Employer or small business owner considering a restructuring process? How do you prepare yourself, your people and your organisation to ensure a fair and reasonable outcome for everyone involved?

Our Principal Consultants work closely with employers to ensure their organisation is best placed for the future.

What is a restructure?

Restructuring is a process that an organisation may go through when change is required to improve how it operates.

Organisations may consider restructuring for a number of reasons. The major catalysts are when the business needs to change how the workforce looks because one of the following reasons:

  • there is a sale or transfer of a business (this is classed as a technical restructure and there are)
  • new or improved technology
  • product changes
  • loss of supplier markets
  • change in consumer or market demand
  • financial reasons, i.e. payroll can no longer afford staff often leading to redundancies

How does a restructure look?

Strategic change can result in organisational structure developments such as:

  • creating new roles
  • merging existing roles
  • removing roles / redundancies
  • a combination of the above

The most important things to remember 

  • The restructure needs to be for genuine reasons - people can see through businesses that use the process to remove employees for other reasons. Remember, if you conduct the process unfairly or unreasonably by leaving gaps along the way you could find yourself responding to a personal grievance

  • Always go into the process with an open mind and be willing to consider employee feedback. You may have a predetermined path in mind, however employees will often provide feedback that results in better longterm outcomes for the company so consider their thoughts carefully

  • Avoid personalising the process - what do you require from your people to ensure the business's success and longevity? Organisations will often seek an external consultant to provide objective advice and help deliver a hard message without personal relationships blurring the lines of communication

  • You must follow a fair process whenever you want to make staff redundant.

Who can support me when conducting a restructure and with redundancies?

Some organisations will use a combination of HR consultants and lawyers to support them through a restructure and redundancy process. 

HR consultants tend to be the 'boots on the ground' - guiding businesses through the process - and are usually present during employee meetings. Our consultants are always there alongside the employer during this process. HR consultants also tend to provide cost-effective documentation for the processes. If you have good HR support you may not necessarily need to engage with a lawyer. Call us on (03) 366 4034 to discuss your change management project.

Lawyers provide advice on the legal process that needs to be followed and will often provide support when a personal grievance has been the outcome of the process. Regardless of how robust your restructuring process is, an employee is entitled to challenge it. Employees can and do engage advocates (non-lawyers) or lawyers to challenge processes. It is particularly important that you follow the correct process when this happens; however, it can be prevented by a well-communicated strategy from the outset.

Considering restructuring now or going forward?

If you need to adapt your operating model to a new environment and your people could be affected by this, we highly recommend seeking HR support sooner rather than later to ensure that your business is best prepared and you can provide the best options. 

Who we work with?

If you employ people and need HR support we can help you. We work with organisations in a range of industries including IT, manufacturing, health, agribusiness, engineering etc, along with NFPs and NGOs. View testimonials here.

Helping you with your restructure

Good people, processes, and systems make a critical difference between success and failure. The effectiveness with which organisations manage, develop, plan, motivate, involve, and engage the willing contribution of their people determines how well those organisations perform, and as a result, their profitability and productivity.  

Next steps

Need support with your change management or restructuring process? 

Receive a complimentary 15-minute consultation with one of our principal consultants. Call (03) 366 4034 or email info@eqconsultants.co.nz 

Click here to download a copy of our restructuring guide for employers.

EQ Consultants Restructuring Guide cover