When one hears about corporate restructuring, their first thought is not one of positive thoughts. We are told to believe that when a company restructures, it’s in trouble and only dark days are ahead of them. However, if you look closely at large global companies, some of them are like huge ships that take a while to switch their courses as they are heavy and dense. This is a problem when the market today shifts and moves so quickly. Some large organisations always tend to follow routine – the whole “we used to do it that way” game that might prove to be their downfall if let be.
Therefore, to improve this process, some companies take on corporate restructuring as a way to fix it. Corporate restructuring is a process that will address and analyse the company’s status quo in the ever-evolving market that they are in, and makes a calculated, strategic decision to ensure that the problem is then fixed.
To make it much easier on the company, there is usually 2 major types of restructuring that goes on in a company. The first being financial restructuring. This will usually happen when there is a drastic fall in sales or the fact that the company is not achieving a steady cash flow to keep the company afloat. It usually happens in adverse economic conditions. The company will then have to change the way it handles cash flow and sales. Certain budgets might be removed and moved to somewhere else where it will be stretched even more. This is the more drastic type of restructuring as it will cause some pain in some parts of the company.
The second type of restructuring is usually called organisational restructuring. This usually means the shifting and the changing of the structure of the organisation – such as reducing the number of employees, changing the hierarchy of certain employees, changing reporting relationships and sometimes would also be the changing and merging of certain job descriptions so that one person may do the work of multiple employees.
When it comes to restructuring an organisation, it has been known that there are 3 main hurdles or challenges that need to be faced by management head on to ensure that the process takes place with the least number of downfalls.
You need to ask questions like :
- What is the type of restructuring I need for my company?
- What challenge am I trying to fix?
- What are the problems that are weighing down on my decisions?
- Why am I doing this restructuring in the first place?
When you have answers to these main questions, it will be easier to execute the decisions made later. It also helps keep you and your stakeholders aligned to achieve this successful company restructuring.
This is where a lot of people fail to bring the company across the hurdle of something as stressful as a company restructuring.
You need to ask questions and have full proof plans for things like :
- How should I plan out the restructuring of the company?
- What needs to go and what needs to stay?
- Who do I engage in ensuring that all things are measured?
- How do I inform the managers and middle managers to ensure they communicate the execution properly to their teammates?
These questions might have very hard answers following them, but they need to be done to ensure the survival of your company.
Marketing/Letting The World Know
This is something that a lot of company’s forget to think of when engaging in corporate restructuring. Most times you hear about a merger, acquisition or restructuring WAY after the fact and sometimes even the employees have no idea what has hit them. It is understood that some things need to stay private and confidential but it needs to be communicated in a healthier way.
Ask questions like :
- Do I need a press release for the media?
- How do I communicate this to my shareholders?
- Do I hold a general meeting?
- How soon should I announce the restructuring?
- Who are the parties involved?
Once these answers have been identified, the process will be a lot easier as you won’t be stepping on too many toes and accidentally making the wrong decisions.
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Next, let us delve into the common obstacles faced by companies when restructuring and ways to go around it.
This is the hard truth that managers need to face when it comes to something as serious and ominous as restructuring. This is a process that requires corporation from all levels of employees. The one thing that a lot of people fail at here is : COMMUNICATION. We cannot stress enough how important proper internal communication is and it will be one of the factors that will make or break this process.
Your employees are the ones on the ground and doing all the work when it comes to execution. Take into account how their day-to-day would change if you make certain decisions. Employees are the backbone to the success of the company and without them the restructuring would not matter. So, ensure that you approach them in a positive and reassuring manner.
Ensure that you discuss the restructuring with your team and inform them of their roles in this arduous process. Transparency is key to smoothening the matter and they might also be a source of great inspiration because like mentioned earlier, they are on the ground and the closest one to actual customer feedback. Take them and use their experience to make better informed decisions.
Lack of Preparation
In this article, we have mentioned planning a few times and it is for a reason. Failing to plan is really planning to fail as if you don’t have a North Star to look to, you will lose your way. Every process in corporate restructuring requires preparation and a strategy. You can’t just walk blindly into a conversation about the future of your company and expect to walk out unscathed.
If you take the questions above seriously and give them some real, strong answers – the restructuring will go a lot better and you will come out the other side victorious.
As a conclusion, we believe that corporate restructuring is a hard and long process that might make or break your company. But it should be taken head on with proper planning and preparation to ensure that the end outcome is favourable for all parties involved.
If you need help in planning and executing a process such as this, the consultants at ConsultU would be more than happy to help you make this process a successful one.