5 Critical Components Of Restructuring Staff During COVID-19
By Sutton Turner — Chief Operating Officer of Vanderbloemen
I interviewed Sutton Turner, our Chief Operating Officer, on the critical components of restructuring and reorganizing staff during COVID-19. Sutton shared the five following factors and applicable strategies to manage this challenging situation.
- As you pray through this difficult decision, you can be reminded and encouraged by James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (ESV)
- Remember that God truly desires to give us his wisdom when we are facing tough circumstances. Our only role is to ask.
- Intentionally take time to slow down, pray, listen, and seek the will of Christ as you ask him for clarity. When you find yourself in tough situations, it’s imperative for you to lean into Jesus and hear from him before you make decisions.
2. Love One Another
- In every situation, you can act and responds with love. Though the situations and circumstances you are facing are tough and unprecedented, it’s imperative for leaders to make these decisions with a loving attitude and communicate these decisions with patience and understanding.
- Have empathy for those who are affected by your decisions and find ways to help them through the coming changes.
- Show compassion and take into consideration how those who are furloughed or laid off will feel and how difficult this is for them.
3. Lean On Key Leaders
- Include 2-3 key, trusted leaders in your decision-making process when restructuring your staff to ensure you’re making level-headed decisions.
- Ensure that those key leaders will be consistently praying with you and handling all of these difficult decisions with love.
- Assess the outside agendas your key leaders will be bringing into your discussions. It’s imperative for your leaders to be knowledgeable enough to make tough decisions gracefully while considering what’s best for the organization.
- Ensure that everyone is focused on the health and long-term success of the organization and its impact in the Kingdom.
- Know that it’s okay to seek wise counsel if you and your key leaders have never walked through these types of decisions before. Outside advisors should understand the organization’s culture and leadership style and be invested enough to see your organization through the entire journey.
4. Take Your Time
- You cannot rush these decisions. You need time for discussion, prayer, and disagreement.
- The more time you allow for the conversation to progress and for people to voice their thoughts and opinions, the higher the guarantee that you have a well-balanced room where people feel comfortable sharing their perspectives and thoughts. At the end of the day, this thorough assessment of your situation will lead to a more successful outcome for your staff and business.
5. Have Agreement Amongst Decision-Makers
- It’s crucial for there to be clarity and alignment on how the decision will be made. This helps to make sure there’s a common understanding across the board of how the process will work and when the conversation should close.
- Making decisions with one heart and one voice contributes to the consistency, alignment, and unity of the organization moving forward. Your staff will see whether leadership is divided or united, and their perception will influence their morale.
- It’s important to ensure that the team members outside of the key leaders know that they have strong leaders who stand together in their decision making during these parameters of restructuring.
It’s always challenging for leaders to implement layoffs, furloughs, and restructuring their staff. Be encouraged and know that you’re not alone, Christ will continue to guide you as you pray through and implement major changes for your organization. We are praying for all leaders who have to walk through this tough season during COVID-19.
Sutton Turner is the chief operating officer of Vanderbloemen, which serves teams with a greater purpose by aligning their people solutions for growth: hiring, compensation, succession and culture. Through its retained executive search and consulting services, Vanderbloemen serves churches, schools, nonprofits, family offices, and Christian businesses in all parts of the United States and internationally.