the right HR tool or the right HR team members) to help them manage the restructure efficiently.
To learn more about the leadership role of HR, refer to our blog on HR as the Revenue Enhancer. Or, if you're reading to dive deeper into how HR software can help you manage a restructure, take a look at these discovery videos.