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Restructuring Your Organization? Your Checklist for Success

Restructuring entails substantial changes in an organization’s processes, roles, and direction. These changes can yield positive and negative effects on various stakeholders, potentially impacting the company’s reputation. Restructuring can evoke uncertainty and anxiety among employees.

That’s why it’s important to take some specific steps which help the process to run as smoothly as possible. Follow this comprehensive checklist – with advice for before, during, and after your restructuring efforts – to help boost the effectiveness and success of the process.

Before Restructuring

  • Plan accordingly: First, develop a comprehensive communication strategy that outlines the objectives, target audiences, messaging, channels and timing for each phase of the restructuring process. Remember that different employee groups may be affected differently by the restructuring. Tailor your communication to address their specific concerns and needs.
  • Be transparent: Trust is crucial during times of change, so be transparent about the reasons for the restructuring, the goals, the potential impact on individuals and teams, the process and decisions and the expected outcomes. Inform employees as soon as possible about the impending changes to give them time to process the information and ask questions. Hiding information or providing incomplete details can lead to mistrust and speculation. Take the legal requirements of the restructuring process into account too.
  • Mobilize managers and employees: Ensure that managers at all levels are equipped with accurate information and can effectively communicate the rationale behind the restructuring. This helps ensure that the message is consistent throughout the organization and towards external stakeholders. Additionally, if possible, nominate certain employees as ‘fire spotters’ – they can gather insights, address concerns, and provide their feedback during the process.

During Restructuring

  • Communicate clearly and frequently: Clearly explain why the restructuring is necessary and communicate how it fits into the organization’s long-term vision and growth strategy. It can be helpful to emphasize employees’ opportunities for growth, skill development, and contributions to the organization’s future success. You should also maintain a regular cadence of communication and activities to keep employees informed and engaged about the progress of the restructuring.
  • Facilitate two-way communication: Provide channels for employees to ask questions, express concerns, and provide ongoing feedback during the restructuring process. Use this feedback to adjust communication strategies and address emerging issues.
  • Train and coach: Offer resources such as coaching and training for employees with high-value or external-facing roles. Consider updating their media training knowledge, for example, and equip them with the tools they need to tell the restructuring story internally and externally. You may also run workshops to help employees cope with the changes and acquire new skills if necessary.

After Restructuring

  • Reinforce the future vision: Continue to communicate the new vision, goals, and values of the restructured organization to help employees understand the direction and purpose moving forward.
  • Maintain a regular cadence of updates: Don’t let your employees feel abandoned or confused by a sudden lack of communication after the restructuring. Continue to communicate progress and address any ongoing concerns.
  • Recognize accomplishments: Acknowledge and celebrate milestones and achievements that result from the restructuring. This can boost morale and help employees see the positive outcome.

Christel Van Litsenborgh


Christel Van Litsenborgh

Expert in Internal & Change Communication