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Not another reorg!

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Gus, a director at a natural gas utility firm in the Northeast, discusses his attempt to preserve morale amid the latest in a series of companywide reorganizations.

It’s looking as if we’re going to face our fourth reorg in the last three years. Our ever-evolving strategic plan calls for us to revisit our head count, realign our resources and squeeze better results out of fewer people. Yeah, I know it sounds grim. But it’s imperative that we do it.

A mistake we’ve made in past reorgs is to limit participation among employees. We communicated what we were doing (and why), but we didn’t give the rank-and-file much say over what was happening to them.

This time, I’m assembling “input sharing” teams where small groups of employees get the latest news from Corporate and offer their feedback and suggestions on how we can proceed. I will personally respond to each group’s output—a list of action steps they want senior management to take in implementing the reorg.

My hope is that employees will provide constructive input that consists of clear, sensible proposals on how we can achieve our strategic goals without alienating them. I’m letting employees self-select which team they want to join so that they’re comfortable within their group. Plus, they won’t be able to blame me for assigning them to a “bad” team!

This plan sounds good in theory. I’m just worried that the teams will make too many demands that we (i.e., senior management) cannot accommodate. No matter how well we explain ourselves, I would hate for employees to conclude that we didn’t listen to them.


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