Changing an org chart is a big deal.
And yet many organizations treat it like the obvious solution to a wide range of problems. They constantly redraw lines and put new names in the boxes.
In some cases, these changes help. In others, it masks an underlying problem that people either haven’t yet identified or do not wish to address.
Whether appropriate or not, these changes cause stress. Leaders have new responsibilities and new employees. Employees have new bosses, coworkers, and tasks.
Because employees may not be comfortable with what they are doing and with whom they are doing it, productivity and team spirit often decline in the short-run. While your organization can likely survive a brief set-back, that last thing you need is long-term damage.
Here are seven questions to consider prior to doing a reorganization.
- What’s the root cause for the problem we are trying to address and will a reorganization correct it?
- What will individuals perceive they have lost (Status, turf, relationships, competency, security, etc.) if we make this change?
- Who will be the perceived winners in this change and what impact will that have on morale and trust?
- How might we gain input from people prior to making this change so that it doesn’t come as a surprise?
- What’s our plan for communicating the reason for the change?
- How can we involve people during the implementation of the change so they feel more part of it?
- How will we handle people who aren’t happy about this?
Making the change will never be easy or without consequence. Still, by thinking carefully about these questions and acting appropriately on the answers, you’ll raise the odds that your change, after some adjustment period, will produce better results.