Humans are hardwired to be cautious of change. No matter how positively it’s presented and no matter what rewards await.
History is littered with examples of people willing to risk their livelihood and even their liberty to actively resist progress.
You may not have Luddites in your company, but you will have staff who are easily unsettled by any form or degree of restructuring. In some cases, you may need to be ready for some employees to “jump ship” rather than change course.
Company growth pains
One study found that there is no clear difference in staff motivation and moral if the restructuring involves redundancies or not.
There is a lot to consider when planning and orchestrating a major cost cutting exercise, or you are centralising or decentralising business functions, delayering or making performance improvements to explore new markets.
The Financial Director and Financial Manager have some onerous decisions to make even if the restructuring is an exciting and potentially profitable exercise.
But on the “to do list” should always be measures to underpin staff wellbeing. Long-term they may buy in, but change is hard to face.
For some companies, this can mean carrying out “binding” projects, building resilience and confidence in staff teams from the outset.
This could even mean introducing specialist interim executives with strong credentials. This provides extra reassurance that change is in safe hands and all is being done to ensure a smooth transition.
Communications for change
Research has shown that one of the biggest failings – which unsettles people throughout the chain of command – is clear communication. In some cases, the decisions made in the boardroom don’t inform or support even the management team. The inability to share vision and values can trip up even the most ambitious company restructuring.
The same applies to listening skills. One of the most cited reasons for resignations at times of pressure is feeling undervalued or ignored.
Loss is inevitable, but gaps aren’t
However, no matter how prepared and in-tune you are when facing company-wide change and periods of rapid growth, management must be “armed and ready” for inevitable resignations.
An unsettled period of company history can tip some people out of their comfort zone. If they are protective of their role and responsibilities, even changing their job title or amending their remit can be viewed as a personal attack. Buy-in to even the most positive growth plans is not a sure thing.
It means that when laying the ground for any form of restructuring, alongside protecting the inclusion and wellbeing of existing staff, you also must be ready to swiftly and seamlessly fill key roles.
If you lost a senior executive with a pivotal role in the change process, the whole project can be derailed or financial upheaval could be far more acute.
Also, one of the keys to success in any period of change for a company is keeping a tight control on each measured step, and guiding rather than forcing the pace. For some firms, this may mean bringing functions in-house that were previously outsourced.
Having an in-house day-to-day grip on accounts and cash forecasting can underpin restructuring far better than remote third parties even in the digital age. This could mean adding extra interim staff in accountancy teams to create strength and specialist insights.
Contact the team at BTG Recruitment to discuss interim financial and accountancy personnel to make your sure that resignations don’t put cracks in your restructuring.
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