How Do You Manage a Reorganization? Five Ideas

Situation: A company is preparing for a reorganization. The CEO plans to hire a new manager to in time become General Manager of the company. He also wants to terminate two current employees. How do you manage a reorganization?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Develop a 90-day integration plan for the new manager, including his/her top 3 to 5 objectives, and have the individual develop and execute the plan to achieve these objectives.
  • Use an early project to schedule working sessions with each department in the company during the new manager’s first week. This will help the new manager and current employees learn to work together and develop trust in each other.
  • In addition to providing broad objectives for the new manager’s first 90 days, clearly establish behaviors and outcomes that are unacceptable.
  • One of the employees to be terminated is a long-term employee who reports to the CEO but has not performed to expectations. The CEO should take the lead in terminating this person, and offer them a suitable severance package.
  • A junior employee who is not performing to expectations reports to a supervisor. However, the junior employee has repeatedly tried to work around his supervisor by approaching others in the company with his suggestions and complaints.

o    First, make it clear to everyone that the employee’s behavior is not acceptable and that he has to work through and with his supervisor.

o    Then let the supervisor determine whether or not to eliminate the employee, and support the supervisor’s decision. This includes offering a suitable severance package should the supervisor decide on termination.

2 thoughts on “How Do You Manage a Reorganization? Five Ideas

  1. Jim Smith

    Great advice is one assumes all the facts are present, A big assumption I might add. How did we conclude that the employee is the problem and not the supervisor, and if the employee is the problem, why do we need to involve anyone other than the supervision and HR?

    Seems a bit basic for a CEO2CEO discussion.

  2. Sandy Post author

    Thanks, Jim. This may seem basic for a large company CEO, but the vast majority of companies are smaller firms founded by individual entrepreneurs, engineers and the like who don’t have a lot of experience.

    In the case presented, the company is about 25 employees. The CEO is not a strategic planner, though he is quite savvy and has been able to build a very profitable business. The initial objective here is to bring in someone with larger business experience who can bring some strategic planning and process development skills to the company.

    As to the two employees that CEO wants to let go, the one reporting to him has been with the company for a long time, but has never been a strong performer. The more junior employee is similarly weak. The CEO is thinking that it is time to clean house a bit.

    In a larger company there might be human resources and professional development staff who could turn these employees around; smaller companies like the one in question don’t have the cash flow to maintain a professional HR staff.

    I hope that this additional insight helps.

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