4 things you MUST do for long-term success after a restructure

In the last few weeks we have seen several organisations reacting to volatile market conditions. Carillion went into liquidation, prompting a low profits warning from Capita. Then Tesco, Sainsburys, B&Q, and most recently Morrisons have all announced restructures, to reduce costs in response to shrinking profit margins in the retail sector.

These large brands now face a daunting task – to reorganise their business so that it can function more effectively, innovate more quickly to keep up with competition and increase business performance dramatically. Making the decisions about which roles stay, which roles go, and what the new roles would be can be very hard for those employees who oversee the implementation of the new strategy too.

Here are 4 key factors that will ensure the restructure process is a success:

1. Align the new jobs and behaviours to the organisation’s strategy – Job analysis is always important when designing a new assessment process. Speak with Directors, or those who understand the drivers for change to understand what behaviours will be required to be successful in the new roles, and ensure it is these behaviours that are assessed.

2. Communicate the process clearly – People will obviously be concerned and apprehensive about the unknown so ensure you:
– Have regular communications about the process
– Be clear about the decision-making process, providing practice exercises to help employees understand what will happen in the data gathering phase
– Ensure that you understand any special requirements people may have which may impact the way you run the assessments for them.

3. Design a fair assessment process – Look at information you have on your employees already: How good is the performance data? Can it be relied upon, or is it too subjective; not related to the new roles; or does everyone have an average score, and therefore it is not a helpful measure to differentiate people? This is where I’ve found that an Assessment Centre process, specially designed for the restructure context can be invaluable. Designed correctly it is one of the most fair and objective processes out there for gathering information on employees fit to the behaviours required in the new role, which in turn can help ensure the restructure process is legally defensible. It also helps you to objectively assess new elements of the role where employees may not have prior experience.

4. Understand the importance of feedback and re-engagement – Bearing in mind the emotional drain on all involved, people will want to know the outcome as quickly as possible, and then later to digest the feedback and review the impact. Don’t overlook feedback as it can show the organisation’s commitment to transparency and support for those both leaving and staying with the organisation. From here the restructure process is not over, it can take months of hard work to ensure the survivors are clear on their new roles, managed effectively to deliver them, and motivated to stay and make the restructured organisation a success.

We have an outstanding track record in delivering work on assessment for restructure – if you’re interested in finding out more about our approach, then get in touch at: talentteam@psionline.com or give us a call on: +44(0)1483 752 900.

Author: Rachel Herbert, Principal Consultant at PSI Talent Measurement

The first time AI is mentioned at DOP?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) made an appearance at the DOP conference* (for the first time perhaps?) this year.

Robert Hoffman, from the Institute of Human and Machine Cognition, provided a fascinating overview of his work in this space, including some of the misconceptions about AI and how it is likely to impact the world of work. He challenged some of the ‘myths of automation’, not least that automation is likely to eliminate jobs, providing the example of the type writers as a way in which humans, organisations and roles adapt to accommodate the introduction of new technologies.

Fiona Butcher (dstl) brought some of this to life in terms of her research on the use of Artificial Intelligence to support decision making in the military, particularly centred around the factors that influence trust in AI. Given the emerging use of Artificial Intelligence within assessment, it was interesting to reflect on how trust of candidates and clients is likely to influence its adoption and acceptability.

One way to increase trust in any assessment or assessment process is to be open about the rigorous science that underpins it. The less AI or any emerging technology is seen as a ‘black box’, the more we can move forward with innovative – yet evidence-based – solutions.

Author: Philippa Riley

* Division of Occupational Psychology Annual Conference 2018