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Five steps to restructuring your organisation

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This page outlines five key steps to follow when restructuring a charity or voluntary organisation.

What is organisational restructuring?

An organisational restructure is where an organisation changes the way it operates – usually by changing the way teams or roles are organised.

Restructuring an organisation can feel like a daunting task, but frameworks can help. You can use the steps below to guide you through the process.

Step 1. Know why you’re restructuring

Charities and voluntary organisations decide to restructure for a range of reasons. Examples include:

  • Financial distress: you may be forced to cut costs with declining funding.
  • Implementing a new strategy: you may need to bring in additional expertise, or adopt new ways of working, to achieve your organisation’s new strategy.
  • Increasing efficiency: changing your team structure may help everyone work more efficiently.

Restructuring takes up valuable time and resource and can result in staff redundancies. So you need to make sure you’re doing it for good reason.

Knowing why will help you understand what the key measures of a successful re-structure might be. This will be important when you review the changes you’ve made.

Step 2. Get accurate data and insights

It’s helpful to have data to support your decision making. You could look at:

  • financial data: so you’re clear about your costs and income
  • insights from staff and volunteers: to ensure you consider different perspectives
  • data that shows the impact of any current inefficiencies: so you can identify where you need to make changes.

Data will help you be clear about the benefits you expect to see because of a restructure. These could include:

  • reduced costs
  • improved service delivery
  • more effective, joined-up working.

Step 3: Make the case for change

Be clear and honest about the reasons for a restructure with staff and volunteers. Don’t be afraid to be open about the challenges your organisation is facing.

Take the time to explain how a restructure will help to address these challenges and present opportunities. This will help you get ‘buy-in’ from staff and volunteers, as well as maintain trust and confidence in your charity’s leadership.

Step 4: Keep communicating

Clear and effective communication will help build support internally and externally. Communication should be regular and transparent so you can:

  • keep staff and volunteers informed
  • minimise feelings of uncertainty
  • reduce the risk of any opposition to change.

It can be helpful to appoint specific spokespeople to talk to employees about the restructure and potential benefits. This will help you ensure consistent communication.

Step 5: Review the changes

Once you’ve implemented change, it’s important to measure how successful you’ve been in achieving your aims. For example, if the aim was to reduce costs, have you achieved this?

An in-depth review will support better decision making in the future.

Last reviewed: 29 August 2023

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This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 29 August 2023

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