As a business, you should be constantly evolving, as innovation, change, and a willingness to adjust when necessary are critical to business success.
One area that should be frequently evaluated is your team structure. If the structure of your teams has remained stagnant for years, you may be missing out on opportunities for better employee connection and workflow. Of course, the size of your teams, the number of executives you have, and your company values will affect restructuring decisions. You cannot expect the same structure to work for every department, and you must find balance so no one feels like a simple cog in a machine.
Evolving Goals and Business Needs
Think about it: A start-up has different goals than a company with a net worth of $2 billion. Employees in a start-up need a more collaborative structure because they are probably working overtime with a limited team. In the beginning, the start-up’s team structure may require a higher degree of flexibility, but as it hires more subject matter experts, its structure will become more concrete, and it will be able to optimize processes and operations more effectively.
How Do You Know It’s Time to Restructure?
Organizations frequently undergo voluntary restructures due to growth, a shifting financial situation, an impending acquisition, or a need to focus on key products or services. But sometimes, a team restructuring can be prompted by problems from within.
One of these problems may be a lack of goal achievement. If you notice your teams consistently fail to meet critical benchmarks, this is your sign something may be off within your team structure. Other indicators could be high client turnover or conflict within teams. If you notice any of the above signs, convene a leadership meeting, collect feedback from your employees, brainstorm ways to reestablish trust if needed, and propose a new team solution.
Here are a few more tips on how to restructure a team:
1. Evaluate Everything
This may be the most challenging part of the process, but it is the most crucial. Without a willingness to step back and take a 360-degree view of the structure of every department, you may never truly understand which teams need help. You must be willing to take bias out of the equation and dive into all areas of misalignment to get a clear picture of how to move forward.
2. Know Your Goals and Success Metrics
Once you take a good look at all your teams, come up with a plan of action. Prioritize which departments you want to focus on, and create tangible goals. Ask yourself, “What would success look like for this team?” and “What are two or three things we can adjust to achieve that success?”
3. Transparently Communicate Your Restructuring Plan
You could end up sounding like a broken record if you don’t clearly communicate what isn’t working, your proposed solution, and the steps your company will take to measure success in the future. Teams derive their power from alignment, which is one of the strongest components of an effective team. Therefore, when thinking about how to restructure a team, you want to bring people together and get them pointed in the same direction. Thinking through a communication plan is never a waste of time.
4. Review and Reflect
Chances are you will end up going through another restructuring in the future. If you plan and monitor the process now, it will be easier the next time around. Ask a few team members to write down each step you go through and collect feedback from your team along the way. This will give you a framework to reference for the next time.
It can be daunting to watch your business change over time, especially if things have been “working” for so long. But, similar to any living and breathing thing, your business needs space to grow and room to pivot so it can become the best it can be. Following the steps listed above will make this process easier and lead you toward better teams and better success.