Restructure – It’s not a dirty word

For many employees, hearing the word ‘restructure’ sends instant chills down their spine. Redundancy is what they hear.

For business owners or senior managers, the word ‘restructure’ is something that happens only when the business is performing badly. Most see it as the beginning of the end.

It doesn’t have to be this way, let me tell you why.

Put simply, restructuring is changing the current structure to more logically align people to reflect the business operations, the market or relevant focus areas. In business, we are becoming accustomed to creating and regularly reviewing strategy and setting goals. When strategy changes, it may be that structure, roles and outcomes should be realigned accordingly. Change is fast becoming the new normal, so reviewing the structure and making sure it is ‘fit for change’ will go a long way to set you up for the future and apart from your competitors.

Those who are “fit for change” are less likely to have their employees or managers fear the word “restructure” and see it as an important part of the business cycle.

Reviewing and revitalising the structure does not always mean removing roles from the business, in fact quite the contrary.

Think about the roles in your business now compared to 10-15 years ago. I may be showing my age, but who would have thought that having a Social Media specialist or data mining analyst on your team would have been a thing?

Reviewing the roles in the structure and considering how to logically organise those existing as well as considering what roles may be required in the future is critical to stay relevant in such a dynamic time for businesses.

Restructuring is a positive process that a business goes through to make sure their structure reflects their strategy and priority areas. Essentially reviewing the structure simply means making sure people are organised in a way that is both logical, efficient and reinforces the purpose of the business. In small to medium businesses, a restructure is often about organising leadership and streamlining overly complex processes to ensure accountability and role clarity.

An effective structure simplifies complexity, organises people around value, is scalable, promotes learning and development and encourages a external focus.

Signs your business is ready for a restructure?

  • Customer needs are changing
  • Industry is changing
  • Workarounds and inefficiencies are becoming cumbersome
  • Staff claim to be overworked
  • Significant growth, needing to add resources but don’t know where
  • Managers with too many direct reports


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