published July 17, 2012

By Harrison Barnes, CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left

Things to Keep in Mind When Reorganizing or Downsizing

How employers can handle downsizingReorganizing often comes with additional problems like low employee morale leading to lower productivity and diminishing bottom-line in organizations. Sometimes, efficient workers are the first to leave and law firms may face the additional burden of hiring new workers in their already disturbed state of affairs. Lack of job security and confusion at workplace doesn't leave the remaining employees with much motivation, sometimes leading to absenteeism and negative efficiency levels among the workforce.

In such times, what any law firm needs is employee confidence and employee buy-in that will lead employees to put their best foot forward and pull the organization through bad times. All said, for firms that are in the process of reorganizing, it is always a tough call to manage the negative effects of reorganizing on their employees and others in their eco-systems.

What should law firms do when uncertain economic times come? Here are a few tips:

  • Communicate with your employees: Continuously communicate and engage employees about the changes happening within the law firm. Uncertainty about their future can lead to lower productivity among your employees. The objective is to keep your top talent and ensure that the affected employees find suitable employment within or outside your law firm. You can rest assured of their loyalty to your law firm, if they leave you on good terms.

  • Take measures to keep your best talent: Your top performers are your competitors' best bet too. And they are also the ones to leave an organization in turmoil, the first! However, in such times, you need their specialized skills and their talent the most. Assure your top performers that their role will be critical in the future of the law firm and acknowledge their achievements and other high points in their careers with the organization

  • Win goodwill through career development tips: Decrease your employees' anxiety by participating in discussions to help them think of probable long-term and short-term scenarios on account of restructuring in the organization. Help them analyse their strengths and career potential and enlighten them on other career opportunities available to them or the skills they need to hone to increase their professional abilities.

  • Help your remaining workers cope up: usually a lot morale boosting and support goes into keeping the confidence up of the remaining workforce. Understand the career aspirations of these employees and help them realize the benefits of staying with your organization. Help them realize that the added roles and responsibilities will give them a chance to grow professionally and will surely enhance their growth with the organization in future.
Reorganizing is not an easy choice for any law firm. In any case, law firms must keep up communication and employee involvement in decision-making on certain issues to restore their trust and confidence in your organization.

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