Remote Working. Restructure. Redundancy. The ‘R’ words have taken centre stage this year, but what does it mean for you to restructure your business and how do you manage it?
Many businesses have been forced to look at their internal structure this year in ways they haven’t before. Business owners have identified how some processes are outdated, how areas could become leaner, how management teams may even be ‘bloated’. How do you start this process?
One of the biggest issues business owners have is where to start or what they are allowed to do. Simply put, this is dependent on the current structure of the business and what the change will be.
For example, this could be removing a department, or perhaps removing satellite teams and having a single team with more linear management. This could be for several reasons such as reducing costs or identifying a gap in the business. This key aspect is what you are proposing to change or restructure.
Once you identify what you are aiming to do with the restructure, you need to have a clear idea why. Why is this being proposed? What benefit will it bring? What will be the impacts? The why question will refer you to a key component in your proposal, ‘a genuine ground for redundancy’. This ground could be a lack of work or no work at all. It can also be the decision to move forward with less of a department, team, or even selected role. Or, the proposed restructure could be about changing the whole nature of the business such as moving online, and the need will be to look at skill levels, knowledge, and capability.
Now that you’ve identified your proposal and the rationale for it, the selection of the roles that are being made redundant needs to be your next focus. Let’s say your proposal has identified a need to reorganise two Supervisor roles and one General Manager role into two Assistant Manager roles – who should be at risk?
In line with legislation, all three roles that will cease to exist should be placed ‘at risk of redundancy’. If only two are to go the options here will involve a selection method. The accepted methods in this jurisdiction are length of service (or Last in, First out), a selection matrix, and a selection interview. Identifying how you will select is key in approaching any internal restructure. You need to satisfy the requirement for the redundancy to have genuine grounds as discussed, and fair selection.
Proceeding with the proposal can appear daunting, but the key points mentioned above will help steer the proposal through to the end. You will need to set up consultation meetings with the employees who are placed at risk.
An effective restructure/redundancy process should be as transparent as possible and communicated clearly to all employees during this consultation period. Remember, every employee is entitled to offer alternatives to avoid any redundancies.
Redundancy processes can be complex, but provided there’s a clear rationale for the restructure and a fair selection process for the roles that are made redundant, your business can move on from this tough experience.
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