Express empathy during restructuring

  • Uphold the company values
  • Retain brand integrity and reputation
  • Offer alternatives and support to those who are being affected by the change
  • Engender new growth in employees
  1. Meaningful dialogue — leaders need to listen to the concerns of employees and support them in their emotional pain. Retrenchment, and even internal redeployment, causes emotional disruption and extreme anxiety for most people. The ensuing fear must be debriefed, and psychological assistance/counselling should be offered.
  2. Appropriate training — courses should be offered to shore up the minds and hearts of affected employees. These interventions must focus on both the emotional/mental wellbeing (self-esteem, self-value, optimism, resilience, etc.) and planning/decision-making ability (looking for alternatives, new options, personal purpose, etc.) of affected employees.
  3. Purposeful coaching — if employees are to be redeployed, a coach might be necessary to enable a faster transition into a new role. As coaches typically see the business needs more objectively, staff will more likely be able to process changes more swiftly and achieve higher levels of productivity more easily.
  4. Relevant information — for employees who will need to relocate to different business premises, perhaps even to a new city, company leadership should provide ample information on the following:
  • Why this location has been chosen (e.g., for supply chain purposes, to be closer to our clients, cheaper factory accommodation, etc.)
  • The benefits of moving to this venue for employees (what the city offers)
  • Suburbs that are optimal to live in
  • Education possibilities for children at all levels and costs
  • Commuter routes and costs
  • Shopping possibilities
  • Sights to see
  • Safety and security
  • Relocation policy — how the company is going to help you, etc.



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Jonathan Mills

Jonathan Mills

Jonathan has spent over 30 years focusing his efforts on developing people throughout the world. He believes that people have the most impact when stretched.