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It’s okay to change your team structure

Aug 5, 2021

When you start your entrepreneurial journey, chances are you’ll be working with a pretty small number of employees. And as your business grows, you might realize that the same roles/departments that used to work don’t translate to a larger team. Remember: growth = change. One of the most important parts of continually improving your company is considering what’s working, what’s not and how you can make it better. And sometimes, that means redefining your team structure—whether it’s creating new roles, shifting team focus or reallocating your resources.

Why would you need to restructure your team in the first place?

Honestly? It depends. Sometimes it’s due to a merger or acquisition; sometimes it’s a little less obvious than that. If you think it might be time to reinvent your team structure, consider the following:

  • Are you consistently not meeting KPIs?
  • Has growth become stagnant OR suddenly accelerated?
  • Was there a major shift in the market?
  • Are your employees burnt out?

Answering “yes” to any of these questions doesn’t necessarily mean you need to restructure your team, but you might want to consider it. Assessing each employee’s accountabilities is a straightforward way to understand whether your current structure still works for where you are as a company, and can quickly help you identify gaps and mitigate breakdowns.

Potential benefits of a successful team restructure

  • Improved team-wide communication
  • Increased efficiency & productivity
  • Know you have the right people in the right seats
  • Decreased operational costs
  • Better growth opportunities
  • Greater employee satisfaction

How to restructure your team (without the headache)

1. Consider all business goals

Before you jump in headfirst, take a moment to consider your company’s short and long term goals. A drastic or rushed structural shift could be detrimental—especially if it doesn’t align with your company’s vision. Ask yourself where you want to be, and use that to determine what roles need to be added or changed in order to help you get there.

2. Elect a change management team

Too many cooks ruin the soup. If everyone tries to manage the shift, you’re likely to run into some serious efficiency roadblocks. NOTE: This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider everyone’s feedback. Just that the logistics and timeline should be “owned” by one or a few people, letting you streamline the switch while making sure your employees are heard. Consider creating a small group of decision makers and communicators to represent the team throughout the process.

3. Assess your team

What are your team’s strengths? What are their weaknesses? Is everyone filling the role they should be filling?

When people grow alongside a company, odds are, they’ll change just as much as the organization itself. Their skills, passions and goals might change—so it’s a great time to review where they are, and where they want to be. This can directly inform your team restructure while helping your employees stay on-track and motivated. Providing professional assessments can help you uncover where each team member should fit into the organization.

4. Identify what works

Change is necessary for growth. But try to consider what should stay the same. Make a list of all the things that are working well and be cognizant of incorporating them into your new structure.

5. Take it slow

When approaching a team restructure, no matter how large or small, take it slow. Go in with a plan. Expecting overnight adoption is a slippery slope. Big changes take time, and so should your plan to implement it.

6. Be open and transparent with your team

Can you imagine if you came into work, and your boss told you that you were switching teams without any warning or dialogue beforehand? (We hope this has never happened to any of our dear readers). It can be really scary to be blind sided like that. Have a continual open discussion with your employees and be open to feedback, thoughts, concerns, hopes and dreams. Make sure they understand the who, what and why behind the decisions you’re making. The more involved in the process everyone is, the more supportive you all can be for each other in the process.

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