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Lottie Mayland18 Aug 2020
  • Advice
  • COVID-19

How To Raise Moral During, And After, An Office Restructuring

How to raise moral during, and after, an office restructuring

Despite the initiatives and help from the government, the harsh reality of COVID-19 has been the redundancies that businesses of all shapes and sizes have been forced to make. Making an employee, or group of employees, redundant is never an easy decision to take; not only does it affect the employees whose jobs are at risk but a series of redundancies can also have a huge impact on the morale and motivation of the remaining team, if not a whole company for months after the event. A study by RiseStart found that surviving team members have unique challenges that can hurt their productivity, and 43% of companies are not prepared for the impact*.

If you are a manager who is currently making members of your team redundant and looking for ways to improve the moral in the office after a restructuring process read below for advice and support on how to successfully rebuild and sustain the morale and productivity of your remaining employees across the business.

• Be transparent - ensure everyone understands the selection criteria.

Redundancies inevitable cause uncertainty and anxiety, they tend to increase employees’ levels of stress, burnout, and insecurity and decrease morale, job satisfaction, and trust. The best way to avoid widespread panic during a process of restructuring is to keep your communication lines open and ensure that everyone understands what the selection criteria is based on. At the end of the day restructuring is a business, not a personal, decision and it’s extremely important that this is made clear so that no one feels targeted or unfairly chosen. Publish the notes from all restructuring meetings and ensure that you have frequent open forums where employees can voice their apprehensions, ask questions and generally feel as though their concerns are appreciated and heard.

• Offer an enhanced redundancy package including recruitment services.

When working in a close office environment many of your employees will class their colleagues as friends and socialise outside of the workplace. Experiencing a friend, or number of friends, being made redundant can be a harsh blow to the morale and productivity of the rest of the team. However, if you can show that you are looking after the redundant employees and are actively helping them to secure another job then it’s likely your remaining workforce will continue to respect you and the company, encouraging them to remain productive and hard working. At Anderson Hoare we have been the recruitment partner of choice for a number of companies that are going through restructuring, offering a service that can help redundant employees enormously. Not only can we help them secure a new role through our recruitment service but we can also offer training and mentor programs, working with them to improve their employability and hone their skill sets. Ensuring that your remaining employees know this is happening and see that you care about the long term livlihoods of those that have been made redundant will help avoid a drop in productivity and morale.

• Reassure remaining employees – including addressing concerns about an increases in workload.

A period of restructuring causes uncertainty for everyone involved, and for those that are left it’s extremely important that they know they won’t be expected to take on the work of anyone who has left. Reassure your team that their roles have not been negatively impacted and ensure that they understand that they will not be expected to take on additional work.

• Communicate the positives of an office restructuring.

An office restructuring can actually have a positive impact on the employees that remain at the company and it’s important that you make sure your remaining employees understand this. A reduced workforce could mean there are now more opportunities for fast-track promotions, internal job moves, flexible working and enhanced employee benefits. Make sure that your remaining employees understand this – talk to them individually about their career plans and organise social and team building events to ensure that these employees know they are valued and that their career progression is still extremely important and won’t be affected negatively by the restructuring. Everyone loves to hear they are doing well so be sure to celebrate everyone who remains collectively and individually.

In conclusion, when making redundancies a clear, open communication strategy is clear. By setting this out from the beginning you’ll help everyone understand the reasoning behind the layoffs which will help avoid uncertainty and anxiety among those that are left. By continuing to talk to, encourage and celebrate the employees that remain once the process is over you will help them feel safe, secure and motivated in their roles.

* https://www.fastcompany.com/40531796/take-these-steps-to-boost-morale-after-layoffs