There is constant innovation and change in modern business. Change in the business world comes in many forms, which includes organizational restructuring. The mere utterance of these words in the business environment rouses feelings of instability and curiosity that is often translated into stress. Reducing the amount of stress that employees feel during a time of restructuring is the mark not only of a good manager, but a great person.
Release information on a need-to-know basis. Stirring the hornet’s nest will only cause elevated emotion. When you are notifying the employees of imminent changes, try to work as close to the realm of sureties as possible; in other words don't offer them your speculations. Providing less time for the mind to worry will also reduce the toll stress will take on employees.
Inquire about compromises. If you are in a position to affect change with those who have the final say in the restructure, then finding out what decisions can be compromised on will be helpful. This will take a bit of creative thinking, but the result may be far more beneficial for everyone. Saving a position while reducing pay slightly for everyone may be a preferable compromise for instance. Including your employees in these matters can produce a better outcome that is more widely accepted.
Give employees room to vent. Even when you do your best to try to reduce stress, the fact remains that there will always be a certain amount of tension during organizational restructuring. Maintain an open door policy that will allow employees to vent their frustrations. Hold a meeting in which you give everyone the opportunity to voice concerns. Sometimes just being there to listen to their concerns can make all the difference.
Offer encouragement and transparency. Take extra time to let the employees know that you appreciate their hard work. Even though this will not take the entire sting out of a layoff situation, the employees will at least feel like they are recognized for a job well done. If you are powerless in a decision that will adversely affect an employee, letting her know that the decision was out of your control may help.
Accommodate reasonable requests. After employees are alerted of organizational restructuring, many will want to test the job market for possibilities. During normal circumstances this is usually frowned upon, but during these times a more lenient approach is necessary. Offering recommendations to displaced employees can help make decisions with the restructuring easier and allow them to operate with less worry.
- Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images