HR Blog - HR Best Practice, Thought Leadership and HR Technology Updates

Brought to you by Cloud HR Software experts

Roadmap For HR Managers in an Organisational Restructure

Posted by Mathew French

31 August 2017

We're currently doing 2017 edits of some of our most popular Blog posts. Back in 2014 we published 'Key Concerns for HR Managers in an Organisational Restructure, and it still gets a significant number of views every month. However, the business landscape has shifted quite significantly in the last 3 years, so we figured it was time for an update. After all, as the disruption from AI, robotics and other upheaval transforms the way we work, having some sound restructure foundations to guide your process will become more essential than ever.

To make your organisational restructure process successful, your business will need a clearly articulate vision. It is also essential that you take well considered care of the human aspect of the restructure process (knowledge and motivation). It is critical that you have sufficient resources available for the restructure project (including time for the leadership team to work on the project without having to worry about the day-to-day), plus a realistic and actionable plan for the implementation of your project.

Below is an the outline of an excellent approach to project planning and execution courtesy of Expert360. This type of iterative approach aligns with the lean methodology and is an optimal way to test your business transformation theories in multiple short sprints.

Actionable Steps For The Restructuring Process

1. Planning Phase

  • Set your SMART objectives, calculate the ROI you're aiming for: restructuring your business only makes sense if your profitability and market position are improved.

  • Build a restructure budget: without a sufficient project budget, your restructure will not succeed.

  • Internal communication to gain team’s support & give/get ongoing feedback: this is how you build the right culture for your new organisational structure. Get this right and the rest of your job becomes exponentially easier.

  • Choose your Project team: make sure it is both cross-functional and includes employees from all of your locations. Your project team should include all key people who are needed to make the project successful.

  • Nominate only one fully dedicated project manager/coordinator: “shared” responsibility does not work in restructuring.

  • Nominate one “sponsor” from the senior management team who will support the process: without support from the top, the restructure will be more difficult than necessary. Buy-in from all levels within your business is essentials, but without leadership buy-in, you will be doomed to failure.

  • Project management tools and procedures in place: project management tools should be used, especially in complex projects. You're going to need a toolkit that will set your project up for success. 

2. Implementation Test Phase

  • Test phase: Small-scale tests are needed to avoid a risk of big and costly mistakes affecting the whole organisation.

3. Measurement & Analysis of Test Phase

  • Measurement of results against SMART objectives: tracking your performance against your objectives enables you to see how close you are to each of them throughout each iteration of the project.

  • Corrections of initial plans, if necessary: starting in smaller test groups, and testing your process for gaps / issues / errors enables you to pivot and improve so that you get it right before you take the process to your entire organisation.

This is the most important part of restructuring process in its implementation phase. If a test is not successful, the whole restructuring is in danger.

4. Full Rollout 

  • Measurement of results against SMART objectives: how close to your restructure objectives did your full roll-out get? Full reporting means that you have a record of your process and your success, so that next time you embark on a project of any kind, you have a roadmap for success.

  • Corrections to implementation: this is your opportunity to recommend any final tweaks to your process.

5. Typical Mistakes in Planning and Implementation of Restructuring Process

  • Insufficient internal communication destabilises the organisation too much during the process.

  • Limited co-ownership of the project at all organisational levels negatively affects the implementation.

  • Your restructure is not built upon the foundation of your strategy.

Restructuring Cycle Image.png

Additional Considerations

As part of the above process, it would be great for you to also consider the following additional points to ensure that nothing slips between the cracks and your project is set up for success.

1. Communicate ‘Why’ as well as ‘What’

  • Your most important assets need to understand the 'why' behind your restructure, otherwise they might just see it as an unnecessary disruption to their lives.

  • Help your people to visualise the future you're all working towards, not just the here and now. 

2. Give Your Leadership and Management Teams the Support and Skills They Need to Succeed

  • It is essential that your senior people support the restructure in both words AND actions.

  • Support managers with briefing notes, coaching and training so they can reinforce the formal messages, rather than contradict them. At all times, remember the importance of transparency to a healthy workplace.

3. Shape Your Future Culture

  • The culture of your restructured organisation will be shaped by the behaviours that are accepted, celebrated and rewarded - which will serve to reinforce 'how we do things around here.' Your performance management solution, will help you communicate and manage the culture you are aspiring to create.

4. Prepare Your People For Difficult Decisions

  • It is essential for you to circumvent the office politics that inevitably arise around senior or long-serving employees, existing agreements with trades unions and expensive compensation precedents set during previous restructures.

5. Keep the Right People 

  • Focus on keeping the right people within your business, as much as streamlining your expenses. Given the fluid and fast-changing nature of the future of work, careful consideration must be given to the right fit and mix of people you will need in your future.

6. Celebrate Your Success and Say Goodbye in a way That Builds Instead of Burning Bridges

  • How you help place people that you're letting go in new jobs is an important part of your restructuring equation. This enhances your relationship instead of harming it.

  • Celebrating the success of your newly restructured business and acknowledging all that good work done along the way is also critical.

  • Encouraging constructive, on-going, real-time feedback also helps you build a cohesive team well into the future.

Do You Have The Tools You Need to Manage an Organisational Restructure?

If you've been called on to re-shape your workforce recently, then you know how important it is to be able to provide accurate, real-time data so that you and your leadership team can make informed decisions about how to best restructure your business. If you don't already have them, here's a list of just some of the data points and reporting you can access quickly and easily through HR Software:

If you're struggling to keep up with all the tasks and processes you need to complete within your organisation, or if you're still doing them manually, the good news is it doesn't need to be that way. Watch the video below to discover more about how configurable HR software can benefit your business. Find out about the role widgets, wizards, permissions and APPs can play in bending your HR software to your will.


Like what you saw in the video. Want it for your business? Get started by requesting a demonstration.

Request A Demo

Image credit: image courtesy of Expert360.

Topics: performance management, organisational restructure, Performance Management Software

Request a Demo