How to Keep Good Staff During a Restructure
Due to the rapidly changing global economic environment, many companies are faced with having to restructure their organisation.
Often these restructuring measures are made with only the financial bottom line in mind, without taking into consideration other aspects of corporate strategy. As a result, restructuring initiatives often lead to large numbers of employees being made redundant.
But instead, it may be beneficial to choose alternative options, such as making use of the employees in other areas. The advantage of this approach is that the organisation can retain highly skilled and experienced employees, who are already familiar with the ins and outs of the business.
Another benefit of this approach is that staff members who agree to undergo redeployment and re-training, are often highly motivated and loyal to the company. Clearly, this is the kind of human capital that should not be wasted easily.
However, successful redeployment can be very challenging, as it requires open-mindedness and effective communication by all parties involved.
Employees that are affected by restructuring measures must be alerted in time and introduced to other opportunities within the organisation. In addition, they must agree to the change, and undergo the necessary training and qualification steps.
Here are 5 tips to help you succeed in redeployment:
1. Strong leadership
Due to the challenging nature of redeployment, it requires strong leadership for successful implementation.
Redeployment can be emotionally difficult for the employees that are affected. Good leaders can make it easier by helping their employees understand how much they are appreciated, and by letting them know that the company is interested in keeping them in the organisation, but in a different capacity.
At the same time, if some employees don’t want to be redeployed, and fail to cooperate with the required steps, the leadership must be firm in directing them towards redundancy. There is no benefit in holding on to employees if there isn’t a strong desire to make it work on both sides.
2. Communicate clearly
Employees should be informed of the restructuring measures as early as possible. They then need to be educated about their redeployment options, and how the redeployment process is going to work, step by step.
The better the communication right from the start, the more smoothly the redeployment process will happen later on because everyone is on the same page.
In addition, being crystal clear in your communication will serve you much more than making vague promises that have to be revised later on.
3. Set up a consistent redeployment process
In order to be consistent across your whole organisation, it’s important to set up guidelines and documentation about the scope and implementation of redeployment.
The clearer you are in defining the aims, methods, and specific steps of the redeployment process, the easier it becomes to communicate them clearly to your employees and to lead them effectively to the transition.
This will also help you to brief others who are involved in managing the redeployment process, and as a result, the message broadcast by all levels of leadership will be consistent.
4. Support your employees during the process
When employees learn that their role is no longer required, this is always a highly stressful experience, eroding their confidence. So, the first step is to support them emotionally during this phase.
Next, it’s important to continue supporting your employees by identifying their skills and experience, as this is what makes them valuable to your organisation. This step will also help them regain their confidence, which is absolutely necessary in order to become successfully trained for their new role.
The better you support your staff during these steps, the more you will secure their goodwill, which goes a long way towards making redeployment successful.
5. Create relevant alternative roles
The whole redeployment process only makes sense if you actually have alternative roles on hand that fit with the skillset and experience of the affected employees.
Sometimes these roles don’t exist and have to be created before embarking on redeployment. If re-staffing is necessary due to the implementation of new technology (such as robotics automation), it’s sometimes possible to create new roles that are complementary to the old roles of the staff being redeployed.
This would be an ideal scenario, in which redeployed employees can build on their previous skills and experience, combined with additional training.
In cases where this is not possible, you’ll have to find a way to transfer the affected employees into very different activities, which is obviously much harder.
The strategic value of redeployment is becoming increasingly clear to many corporate leaders since it’s a great way to retain highly skilled and loyal staff within the organisation. But in order to be successful, redeployment must be carefully planned and implemented.
As redeployment becomes a more common part of corporate strategy, it’s likely we’ll see the creation of entire new careers, job titles, and departments that are specialised in ensuring the success of redeployment projects.