20/12/2001

Be sure to keep the best when restructuring

Recent months have seen many companies re-structuring programmes and the collapse of Enron highlights the chaos that can be created during difficult times.

Whether re-structuring or trying to salvage something from the rump of a company, it is crucial to make sure the best people remain with the organisation, working in the right roles, warns consultancy Arkadia HR.

The extreme uncertainty of a business collapse or re-structuring means people will look outside for job security and opportunity. The best will always be the first to find new and exciting roles. The resulting drain of talent can leave the organisation extremely exposed and unable to achieve its commercial objectives.

Dr Roland Tarleton, director of Arkadia HR and a Chartered Occupational Psychologist, said: “A coherent and well planned re-structuring programme can be critical to the long term survival of a company. But too often, employers make their management decisions based on a poor understanding or even complete misunderstanding of their employees.

“An individual may not excel in a specific job role because it does not ‘give them the buzz’ and so they become a candidate for redundancy. However, a poor understanding of what makes people tick will reveal their true value to the business if they worked in appropriate roles.”

Instead of simply calling on managers to provide names at this delicate time in a company’s life cycle, organisations should make the decisions based on a thorough understanding of each employee and his or her personal drivers. Understanding the motivation of employees should be standard procedure for companies but if this is not the case, there is still time in the re-structuring period to gather the information, and, therefore, make the right decisions.

Dr Tarleton adds: “It is critical to long term commercial success that businesses really understand how to make the best of their employees. Highly motivated people are far more likely to go the extra mile to ensure the right objectives are achieved.

“Furthermore, the re-structuring period can be made easier by helping those who are leaving the company. If they understand fully what will motivate them in their next role these individuals are more likely to leave in a positive frame of mind leaving behind a healthier company.” (SP)

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