Five essential steps for CEOs and HR during and after restructuring

September 16, 2020by Melania

So, you did have to restructure, after all. For most companies, this is a process led mainly by the legal team, with specific stages and guidelines set by the applicable legislation.

Do not forget the human part of this painful process, as it will make the difference between a success or a potentially damaging lash back from a reputational point of view. Here are 5 essential things to do during and after restructuring:

  1. Use the internal HR team to offer any and all possible support: help re-write the CVs, letter of intention, rehearse the interviews and generally prepare the restructured employees for the new project of searching for another job. Offer outplacement services, with internal resources or using an external consultant. There is nothing like finding another job to calm the state of mind of people being restructured.
  2. Involve the Finance team in offering support about managing the financial situation of the restructured employees, advice on potential savings, deferral of bank loans or credit cards or other financial obligations.
  3. Have the direct manager give the restructured employees heartfelt recommendations and clarify that their leaving the company was not due to underperformance but to objective criteria.
  4. Use your professional network and that of your colleagues to refer the ex-colleagues for potential vacancies
  5. Offer the departing employees the continued use of a former employee benefit (such as medical services) or the work phone or laptop for as much as it is possible without affecting either the budget in a significant way or the allotment of work instruments to the remaining colleagues.

And throughout each and every day of this process, communicate. Show openness and availability, make time in the schedule to listen to the team and to allow for frustration, regrets, anger and grief to be expressed. It is healthier to expose and identify such legitimate feelings timely rather than letting them go unsaid and fester into wounds, insecurities and later demotivation of the remaining team. After all, you still need to work with them and lead them to a better future.


Melania is a graduate of Communication and an HR professional with 20 years of experience in PR and HR. Her areas of expertise focus on employer branding and all matters related to labor law, such as organizational transformation, restructuring, job grading and change management.