Friday May 19 2017

Workplace: Restructuring can be disastrous

By Isaiah Kitimbo

Resizing clothes is always recommended when you either gain or lose weight. And there are various factors to explain this life experience.
In the same way, some managers will argue that downsizing is the ultimate choice to manage costs, especially during tough economic times. Globally, many companies often announce restructuring and laying off workers.
The approach works but not always. It could be that a new manager wants to step up control. Therefore, he or she can propose changes, which may not necessarily contribute to the general turnaround of the organisation.
This is synonymous with companies that are still experimenting policies; where everything new can be tried. Other managers recommend restructuring for economic reasons.
It should, however, be managed better as it has negative effects on employees and the organisation. Experts argue that downsizing to maximise profits and improve cash flow is a ‘mute’ idea because companies that use this method end up paying heavily as employee morale dips.
The argument has always been that companies cut jobs to control payroll costs but they don’t downsize the workload. Studies indicate that after downsizing, surviving employees become bigoted, self-absorbed and productivity drops.
An organisation can suffer stagnation if it hires managers on a contract basis without a system in place to keep track of their performance, including innovations made.
The manager will restructure and the cycle will continue when a new manager is hired at the expiry of the contract.
To curtail the effects, a manager should plan and prepare for the transition by involving employees and communicating thoroughly with them. This helps him or her to stay in control rather than rushing without actually critically thinking about what is being done.

The writer is a human resources expert and journalist,