Improving work relationships after a restructuring

Improving work relationships after a restructuring

Improving work relationships after a restructuring

The process of restructuring in an organisation is stressful. So too are the consequences on the remaining workforce. If not managed well, your organisation may pay the price in lost productivity, poor morale and damaged market reputation for years to come.


Uncertainty, anxiety and depression in employees may arise from organisational restructuring and changes to the way work is done. Survivor guilt might also creep into the equation as remaining employees may have doubts whether or not they were more deserving to remain employed when compared with their colleagues (and often best friends) whose positions were made redundant.

To keep your business moving toward a positive direction, you’ll need to learn how to improve work relationships between employees and managers.

The following steps may help to improve work relationships after an organisational restructuring:

  • Acknowledge that the responses of remaining employees after a restructuring are entirely normal and allow some time for new methods to yield results, new relationships to be forged and confidence to be restored
  • Hold weekly meetings between employees and managers to keep everyone up to date with the latest changes and needs of the business
  • Maintain high levels of employee involvement in decisions that affect them
  • Encourage open communication. Allow employees and managers to speak about any current issues happening in the business
  • Open the lines of communication to everyone. Having all departments work together and remain informed about what is going on in the next department will prevent unnecessary distrust
  • Listen without judgement to employees’ concerns
  • Offer clarity about employees’ roles if changed
  • Offer support and be generous with training in the new ways of doing business
  • Spread truthful optimism about the employees’ future in the business. If this remains uncertain, don’t promise what you can’t deliver
  • Set up a suggestion portal. Some of the best ideas for a business have been proposed by the employees and managers who work there. Once you implement the new suggestion, make sure that you credit the employee or manager who first came up with it.

After a restructuring, employee trust in the organisation and its leaders may be bruised, but it can be restored if the leaders are able to demonstrate that the organisation can make and keep its promises.


(Revised by M van Deventer)