top of page
  • Writer's pictureLata Hamilton

HOW TO: Get staff to step up during restructures

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

During a restructure staff, almost EXPECT a role - they feel their employment should be guaranteed. Having the right team is critical to meeting your business’s future vision, so today’s video provides three ways to move staff to take responsibility of their own career during times of organisational change. Instead of “waiting” for a role, they’ll start finding the role they truly want, or even creating the role your company needs (which will be essential as automation clears out low-level menial or manual jobs and processes).

I'm Lata Hamilton, Change Leadership and Confidence expert. And this is the 10th article in my 15-part Reimagine Restructures Blog Series.


Restructures are such interesting times, because people's personality and behaviour shift in front of your eyes. Somebody who used to be confident, ambitious, and know what they want, transform to being uncertain, fearful, and disempowered around their career, future, and themselves. A lot of staff going through a restructure become so disempowered that it's almost like they are holding out a beggar bowl and they're going: "Please, please, please give me a role. Don't let me be one of the ones that doesn't have a role anymore. Please, please, please, put one in my hands." Nobody wants to be in a position where they feel like they don't have control over their future, over their livelihood, over their life. 

So today’s inspiring article is filled with approaches and ideas to get your staff taking more ownership and responsibility, and move from "waiting" for a role to "creating" or "finding" opportunities.

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

IDEA #1: Bring in Change

I'm a Change Manager, so, of course, I'm going to advocate that you actually put together a Change Plan to support your restructure - don't be leaving these things to chance. By giving yourself ENOUGH time to properly PLAN out and actually implement your restructure, you’ll be able to identify tools, techniques, opportunities, and support resources that you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to bring in if you’d left it to the last minute. 

I'm passionate about bringing career coaching upfront. Often, what will happen is that the only people who get career support / career coaching are the people on redeployment, who might be losing their roles or going for new roles. However, EVERYBODY is going through the change. So everybody should, or CAN, have the opportunity to use career coaching as a way of identifying for themselves: 

  • what it is that they want

  • how they can get there. 

So bring career coaching up front, and give it to everybody. Allow everybody to have that experience and support because then you’ll have a team of empowered, positive, confident people who are already starting to take ownership from the outset of the process, rather than only at the end. 

IDEA #2: Set timelines, and stick to them

 As part of your Change Program, you can make sure that your people have timelines set for them, too. Everybody will look to you as their leader for the process and timings. But - everybody can also be doing their OWN work as part of their preparation for the change, too. So, set tasks and actions for your people, and actually have them commit to doing things that are supporting their OWN career development, as well. This will shift the dialogue and emphasis from "you leading the change" to "collaborating and partnering with your people through the change." You both have skin in the game. They need to start taking some ownership. They can't always just rely on you to be the one who comes up with all of the answers. 

IDEA #3: Mix it up with roleplay

Finally, try a bit of role-playing. Give people that empowerment upfront as part of the Change Program, not leaving it to the end when they’re forced into a corner of redeployment to start thinking about this. You can do mock CVs or mock interviews, and maybe try role-reversal with them. 

Instead of YOU, the leader, being the one who assesses a CV or is the interviewer - change those roles, turn them on their heads. Be the one who's handing your CV (or a mock CV) to the team member to critique. Would they hire this person? Have them judge and assess whether this person seems like key talent that they'd want to actually keep. And the same with an interview. Give them the opportunity to be the interviewer, and to listen back to, maybe some of the people who are leading the change. Again, it gets them familiar, puts them in a different frame of mind, puts them in a position of empowerment and a position of confidence. They tap into ideas and see things in action, throughout the change, not just at the very end at redeployment when they’re suffering from low self-esteem and confidence. Bring it upfront - opportunities to dabble ALL the way through your Change Program. 

It is really important that all of your staff do take a real leadership role in their own career. There is nobody who is leading their life or living their life, except them. And so they shouldn't be sitting there waiting for everybody else to provide them with the opportunities or answers. But oftentimes, people don't know how to do it on their own. As a leader, you can put them in an environment and create mechanisms for them to learn how to do this for themselves. So that's what a lot of my team training programs are all about.

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.


bottom of page