Organisational restructuring

Organisational Restructuring for Better Efficiency

Why do organisational restructurings often fail to improve efficiency as expected?

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, reshaping organisations has become crucial. Global dynamics and unpredictable markets force leaders to rethink their plans. Previously, the Business Roundtable, a big group of US CEOs, broadened the idea of corporate purpose. It now includes looking after employees, customers, communities, and creditors. This shift towards a more purposeful approach was sparked by the crisis.

Companies like Danone, IKEA, and Unilever kept focusing on their main missions. They showed it’s possible to stay strong and green, even when times are tough. Yet, a study by Bain & Company on 57 big reorganisations found less than a third made real improvements in efficiency. Take Company X as an example. Despite spending lots on experts, their sales and market share fell while people left and financial health worsened.

This leads to a crucial query for UK’s business leaders. How should they manage organisational changes to truly boost economic resilience? And how can they make sure it works well within the UK’s business framework and encourages real change?

Introduction to Organisational Restructuring

Organisational restructuring helps businesses become more agile and effective. It covers changes like strategic shifts, new departments, and fresh business approaches. By doing this, companies aim to work better, cut costs, and stay competitive.

Part of this involves managing finances differently, like changing debt situations or adjusting credit terms. This helps with debt control and increases value for shareholders. Another aspect is improving how the business operates, like making workflows more efficient and cutting out needless spending, which may include reducing staff numbers. The main aim is to increase productivity and ensure the company can keep going strong into the future.

There are many reasons why a company might restructure. Inside the company, issues like not making enough money, spending too much on wages, or bad communication can lead to changes. From the outside, things like changing customer tastes, new inventions, or competitors taking away market share can push a company to adapt.

But changing a company’s structure can be hard, often because workers might not want to change. To overcome this, careful planning with clear, achievable goals is key. This includes strong communication to win over the team, trying out the plan, and checking that everything is working as intended.

Common errors include setting vague goals and not checking the effects of changes properly. So, successful restructuring needs good planning, strong follow-through, and ongoing checks. This ensures the changes make the company more agile and better organised.

Economic Pressures and the Need for Change

Organisations today face tough economic pressures. These include increasing interest rates and market uncertainties. To cope, many companies are restructuring. This has caused a 68% jump in bankruptcies. Organisations must quickly adapt to stay strong economically. The goal of restructuring is not just survival. It aims for more efficiency and stability in the long run.

Restructuring affects employees deeply. It’s crucial for companies that want to grow despite difficult markets. Surviving employees may feel less secure and productive. But, some research shows restructuring could offer them personal growth opportunities. Thus, the impact on employees is complex and needs more study.

Companies use many strategies to deal with tough market conditions. These include financial changes, managing people better, and technology upgrades. One key strategy is responsible restructuring. It treats employees as valuable assets. An example is Ghana’s Agricultural Development Bank. After making changes, it saw improved governance and a 12% Return on Equity. This shows that restructuring can work well.

There are many reasons for companies to restructure. These can include moving into new markets or expanding what they offer. Changes might also happen because of mergers or growing the business internally. Despite the reasons, the goals are similar. Companies want to be more profitable, adapt to market changes, improve communication, and cut costs. During tough economic times, these strategies help companies stay ahead and remain economically resilient.

The Role of Leadership in Organisational Restructuring

Leadership is key in organisational restructuring. It decides if change efforts will succeed or fail. Most changes don’t reach their goals, showing how vital leadership is. Good leaders guide their teams through big changes. They use a strategic vision and innovation, which are must-haves for lasting success and value.

In restructuring, leaders must balance operational and financial control with global awareness. This balance helps companies succeed for the long run. It ties the company’s purpose to its values. Plus, it makes sure stakeholders like employees and customers align with the company’s goals.

Leaders must inspire people to accept change, in good and bad times alike. Skills like having a vision and being innovative help develop the organisation. They help it grow and adapt in a fast-changing market.

Leadership is different from management because it can transform. It motivates and gets employees involved, builds trust, and manages change smoothly. Engaging with stakeholders is key. It requires clear communication, showing understanding, and being inclusive. Effective leadership is planned from the start. It’s crucial for adding value in restructuring.

Types of Organisational Restructuring

Organisational restructuring covers a range of strategies. These strategies respond to both internal needs and external pressures. They include changes in structure from legal, functional, to strategic adjustments.

It’s a process that might mix shifting business areas to boost efficiency, moving towards new strategic targets, or altering investment focuses.

Business models often change, especially when strategic shifts happen. Moving from lead generation to upselling is one example. This usually requires a lot of investment in research and tech, showing the importance of digital innovation in these changes.

Restructuring is also about survival or increasing profits, especially in industries like tourism that were hit hard by crises such as COVID-19. It can lead to either reducing or increasing staff based on market needs. It also includes merging with or buying other companies, which changes jobs and policies.

Organisational structure types

Restructuring can focus on people to meet employee needs and handle resistance to change. It aims to keep the workforce in line with the company’s changing goals. Creating new teams or departments can lead to moving staff and roles around to reduce problems and keep the company united.

For example, Daimler bought Chrysler for about US$39 billion in 1998 to increase market share. Toyota bought Vanderlande for €1.2 billion in 2017 to add to its product range. Hyundai’s purchase of Boston Dynamics in 2021 aimed to push forward tech advances, showing strategic shifts.

To wrap up, successful organisational restructuring understands the complex nature of modern companies. It steers clear of random changes that don’t truly enhance how the company works.

Key Strategies for Successful Restructuring

In 2023, the bankruptcy rate jumped by 68%. This shows how vital effective organisational restructuring has become. Organisations are working hard to become more efficient and keep up with the market. Key strategies include strong change management and clear communication. It’s about changing the company’s structure and how it operates to be more competitive and grow.

HR is key to restructuring success. They manage staff cuts, redeployment, and retraining. They also keep employees engaged. HR helps shift company culture and plans the workforce strategically.

Restructuring faces many challenges. A broad change management plan is vital. This includes legal changes to meet regulations and tax needs. It also involves improving areas like sales through reallocation of resources.

Strategic restructuring aligns a company’s goals with the market, tech advances, and consumer shifts. Engaging stakeholders and following legal rules makes transitions smoother.

Cost-cutting is essential for financial health. This may mean making operations leaner or reducing staff. Companies might also sell parts of the business to focus better and raise funds.

For restructuring to work, understanding how the business and market interact is crucial. Working well with stakeholders and planning for growth helps build a strong, adaptable company.

The Role of HR in Restructuring

Human Resources (HR) is key in organisational change, offering the skills to handle complex employment issues. Including HR is essential when planning organisational changes. These often include creating positions, removing roles, and adjusting work assignments or reporting lines.

HR consultants review plans, job descriptions, and impacts on staffing. They look at procedures, costs, and communication needs. This ensures the restructuring is efficient and legal. They address concerns when changes affect unionised staff, like work allocation and the need for bargaining.

Managing organisational change well means setting a good tone and keeping communication strong. HR leads in keeping everyone informed and supported. With a success rate of only 34% in change initiatives, HR’s role is crucial.

Strategic workforce planning is vital, too. It matches workforce skills with the organisation’s goals. It ensures the right people are in place. This helps manage the effects of restructuring and keeps operations running smoothly.

HR also boosts employee engagement during changes. They’re involved in retraining and managing talent. They help build a culture that supports the new way of working. Since 73% of staff affected by change feel stressed, causing a 5% drop in performance, focusing on engagement is essential. For successful restructuring, everyone needs to work together. Management, employees, investors, and HR must navigate changes to keep the organisation stable.

Challenges and Risks in Organisational Restructuring

Organisational restructuring can bring about big changes and risks. It might cause political conflicts over resources, shaking the power balance. These conflicts can create inefficiencies and confuse everyone in the organisation. This might lead to lower sales, market share, and worse financial results.

During tough economic times, companies might lay off staff to cut costs. Yet, this can harm employee morale and productivity. The challenge is greater when it affects new hires, contract workers, and older employees. Losing their skills and knowledge can make things even harder.

Technological advancements and changes in what consumers want also push companies to restructure. This can make some jobs unnecessary. Companies need to adjust their workforce, which can cause short-term problems like inefficiencies and reduced productivity.

Mergers and acquisitions force companies to streamline operations, often leading to many losing their jobs. This can result in losing important skills and damaging relationships with stakeholders. It is very important to assess how changes affect everyone to make the process smoother.

Companies need to tackle inefficiencies properly to grow and improve productivity. Restructuring should focus on cutting unnecessary roles and making processes better. Just addressing symptoms instead of real problems can make restructuring efforts fall short.

To reduce these risks, companies should communicate openly, offer good severance packages, and be ethical. Programs for improving skills and introducing different ways to make money are vital. Regular checks on how changes affect stakeholders can help align restructuring with the company’s long-term goals.

Case Studies: Lessons Learned from Past Restructurings

Historical case studies on restructuring highlight important lessons for today’s businesses. For example, in 2008, Arts Council England needed to reduce their administration budget by 15%. The leadership focused on three skills: seeing the big picture, teamwork, and being responsible. These skills were included in their new recruitment strategy for restructuring. Their approach was deeply rooted in understanding the need for change and aligning with the company’s broader goals.

In 2008, the financial crisis nearly led General Motors (GM) to bankruptcy. Similarly, Delta Air Lines filed for Chapter 11 in 2005 due to high fuel costs and competition. GM’s recovery involved a big financial overhaul, supported by the government. This included rearranging debts and finding new capital. Delta merged with Northwest Airlines in 2008, showing a great example of restructuring. This merger focused on improving operations to stay competitive in the market.

The fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008 revealed how key risk management is. It showed how important it is to have strong strategies for financial issues, like debt and falling profits. On another note, Google’s reorganisation into Alphabet in 2015 was an innovative move. It separated its usual business from more experimental projects. This shows a creative way to restructure that others can learn from.

The stories of these companies teach us about the importance of being adaptable, working together, and making bold decisions. Combining strategic, operational, and financial restructuring, aligned with company goals, can help overcome crises. This way, companies can grow strong over the long term.

Communication Strategies During Restructuring

Effective communication during restructuring is key to reduce worry and resistance. Being open in your talks helps build trust. It also gets everyone involved, which is vital to move smoothly through changes.

In 2023, we saw a 68% increase in bankruptcies. This shows how important clear communication during restructuring is. Leaders now give regular updates through various ways to keep employees in the loop. Keeping talks clear and open builds trust and keeps morale up.

HR has a crucial role in guiding communication strategies during these times. They make sure transparent company communication happens and keep everyone engaged. They use real-time data and profitability reports to help make smart choices. This makes sure communication stays open.

Talking often and clearly is key to a successful change. Making sure everyone understands why changes are happening and what it means for them reduces confusion. It also lessens fear of the unknown.

Cost-Effectiveness Through Restructuring

Today’s companies face big economic challenges. They must innovate in restructuring to become more cost-effective. By trimming staff, making tasks automated, and bettering supply chain management, costs drop in key areas.

Outsourcing areas like HR or IT also lessens financial strain. This lets businesses concentrate on what they do best.

It’s crucial to check if the money spent on employees is worth it. This helps decide if outsourcing is a good choice. Companies can also look at staffing needs and local labour costs to stay financially healthy.

Teaching teams to handle multiple roles keeps operations running smoothly, even if the team changes. It saves money too.

Advanced technology plays a big role. By automating tasks, we rely less on people doing manual work. This boosts how much we get done.

Using cloud technology reduces how much we spend on our tech needs. AI and learning from data make our decisions smarter. And, having meetings online cuts down on travel expenses, making teamwork easier across distances.

Also, selling things we don’t need and leasing instead of owning can free up cash. It also makes the business simpler. Ensuring these steps are taken carefully and with a focus on staying financially sound helps a company overcome tough times and succeed in the long run.

Aligning Corporate Culture with New Organisational Strategies

Cultural restructuring is vital in changing an organisation. It’s key for better results and a strong brand identity. Organisations that match their culture and strategy perform better than those that don’t.

Starting with a clear definition of organisational culture is crucial. Leaders must outline the company’s mission, vision, and values. These should match the strategic goals. Leadership and staff must work together to align the company’s vision.

For successful cultural changes, focus on Communication and Leadership, Cultural Change Processes, and Monitoring and Evaluation. It’s important for everyone to understand the company’s goals. This builds trust and helps everyone work towards the same vision.

Changing a culture needs a systematic approach. It’s about knowing the current culture, finding gaps, and planing to fix these gaps. Regular checks and adjustments keep the culture and strategy aligned.

Many reorganisations fail because of problems like mismatched cultures and poor communication. It’s crucial to delve into deep-rooted cultural issues, not just quick fixes.

Aligning culture with strategic goals is essential for success and growth. As markets change, cultural and strategic adjustments are key for a company’s resilience.

Operational Redesign for Better Efficiency

Operational redesign is crucial for enhancing business efficiency and agility. It encompasses strategic changes to improve business operations. This includes reallocating resources, merging functions, and outsourcing. Studies show, including one where 60% of executives felt they rushed into redesigns without proper planning. Hence, thorough planning is essential.

Unfortunately, only a small fraction of redesign projects are successful, with 44% losing momentum quickly. Yet, adhering to more than six golden rules can boost success rates significantly. According to research, 73% of executives who followed over six rules felt their efforts were successful, and following all nine rules saw an 86% success rate.

Operational redesign

The goal of process redesign is to make businesses more efficient by cutting costs and boosting customer satisfaction. This typically involves mapping processes, gathering customer feedback, and assessing risks. Aligning these changes with strategic goals can improve productivity and service quality.

To redesign business processes effectively, one must define and evaluate current processes. Then, pinpoint areas for improvement and develop solutions. Adopting clear objectives, setting performance metrics, and adjusting based on monitoring are keys to operational excellence.

Agile development and automation are popular in operational redesign for promoting agility and optimising processes. Yet, up to 70% of these projects don’t enhance operational performance as hoped. This highlights the need for careful planning and execution.

Industries like manufacturing, service, and public sectors have embraced best practices including outsourcing and automation. These practices aim to empower employees and streamline processes by focusing on valuable activities. Such strategies are central to achieving operational excellence and efficiency.


In conclusion, success in reshaping an organisation takes a well-rounded strategy. It’s key for steering businesses to better performance and adaptability amid changes. The journey starts with setting goals that are clear, achievable, time-specific, and measurable. Boosting profits and strengthening market standing show the plan is working.

Keeping up clear communication is vital for winning the team’s support and keeping things orderly. Tools and plans for managing the project and enough funds are crucial for an effective overhaul. In global restructuring, a local point of contact in each country is essential. the importance of this lies in their local knowledge.

For lasting progress, comparing outcomes to SMART objectives and adjusting as needed is crucial. Trying things out on a smaller scale first can prevent big losses. Managing the team means understanding the current setup, updating job roles, deciding on staffing changes, and talking openly with new members. Even with employee resistance, overcoming these obstacles brings about a stronger, future-proof organisation.

Written by
Scott Dylan
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Scott Dylan

Scott Dylan

Scott Dylan

Scott Dylan is the Co-founder of Inc & Co, a seasoned entrepreneur, investor, and business strategist renowned for his adeptness in turning around struggling companies and driving sustainable growth.

As the Co-Founder of Inc & Co, Scott has been instrumental in the acquisition and revitalization of various businesses across multiple industries, from digital marketing to logistics and retail. With a robust background that includes a mix of creative pursuits and legal studies, Scott brings a unique blend of creativity and strategic rigor to his ventures. Beyond his professional endeavors, he is deeply committed to philanthropy, with a special focus on mental health initiatives and community welfare.

Scott's insights and experiences inform his writings, which aim to inspire and guide other entrepreneurs and business leaders. His blog serves as a platform for sharing his expert strategies, lessons learned, and the latest trends affecting the business world.


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