Posted by Lynsey Sutherland on 10 October 2014
The effort of a restructure could pay dividends, but if you ignore the following clues, you might end up with a static, stagnant team unable to take on the many challenges a successful business faces every day.
1. It takes two days to complete a simple task
If you action a simple task and you're still waiting for someone to complete it several days later, it's time to ask yourself when you last updated your working practices.
Inefficiency is the bane of all businesses, and it's a problem that often arises when you haven’t rationalised your processes for a while. Take the time to sense-check the way you carry out the day-to-day running of your business and restructure your team to improve proficiency.
2. You're losing valuable employees
Staff members often regard restructures as negative things, but this is often far from the truth. If you're seeing signs of your top players looking elsewhere, it's time to look at putting a new structure in place.
High-performing employees need to be challenged, and if you don't provide opportunities for growth and enhancement, they will look for them elsewhere. Make sure they don't have to.
3. New technology has passed you by
It's not advisable to jump on to every new technology that comes your business's way, but when you see your competitors adopting and thriving on new systems, it might be time to make a change.
Implementing new technology can be tough, especially for well-established businesses, and a restructure can help your team break out of old routines and embrace the changes.
4. Your market is changing
Your market isn't going to stay static, so your team shouldn’t either. When you begin to notice changes in demand or a fluctuation in your market, it's time to check whether your current team structure can address the challenges this presents.
Avoid resentment or uncertainty by ensuring your team knows that it’s being restructured as a way to help the business grow, not to demote or demoralise staff. The more inclusive you are, the better your team is likely to react to a market-based restructure.
5. Your small business has started to flourish
This is a positive thing, so why should you need to start restructuring just at the moment you realise your small business is viable? It's actually an essential change to help you keep up the pace and continue to grow and evolve.
In a typical start-up, the first employees take on a lot of different responsibilities and jobs, and it's thanks to their flexibility and vision that the business makes it off the ground. There comes a time, however, when the business begins to flourish, and it's necessary to narrow the scope for these individuals, allowing them to focus on and develop key skills for going forward.
A restructure, even when you’re carrying it out for the most positive reasons, can be unsettling for your team. Be honest and open to discussion about the changes and read our post about boosting staff morale for ways to keep your team happy and comfortable throughout a time of flux.