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  • Writer's pictureLata Hamilton

HOW TO: Engage teams during restructures

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

During a restructure, staff will look to their leader to guide them through the transition. But let's face it - this can be tough! Learn how to grow your confidence and your credibility through the restructure process to keep the morale and positivity of your people up during this challenging time.

Today’s article is for anybody who might be a business leader, HR Manager, Change Manager, Project Manager who might be going through organisational change or leading organisational change, whether that's an operating model change or just a team reshuffle. 

I'm Lata Hamilton, Change Leadership and Confidence expert. And this is the fifth article in my 15-part Reimagine Restructures Blog Series. So here’s three ideas for you to keep engagement high during restructures, given that it’s such a time of uncertainty. These tools and techniques have more of a coaching and NLP kind of vibe to them, and you can use and harness them in your next organisational change.

Prefer to watch the 5 minute video? Jump over to my Youtube Channel.

IDEA #1: Set that vision

So the first tool or technique is a very, very coaching technique. It is to build a vision. And this vision really needs to bring it back to them. So it's about getting your people who are impacted, whether it's a team, a department, or even your whole company, involved in what that future vision looks like. 

Running a team visioning exercise or even a potentially a program, if it is quite a big change for you, to get their:

  • Thoughts

  • Insights

  • Buy-in

on what they think that the future could, or should, look like. 

And by getting them engaged upfront around that future vision, it means that they've got a marker or signpost on what the future is going to look like. Better yet, because they've had a hand in it, there'll be more engagement and buy-in, because they helped set the path that they are going to be going on. 

team hugging

IDEA #2: Anchor positive memories

For a lot of people they start to think about the "end" when it comes to restructures. They start to think about: "What happens if I don't have this company anymore? What happens if I lose my job and I've got to leave?" So instead of letting them catastrophise about the end, take them back to a time when they were really excited, motivated, happy, and positive about the company. Take them back to the start! 

Have them do an exercise where they remember back to what attracted them to this particular company in the first place. Whatever it is for them is absolutely perfect. 

Whether what switched them on was:

  • the company

  • the products

  • the role itself

Getting them to think back to what made them apply for that role or brought them to the company in the first place, because that would have been a time that was really positive for them, a time of high excitement, and at a time of probably a lot of pride, as well, in securing a role with your company. 

IDEA #3: Make it personal

The third thing you can do is get people to bring it back to them. Get them to link the company vision to their own personal vision, their own life vision - what it is that they want to get out of their life. And it'll do 2 things:

  1. It will either remind people how committed they are to staying with the company because they really do love it, and they can see such synergy between what the company is looking to achieve, and what they really want to achieve and experience out of their life. 

  2. And it might also work in another way, too, because you might also have some people who start to realise that maybe the company is heading in a direction that they don't want for themselves, and that there's a little bit of a clash and an incongruence between those two things. 

Maybe up until now they haven't seen that for themselves, but now because of this change, and because you're taking them through this process, they can start to see for themselves that maybe your organisation might not actually be the right place for them at this particular time in their life, or to achieve the particular things that they want to get out of their life. And if they can get there on their own, it means that it'll really shift that stress, that fear, that anxiety that might be coming up for them. Because actually they'll realise that: maybe this is an opportunity for them and a blessing in disguise.

To summarise...

 So those are three ideas that I have for you around keeping engagement high during the real period of flux and uncertainty, that is - restructures:

  1. Have the team contribute to a future vision

  2. Remind people what brought them to this company in the first place

  3. Get them to connect their personal career and life goals to the company vision

I'm Lata Hamilton - the Founder & CEO of Passion Pioneers, a Change Management consultancy specialising in digital transformation, operating model changes, and new ways of working and leadership.

Grab my free Creative Launch Ideas Guide with 53 ways to bring your next Change and Transformation to life - download it here.

And if you'd like my help with your next change or building leadership capability for your team, get in touch with me here.


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