Written By Katy Marshall.

The current pandemic has had a significant financial impact on most businesses in the UK. Because of this many organisations are having to face up to the reality of re-configuring and restructuring their operating structures. In this article we talk a little about some of the most important considerations and challenges when restructuring your business.

Organisational design

The first step in any restructure is to plan what the new organisation will look like. Should there be a top down or bottom up approach? Either way the resulting Organisational structure must link to organisational strategy and have delivery of that strategy as its purpose. We suggest conducting a human capital audit to map deliverables against head count. Significant time and angst can be saved in the long run by considering all aspects at this early stage, particularly those legal elements, before they become a problem. Our organisational charting software Orbit Org can help you plan your Organisational structures and reporting lines at the click of a mouse. Orbit links to our pay benchmarking and job evaluation software, so you can quickly assess the impact of your restructure.


Restructuring or reconfiguring the organisation may mean that redundancies need to be made. With redundancies comes the potential for risk. Specialist advice should be sought to minimise risk, on issues like the pool for selection, selection criteria and any alternative work. Care should be taken not to directly or indirectly discriminate on the grounds of any protected characteristics in these circumstances and selection criteria should be as objective as possible – e.g. performance ratings (if they exist), disciplinary records, attendance records (although not including pregnancy related absences or in some cases, disability related absences). Proper consultation must ensue and if necessary with unions or employee rep groups in the case of collective redundancies (20 or over). Affected staff should be matched into appropriate roles and a process should be designed to do this objectively and systematically. There is a lot to consider!

Engagement and employee relations

Restructure = change. With change, unsettlement and disengagement comes. Key to avoiding this is communication. Communicating the right information at the right time is critical. Finding the right message – anticipating the hot spots and barriers and ensuring the right communication goes to those barriers. Bringing on board ‘champions’ can help with implementation. Finding the right people to champion the change and giving them the tools to promote the changes. Being sensitive to any ER issues that result from the changes while still being confident and proactive with implementation. Balancing determination and being able to challenge and overcome obstacles whilst also being sensitive to feedback and listening to opinions from all areas from is difficult but necessary. 

Change management

There are many theories around Organsational change, however in our experience there are some key steps to successful change management. First creating some urgency and reasoning for making the change. Next decide who will manage the change, creating a team who are motivated to deliver it with clear roles and accountabilities. Create a vision of what the new landscape will look like. Communicate that vision to the rest of the organisation in a planned manner. Ensure you communicate with the right people and ask for views where appropriate. You must also remove obstacles to the change. Try to engage the disengaged but it is also important to recognise that some people will not flex to the new ways of working. Think about how re-deployment might help, but if it can’t, difficult decisions may be required. Remember to go for quick wins where possible – these create good news stories that are useful to communicate to the wider organisation. Recognise that different stakeholders have different priorities; ensure you understand those priorities and try to find a win for each group to keep satisfaction levels high in all corners. Then, let the change mature – don’t declare victory too early, ensure there is good integration before you take that well-earned holiday. Ensure there is a system in place for monitoring compliance with the change and, where there are examples of people reverting to the old way of working, address the issue immediately and ensure that the right approach is taken in future. Planning the implementation of change is vital.

At Turning Point HR we can support you with any aspect of your reorganisation or restructure. We can offer advice, help you plan the process and support implementation. We also have software that can assist with the process. 

We offer expert support in developing and delivering strategies that get the best possible performance from your employees and shape your organisation’s culture for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. We do this by genuinely working in partnership with you and offering a bespoke design and delivery solution for your business.

Some of our specific services are:

  • Organisational culture diagnostics and change management
  • Leadership and management development
  • Team development
  • Performance management
  • Talent development 
  • Advice on flexible working to enhance effectiveness and efficiency 
  • Project management, planning and delivery

Get in touch with us now to find out more!