Implementing change as a leader

Picture the scene, you go to bed at night, and everything is as it should be. 

When you wake up the next morning, your bed is facing the wrong way, the food in your kitchen cupboards has been moved round, your favourite toilet paper has been changed for that scratchy stuff like tracing paper and the dog is now a cat. 

How do you feel? Pretty confused right, and yet this is what it can feel like as an employee when the bosses decide to restructure – suddenly everything is wrong, confusing, and often worrying.

More and more businesses have been forced to look at restructuring, sometimes having to make difficult choices about cuts and redundancies. 

So how can you handle restructure in a way that doesn’t leave everyone feeling disorientated?

Direction comes from the top. You need a sound business case that the management team fully understands, so that everyone delivers the same consistent message. Keep it honest and realistic. 

Plan your restructure carefully, think about everyone the changes will affect (not just those directly affected by a change in hours or a redundancy), and the difficulties that may be faced.

Communication is key – anxiety amongst your team will lower productivity, so don’t allow fear to fester. Keep everyone informed as to what is changing (the why, the what and the when), the sooner you can do this the better as your team will need time to process the changes.

Lastly, get good HR advice about the processes you need to follow to handle restructure and redundancy fairly and consistently.

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