Why Communication Matters During a Restructuring

ChelseaWilliams
By Chelsea Williams
Senior Copywriter
Apr 19 2023 read
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Knowledge Exchange is a weekly series of educational articles that we encourage you to share and discuss with your colleagues and network. This month, we’re offering advice for enduring common business changes.

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” - Deepak Chopra

Restructuring a business has traditionally been a last resort. It’s not something most stakeholders look forward to.

Still, a forced restructuring could happen as a result of a merger or acquisition, new leadership, cost-cutting efforts or some other reason. And while the trek through this period may be unpleasant, there is hope of improving, not to mention saving, the business — if you apply one core element well. 

Proper communication separates a successfully restructured business from the pool of unsuccessful ones. 

Let’s talk about why this is the case and how to engage with staff no matter your role in a restructure.

A Potent Layer of Truth

To effectively communicate is to be open, real and straightforward. When you open lines of communication, the recipient of your message feels consideration and support behind the words.

In business, this human element can have a huge influence, especially when you’re in the midst of major change. A restructuring, usually fraught with apprehension, can go in a completely different direction with proper communication as a key player. 

Be Thoughtful About Strategy 

Candid conversations among leaders lay the foundation for organizational integrity. The first opportunity to communicate is once the decision has been made to restructure but before your team has taken any action. 

This is an important moment to build trust and reacquaint yourself and your colleagues with your business strategy. Restructuring can’t make up for a lack of clear direction. If anything, it will highlight how aimless a business was before.

Instead of making impulsive moves, look back and consider what you did or didn’t do that brought you to this moment. What needs to take place, and what strengths can you leverage as you prepare to encounter pain points?

Using data like the real-time utilization and profitability reports you have at your fingertips in Accelo is crucial to carefully consider and determine what you need more or less of. This way, you’ll avoid across-the-board cuts or unjustified role modifications. 

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence — it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” - Peter Drucker 

READ NEXT: Stop Playing Telephone With Your Team — Use These Strategies

Get Everyone on Board

Historically, organizational restructuring has only been successful when leaders have gotten employee buy-in. But it’s not just about convincing employees that the upcoming changes are necessary and good for the health of the business — it’s how you do so.

It’s almost inevitable that some people will be negatively affected by a restructuring, especially if there will be layoffs. A level of transparency about difficult topics is not just about telling the truth but about delivering the news with genuine, compassionate intent.

Those who will be staying with the organization also need time to process the potential effects. Initially, they may be in a fearful state of mind. When people are fearful, they won’t be able to contribute to the best of their abilities. Give as much warning as possible about new roles and responsibilities, and allow ample space for them to process.

➡️ If you’re an individual contributor whose leaders are making an effort at open communication, it’s just as crucial for you to reciprocate in kind — for your own sake and the company’s. Let your manager know what you’re worried about. The more straightforward you are with your concerns, the more likely you’ll be to get answers that alleviate your stress. Your teammates will also benefit.

“Organizations are communities of human beings, not collections of human resources.” - Henry Mintzberg

Echo the Change Horizontally

Communication is relatively simple, but the nitty-gritty of a restructure can get quite complex. In many traditionally structured businesses, there’s a tendency to disseminate information and news from the top down. 

However, it isn’t enough to let changes roll downhill and hope for the best. A singular focus on vertical reorganization doesn’t correct intra- or cross-departmental dysfunction.

Instead, teams need to identify bottlenecks that could hinder the positive effects of change. Team leads and managers will be best at picking out what’s stopping their teams from performing efficiently. Spread information, invite input and remove roadblocks horizontally to ensure restructuring has a more meaningful and immediate impact.

“I find that when you open the door toward openness and transparency, a lot of people will follow you through.” - Kirsten Gillibrand 

Achieve Transparency via Technology

Providing a level of transparency about restructuring requires direct and frequent communication. This is part of a larger goal to create a trusting company culture, which supports employees through future business changes. 

And that can be achieved with very little manual effort via a software license. 

Accelo users have consistent access to a centralized visibility tool: a platform that offers custom automation and houses all records of internal and external communication, project work, sales history and more in one place. In other words, they have the ability to provide transparency about the critical details of client work to every member of their organization. Communicating changes to clients is just as easy thanks to Accelo’s convenient templates.

Before making a communication plan for your restructuring, explore how easy it could be with the help of a tech-forward partner.

Think your colleagues would find this article valuable? Head over to LinkedIn to share and discuss the changes impacting your business.

Start a free trial or sign up for a demo to learn how Accelo can get your team ready for what’s to come.

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About the Author

ChelseaWilliams

Chelsea Williams is Senior Copywriter at Accelo, where she shares unique insights with service professionals and tells user stories via blogs, eBooks, industry reports and more. She has over 15 years of B2B and B2C writing experience — primarily in tech, sales, education and healthcare. Chelsea is an AWAI-certified Master Copywriter trained in brand storytelling and microcopy.

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