94% of executives believe that culture has a significant impact on business success. Yet, in the midst of reorganizing, many forget to consider morale as they’re implementing broad, often stressful changes. This can erode some of the benefits of the initiative by hurting employee engagement and productivity.
Culture is the fuel that keeps your team motivated and connected. Without it, collaboration suffers, so it’s critical to keep it alive through major organizational changes.
To support your company’s culture during a reorganization, you need to align your strategic objectives with your employees’ best interests and the best parts of your norms.
Keep Your Mission at the Heart of Your Reorganization
According to a McKinsey survey, the number one reason that reorganizations fail is resistance from employees. Employees resist change because they fear the outcomes will result in negative consequences either directly via layoffs and indirectly, by making it harder for them to be successful.
These fears are valid, given that many reorganizations are based purely on financial goals without regard to employee well-being.
If you want your positive culture to survive your change plans, you need to show your employees that it’s in their best interest. The easiest and most authentic way to do that is to keep your company mission at the heart of your plans. Aligning all of your decisions with your core values, lets you share a vision of collectively evolving for the greater good instead of just cold financial metrics.
Continually returning to your mission at every stage of your reorganization will rally your employees around the positive changes and help your culture emerge stronger than before.
Learn More: How to Improve Company Culture During a Crisis
Be Proactively Transparent
The foundation of positive company cultures is mutual trust that everyone is committed to a common goal. If rolled out too hastily or without regard for employee opinions, reorganizations can crack your foundation by giving employees lots of reasons to doubt your intentions.
To sustain your employees’ bonds, leadership, and each other, you need to take proactive steps to retain their trust. Studies show that the most effective way to do that is to be proactively transparent.
There are many ways to do this, including:
- Notifying your team well in advance about upcoming changes so that they’re not surprised
- Involving employees in decision making, so they get their voices heard and understand the factors you’re considering
- Explaining the full intended outcomes of decisions, so your team doesn’t have to guess
Being proactively transparent will fuel your culture by encouraging the kinds of collaborative dialogue that fosters relationships and gives employees a sense of ownership in the company’s direction.
Restructure Job Roles to Focus on High ROI Activities
One of the biggest concerns that employees have during reorgs is becoming redundant. If this fear grows unchecked, it can cause them to disengage from your culture and become less productive.
To prevent this, at the beginning of your reorganization, show your key employees that you value their talent by helping them spend more time on activities that directly drive your organization’s success.
There are two ways to do this:
- Eliminate redundant tasks. It’s often not obvious, but there are many activities that employees do because they think they’re supposed to and not because the tasks directly impact their success.
- Delegate critical but tedious tasks to junior employees or assistants. Every highly skilled role is going to have some unavoidable repetitive tasks. Offloading them lets your top performers focus their energy on the projects that require their expertise while giving juniors employees great exposure.
Using your reorganization to empower employees to focus on what they do best helps them stay engaged through the difficult transitions and lets you leverage their talent to make the initiative successful.
Outsource Functions that Don’t Relate to Your Core Purpose
Unless you have a robust team of assistants and junior employees, chances are, you’re going to have too much tedious but essential work to delegate internally. To keep your employees focused on your core mission, outsource functions that don’t require in-house knowledge.
Depending on your competitive competencies, this can include a range of business functions such as:
And any other function that relies on general technical expertise and not a deep understanding of your business.
Outsourcing these kinds of general business functions allows your team to focus on the strategic initiatives that create your competitive advantage instead of processes that specialized outside professionals can likely do better. This creates an environment where every person in your company plays a pivotal role in your collective success. The immense sense of ownership fosters a dynamic, mission-driven culture that can be difficult to achieve if you have jobs that are loosely tied to your long-term vision.
About the author: Emily leads Prialto's content production and distribution team with a special passion for helping people realize success. Her work and collaborations have appeared in Entrepreneur, Inc. and the Observer among others.