PART 2- An Employees guide 

Devan Moonsamy

When a company announces a restructure the first to experience the pressure are the employees. The uneasiness of not knowing what will happen next, results in miscommunication around the office and a lot of speculation.

In our previous article we spoke about how businesses should go about administering the decisions to restructure. In this feature we focus on how employees should plan following the news.

If your company has sat down and had the conversation with you on what will happen as a result of the restructure then by now you should have a plan of action. But before we get into options available to you let’s look at the correct way to gather more information.

  • Once information surfaces about a restructure, be it via the intranet or from one of the colleagues hanging at the water cooler, the first step would be to speak to your manager. This will allow you to gather more information around the reason for the restructure and whether it will affect you or not.
  • Communication is key and companies who communicate the news to staff members with honesty and transparency almost eliminate the hostility from employees. When you find your other colleagues gathering to bad mouth the company for announcing its restructuring you should avoid jumping onto the band wagon.
  • If you have been provided with options sit with your Human Resources manager and understand which is the best possible option for you. You could even engage with your manager to understand which option would be better for you.
  • At the same time remember to practise utmost confidentiality. This means that your experience might be different from your colleague. Perhaps you won’t be losing your job but your colleague could be facing the chopping block as a result of the last in first out policy the company may be applying. If you have been given a few options based on your performance and value to the organisation as opposed to your colleague then do not discuss it with them, as this may cause friction in the work place.

Now once the announcement has been made and you have all the necessary information it is now time to make arrangements on the best possible option for you. Here’s what you should do:

  • Start by rebuilding your confidence. Your company executing a restructure does not mean you are not good at what you do. If you are told that the decision regarding you is termination then you need to work on accepting the decision. By doing this you also have to remember to be optimistic. There are still opportunities out there for you to work with.
  • Find opportunities. Do not sit back and use the time as a vacation. You should look at different opportunities that best suit your skill set. If you need to volunteer your skills for a while until you find something that suits your skill set.
  • You should also look at upskilling. Use this chance to do short courses to better your skill sets. Studying never ends. Work on growing your skill set by doing training and skill development. Even consider online or part time learning options.
  • Being let go as a result of a restructure could even be a gateway for you to venture into something of your own. Start a business. A lot of times we are afraid to take the risk because we feel this is something that won’t work out. However, before you invest in a business opportunity ensure you have done research and have knowledge on the department.
  • Create a contact list. It is very important to create a contact list at the work place. Not because you want to share the information with a company competitor but in the event that you need to head out on your own or look for work else where then this list can be used to touch base with other corporates.
  • The change might be hard but work on accepting it. Do not allow the experience to negatively impact you and bad mouth the company that let you go. Rather a closed door here might open another door some place else.
  • Polish your CV and update your skills. Ensure you call those references and double check that they are still there. Get in contact with recruiting companies as well. This will help you to see what is available on the market.

News of a company restructure is not always easy to handle. But with preparation and determination you can come out on top of this life decision.

Devan Moonsamy is the CEO of ICHAF Training Institute. ICHAF offers SETA-approved training in business skills, computer use, and soft skills. Devan specialises in conflict and diversity management, and regularly conducts seminars on these issues for corporates. To book a seminar with Devan or for other training courses, please use the contact details below.

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