A major restructure involves the difficult challenge of deciding which roles to make redundant. Who will go and who will stay? Factors determining which positions are to be redundant should be determined on objective criteria based on the current and future needs of the organisation. This includes ensuring you have the right types of employees to rebuild your organisation after the restructure.
Strategic redundancy process
Your decision-making should first be guided by considerations such as impact, legal liability and fairness, which we describe in our good practice guide The Redundancy Checklist.
Once those criteria have been applied, you need to be strategic about the talent you need to retain to ensure that, following redundancies, your organisation has every opportunity to achieve ongoing success.
Skills you need following redundancies
Core skills are easy to identify. But what else should you consider? What strengths will galvanise the remaining workforce and advance the organisation?
The four key players
In a major restructure, aim to retain the following individuals during redundancies:
1. The driver
Staff who see challenges as opportunities and obstacles as challenges are critical to creating positive energy and momentum. They usually understand the business realities driving change.
Although they may not be the best or the most talented employee, they are always willing to take a chance. Being wrong doesn’t worry them. Thanks to their high levels of self-confidence, they aren’t afraid of making the first move.
2. The collaborator
The remaining workforce may grieve lost relationships while feeling new pressure to perform. Recovering trust and improving morale requires collaboration and support. People who can work with others to overcome these issues are critical to moving everyone forward faster.
Often these employees are skilled at encouraging their colleagues. With a positive attitude, their motivation of others helps improve and maintain company morale, especially following difficult events such as redundancies.
3. The utility player
Organisational change often results in broader skill sets being needed. Utility players, who bring a breadth of skill from either their current or past positions, are critical. They can take on added responsibilities or step easily into new roles, making them versatile individuals.
Additionally, people who successfully integrate a range of skills often produce effective ideas and innovative solutions.
4. The anchor
They may not appear to be high-impact people, but steadfast employees will be respected by colleagues for their quiet leadership and sound judgement. They will bring a calming influence during change, and stabilise areas of inexperience or tension that remain afterwards. Their competence and reliability ensure things get done properly.