Four tips for restructures

by Cameron Edmond31 Jan 2014
Game company Zynga has announced that it would lay off roughly 15% of its workforce, or 314 employees, Business Insider reported.

The news comes at a time when other organisations are experiencing restructures and mass layoffs. Hale Global, having just acquired news network Patch, announced a layoff of as much as two-thirds of the organisation’s editorial staff, altering the business model from one of news reporting to news aggregation.

Earlier this month, HC reported on Qantas terminating 300 staff.

While these massive firings following restructures or other events are saddening, the world of business is one of volatility, and so sometimes these situations are unavoidable. How can HR ensure they do the right thing, and the remaining staff are supported?

Key HR takeaways
Employment specialists Randstad stated that the way managers approach the situation can greatly impact the organisation’s reputation, as well as the wellbeing of those let go and those left behind. Randstand provided a checklist for dealing with these situations:
  • Prepare for the reactions you may receive
    Employees being let go or kept on will have questions, perhaps even before the restructure is formally announced. Planning your answers ahead of time to possible questions can allow you to make sure your responses are clear and consistent.
  • Take advice
    It’s important to take advice from those who have been there before. Outplacement services should also be considered, as they can provide advice on the best way to deliver the message through tried and true techniques.
  • Have an outplacement consultant or business coach onsite
    While many HR professionals will have some experience with making people redundant, it can still be a daunting task – especially if on a broad scale. As such, having a consultant with you to help support all parties involved is a good idea. The consultants and coaches can also offer career transition coaching to the employees, driving home to all that the organisation cares about its staff.
  • Provide ongoing support
    This is simply understanding that the meeting in which a staff member is made redundant is not the end of the issue. Coping mechanisms may begin to falter afterwards, and HR needs to be aware that an employee’s last two weeks may be the hardest. You must therefore be willing to provide ongoing support to ensure they are processing the news in a healthy way.
Have you dealt with mass restructures in your career? How did you work through it?



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