My day last Thursday started off by finding out that the company I worked for cut 10% of its head office employees, including 3 of my colleagues who lost their jobs. After the shock, came a variety of emotions. There was a feeling of loss for my colleagues who throughout the years had become my friends. Then there was also guilt for being grateful that I wasn’t part of the cuts. Finally, the realization that my district now expanded from 13 stores to 22. I went from 13 direct reports to 22, an increase of almost 70%.
This is not an unusual occurrence. Corporate restructuring, no matter in which industry, has become a popular solution to cutting immediate costs. If this has ever happened to you or anyone you know, where did you start? It is clear that in a Culture of Performance, expectations are high. If you are to maintain or increase your level of performance, you need to think and do things differently. You cannot function the same way as before in a different environment.
So where do you start?
Here are Tips in Handling the Extra Workload after a Corporate Restructuring
This is not a new term, but it is such an important and powerful one. You can choose to complain about your current situation, which will lead you down one path. Or, you can choose to figure out a way to expand on your skills and abilities in order to meet your new challenges head on. The person you need to be in order to take on the extra responsibilities will result in you becoming better skilled, more knowledgeable and overall increase your personal development.
Increase Efficiency and Productivity
Productivity is not about the amount of tasks that you can get completed in one day. Productivity is about the relevancy of the tasks that you get done. Take a moment to look at where you spend most of your time in a given week. Is there anything you can eliminate or delegate? You need to become a multiplier and invest your time today into things that will create more time tomorrow. You need to become GREAT at task and priority management.
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If you have a team reporting to you, the development of your team is one of those multipliers I was referring to on the previous example. Focus on what team you need to have in order to achieve the required results. Write it down. What behaviors or competencies do they need to exhibit? Now spend a huge chunk of your time creating and developing that team. It will require more of your time today, but will result in better efficiency, increased productivity and improved results in the future.
Now that you have or are working on your ideal team, what tasks or projects can be delegated to them? Who do you have on your team, or who can you have join your team, that you can hold accountable for certain responsibilities. Set clear expectations, then make sure you follow-up.
How can you increase your value to your company? If you were given more, it is because you were trusted to be able to perform more. Your employer is investing in you. How can you ensure that their return continues to increase every year? One sure-fire way is to Never Stop Learning and Growing.
As a leader, your role is to ensure that your team is aligned with company goals. It is easy to convince yourself that you no longer have the time to keep your level of communication with your direct reports high. It is easy to fall into the trap of “no time”. Don’t. Though the type of communication may change, it still remains an essential piece of the puzzle and a must-do. Read my blog post of “The Real Measure of Your Leadership”, which talks about leading through difficult times.
Protect Your Most Valuable Commodity
What is your most valuable commodity? Time. It is the one thing that you cannot get more of. Once the day is gone, you don’t get those hours back. How will you choose to spend it? Invest your time on the 20% that will bring 80% of results. Every day ask yourself this question, “What 2-3 things can I do today, that will multiply my results tomorrow?” Then, learn to say No to those things that don’t lead you to accomplishing those goals and priorities, without feeling guilty.
Build On One of Your Most Valuable Assets
One of your most valuable assets as a leader is TRUST. Trust is at the core of leadership and a leader not only has to trust but be trust worthy. When you have gained and maintained the trust of your team members, their level of engagement skyrockets. With an engaged team behind you, anything is possible.
“The glue that holds all relationships together–including the relationship between the leader and the led–is trust, and trust is based on integrity.” —Brian Tracy
Have you recently gone through a restructure? What helped you manage your extra workload?