Gripped with uncertainty and struggling in an information void. This is the typical environment consuming people between the announcement of a restructure and the time when the new organisation chart is communicated.
Being human, employees tend to jump to conclusions, filling in the blanks and often thinking the worst: “This time it will be me faced with losing my job.” This is a time when the rumour mill is working overtime.
For you as a leader, it is time to become more “hands on”, and close to your staff. Some leaders find this an intense time. You need to be visible and accessible, so clear you diary for a couple of hours a week to allow quality time to address your team’s information needs.
Here is a checklist of actions to help you keep your team on track during times of uncertainty:
- meet on a regular basis and review progress on the restructure
- communicate that you “don’t know” or have “nothing more to add” rather than say nothing at all – this will provide a certain peace of mind
- invite concerns and issues to be voiced
- make an effort to have one-to-one conversations with individuals to understand their specific support needs
- reinforce daily/weekly priorities for the team to ensure business-as-usual operations are being performed
- create a shared understanding of the human side/emotional side of business change (See our guide to re-booting the team)
- ensure that the HR policies for supporting retention, redeployment and redundancy are seen as consistent and fair across the team and the wider organisation
- meet with your HR business partner to understand how they can support you and your team throughout the process.