We are all aware that change can be difficult—especially when other people are involved. But sometimes there's no way around it, both in our personal lives and in the workplace. Just as outdated procedures and systems have to be updated at some point, the same is also true with teams.
Knowing how to restructure a team at work can be difficult, though. Restructuring requires alignment, communication, and strategy. Before putting in the work to restructure a team, you'll first want to ensure it's the best choice for your people and your business.
Signs your teams should be restructured
Before restructuring, visualize the components of an effective team in action and ask yourself if your current team structure matches that picture. From our perspective, communicating goals, hitting deadlines, internal collaboration, and employee retention are all signs your teams are thriving. If you flip those benchmarks, you have serious indicators that it's time for a change. Here are four telltale signs your company may benefit from some restructuring:
1. Poor communication
If you’re struggling to hit your goals and KPIs, there could be a simple reason for that—maybe your team doesn’t really know what their goals and KPIs should be. According to a study surveying 21,000 employees, only 29 percent said their leader's vision for the future always seemed to be aligned with the organization's. If your people aren't aligned or don't understand their objectives, overall productivity is bound to take a hit. Has your C-suite set clear expectations for your leadership team? Has your leadership team set clear expectations for your employees? And do you have the right systems in place to communicate all those goals and benchmarks clearly and transparently? Clear and consistent communication from the top down is essential for getting everyone on the same page and keeping them there.
2. Missed deadlines
If there is poor communication and people don't know or understand their goals, they're in danger of not reaching important benchmarks, which can have ripple effects throughout the entire company. If you are noticing this problem in your organization, it could be time to prioritize a department and evaluate every system and workflow. You could set a minimum amount of PTO days to combat burnout, develop a better support system, or outsource routine and repeatable tasks to a trusted company. These small restructuring methods could impact your teams greatly.
3. Weak collaboration
Oftentimes, poor communication can not only contribute to missed deadlines but also lead to poor collaboration within and across departments. Have you noticed tension within your teams, a lack of consistency, or frequent miscommunication? These are clear signs an intervention is needed. Do your employees know how to ask for help? Are there ways to resolve collaboration issues when they arise? Do you have the proper systems in place to make communication easy? If the answer to any of these questions is no, call a meeting and start brainstorming ways to pivot.
4. Employee turnover
If left unchecked, the aforementioned warning signs can lead to low morale and employee turnover, exacerbating existing issues. According to a FlexJobs survey in March 2022, the number one reason people quit their jobs was because of a toxic workplace culture. As a leader, it's important to catch problems early so you can prevent issues before they lead to more issues.
Always be willing to ask yourself, "How can I restructure a team with the information I have?" Sometimes, it may seem like a certain department or process is going downhill, but you may discover the answer is simple and far less complicated than you imagined. At the end of the day, even small changes in team structure can lead to significant improvements and growth that will only strengthen your people and your business.