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CEO Insider

4 Ways to Restructure Your Team Effectively

Rhett Power

Change is inevitable for any workplace team. What’s critical is to make sure the remaining team members are still aligned with their goals. In this article, we’ll look at some ways to handle team restructuring.

A well-oiled team is a sight to behold. 

It has chemistry, foresight, and well-established processes in place. So, why mess with a good thing and restructure? Because new insights can place the team on a path to new heights. For instance, SAP predicts that a targeted restructuring in 2023 will result in about $321 million (300 euros) to $374 million (350 euros) in cost savings come 2024.

According to a Gartner study, modern companies have undergone an average of five companywide changes in the last three years, and nearly 3 in 4 respondents say they expect that number to increase three years down the line. Unfortunately, the same study also revealed that half of those initiatives falter. Only one-third of them are bona fide successes. 

Don’t let these numbers deter you. Restructures are not without their struggles. Different personalities and goals don’t always mesh well together, and finding the right mix might take a few iterations. But when you do, it’s possible to unlock levels of success that the previous unit never quite reached. 

While a team restructuring is by no means foolproof, there are ways to handle it in an effective, minimally disruptive manner. These four strategies should help you get there: 

  1. Be transparent about your plans.
    In the case of team restructures, you must communicate your plan to everyone as clearly as possible. According to Gartner, organizations that switch from top-down change management to an open-source approach increase the chances of success from 34% to 58%.

    OneSource Virtual Chief Revenue Officer Courtny Cloeter believes that when you communicate change succinctly and clearly, fewer things get lost in translation and you can discuss the full breadth of your intentions.

    “Teams derive their power from alignment, which is one of the strongest components of an effective team,” Cloeter says. “Therefore, when thinking about how to restructure a team, you want to bring people together and get them pointed in the same direction. Thinking through a communication plan is never a waste of time.”

    The clearer you articulate the plan, the less downtime there is in bringing it to life.

  2. Accentuate team members’ positive traits.
    When dealing with an existing team, it’s important to look at what’s there instead of what can be there. Tests such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, CliftonStrengths, and Ennegram provide a snapshot of what positive traits someone can bring to a collective.

    Your first impulse might be to keep someone in a position or promote them to a certain role out of loyalty, even if they’re not well-suited for it. Instead, do an honest assessment of where someone is going to thrive. Match people with jobs that will highlight their strengths and contribute to a harmonious team dynamic. Take it a step further and use regular team check-ins to gauge how people like their roles and whether they aspire to do something more aligned with their individual goals.

    You can get kick-start change by emphasizing people’s positive attributes, not what they need to work on.

  3. Pick someone to lead the change initiative.
    Naturally, people are going to have questions and concerns about change. They deserve answers, but the prospect of handling all of them as an executive can be daunting. So, select someone to lead the change and handle the bulk of employee questions.

    Who should you consider for this initiative? Maybe it’s a long-time team member primed for a promotion into leadership. Maybe it’s someone from a different department with less emotional attachment to the team. Or perhaps it’s two or three people that can better balance all the different elements of the change.

    No matter who you choose, they’ll be empowered to own the change and become a supporting pillar for the team. As a bonus, this helps people outside of leadership feel more engaged and involved in the whole process.

  4. Develop new protocols.
    Restructured teams can achieve new levels of success, but it will take additional planning and revising. As part of the restructuring, you’ll need to work with team members to establish new routines and habits that embolden them to embrace their new team identity.

    New routines give transitioning teams something to anchor onto during potentially turbulent times. These new workflows and rules should be fluid and created using input from the team. If you make people feel like they’re a part of the change process, they’ll do their part to ensure it goes smoothly.

    Eventually, you’ll discover a fitting routine, work the kinks out, and watch the team soar.

Change is as scary as it is necessary. When restructuring a team, take the time to build and communicate your plan, engage team members and other leaders, and give everyone a stake in the new normal. Do this, and your new team will become a cohesive unit sooner rather than later.

Written by Rhett Power.
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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Insider - 4 Ways to Restructure Your Team Effectively
Rhett Power
Rhett Power is responsible for helping corporate leadership take the actions needed to drive impact and courage in their teams that will improve organizational performance. He is the author of The Entrepreneur’s Book of Actions: Essential Daily Exercises and Habits for Becoming Wealthier, Smarter, and More Successful (McGraw-Hill Education) and co-founder of Wild Creations, an award-winning start-up toy company. After a successful exit from the toy company, Rhett was named the best Small Business Coach in the United States. In 2019 he joined the prestigious Marshall Goldsmith's 100 Coaches and was named the #1 Thought Leader on Entrepreneurship by Thinkers360. He is a Fellow at The Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. He travels the globe speaking about entrepreneurship and management alongside the likes of former Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and AOL Founder Steve Case. Rhett Power is an acclaimed author, leader, entrepreneur and an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow him on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.