THE CASE FOR CHANGE: Our client is a future-focused commercial and office printing business with a team of 15. The General Manager’s focus is on keeping ahead of technology advancements in the industry as well as achieving the right mix of people, process, and technology to maximise efficiency in the business. Whilst achieving successful business outcomes is a key driver, he is values-led in his approach, invests in his people’s development and is a compassionate leader.

What problem did Freerange Works need to solve?

The General Manager (GM) introduced Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools into the business, resulting in processes becoming more automated. This changed how and where work was able to be completed, enabling it to be done offshore and offsite. Ultimately this meant that there was a reduction of manual work required and fewer staff were needed to carry out the work.

Freerange was engaged to support the client with a change consultation to reduce the team, in a way that was fair, legal, and procedurally correct, and that held their company values and their peoples’ wellbeing at the forefront.

How we supported with the restructure process

Managing legal risk and ensuring a fair process

  • Coaching and guidance:We provided the GM with step-by-step coaching on conducting a change process, ensuring legal requirements and company values were met. We attended consultation and decision meetings, offering support and expertise.
  • Legal compliance: Ensuring individual employment agreement clauses and legal process were met. We meticulously reviewed all documentation to guarantee compliance.

Creation of change documentation and employee communication

  • Drafting documents: We created all consultation documentation and employee communications, ensuring clarity and transparency throughout the process.
  • Supporting evidence: We worked with the GM to gather and present evidence supporting the need for change, ready to address any concerns that arose.
  • Updating job descriptions:We reviewed and updated position descriptions as necessary, redistributing tasks from disestablished roles.

Considering feedback and redeployment options

  • Engaging with employees: We facilitated discussions about which roles would be affected and ensured employee feedback was genuinely considered.
  • Redeployment opportunities: We explored potential redeployment options for those impacted by the changes, striving to find suitable positions within the organization.

Provision of employee support

  • Advice on notice periods: We advised on appropriate timeframes and notice periods, helping decide whether employees should work their notice or be paid in lieu.
  • Emotional support: Recognizing the emotional impact of restructuring, we ensured access to counseling and outplacement support.
  • Additional Support: The GM considered making additional payments and organized a farewell morning tea, also providing verbal references for those made redundant.

Outcome and business impact

The change process was considered a ‘success’, in that the General Manager reduced the team by one employee, saving the company approximately $80,000 per annum. The impacted employee left the business understanding why the changes had been necessary, and the inevitable impact these changes had on resourcing in the business. No grievances were raised.

Why leading with compassion makes all the difference

The key learnings we can take from this GM’s approach, that we could apply to any change consultation with our employees, is the benefit of his preparedness and compassion.

He made sure he was prepared in the lead up to all consultation meetings; he didn’t need to reference the change documents and he could talk confidently and clearly through what he needed to, explaining things in a calm and matter-of-fact manner.

Through the restructure process when communicating with his team, his compassion was evident and was of huge benefit to the process, impacting how the proposed changed was perceived by the team and how the affected employee responded to the change and ultimate outcome. Further to offering outplacement support, additionally he offered time off to his employees to consider the proposal and provide feedback. He also clearly explained the reasons for not putting in place suggestions received during the feedback period to ensure that the employee understood.

Financial support for a restructure process

Restructuring can be a complex undertaking, requiring careful planning, strategic insight, and specialised expertise. Our team of experienced consultants is dedicated to working closely with you to understand your unique needs, devise tailored strategies, and implement effective solutions that drive tangible results.

Freerange Works is a service provider for the Regional Business Partner Network so your business may be eligible to receive financial assistance for our support with a restructure in your business.

To access the funding, you need to register your business with the RBPN (you’ll need to have you NZBN number handy). When you speak with your dedicated growth advisor you will need to request the Freerange Works service called Navigating organisational restructure: Strategies for business owners. If you need help with this process get in touch.

Business restructures are challenging

Navigating a business restructure is challenging, but with the right support and approach, it can lead to significant benefits. The team at Freerange Works is here to guide you through every step, ensuring a fair, legal, and compassionate process. Contact us today to learn how we can help you successfully restructure your business.