Apr 012017


A common business practice seems to be more and more companies are always reinventing how things are done.  Restructuring is very common place in the working world today.  And, when change happens, that change can throw the workforce into a tailspin.

Because of this practice, outside consulting companies are being hired to make recommendations on ‘streamlining’ the workforce and/or process improvement changes in order to help companies save money.

I remember many years ago walking behind a group of consultants hired by the company I was working for at the time.  The consultants were boosting, “Let’s go in here and show them how it’s done.”

From that day on, I’ve always been leery of these consulting firms making major decisions and not really taking the time to understand what ‘we in the trenches’ are actually doing every single day.

However, I also realize when the owner or CEO of the business has decided a restructuring is necessary, and has hired a consulting firm to make recommendations, there is nothing anyone can do to stop what is about to happen.

So, here are some tips to get through the major changes your company may have chosen to explore.

1   Ask your boss to let you know what can be shared about the pending changes.

Keep in mind, management is sometimes told not to discuss what is going on, so do not let this lack of communication upset you.

It is best if you do not worry about something you cannot control.

Management has a plan, and they intend to follow through with it.

Keep your head down and just continue to do your job.

Do not get into the ‘water cooler’ conversations.  I have seen these conversations ruin careers.

Speculation only hurts people.  Do not be a part of the rumor mill.

2  Do not jump to the conclusion you will lose your job.

Many times, streamlining involves change to upper and middle management and not necessarily the workforce in place today.

Remember, even if there are major changes, the changes cannot happen all at once.  It takes a lot of time to change an entire process.

3  What happens if you are told your job is being eliminated?

Typically, you will be given some notice.

If help is offered to assist you in finding another job within the company or to find employment elsewhere, take the help!

Resume help and referral help are typical.  If not offered, get a recruiter to help you.  LinkedIn is a great tool for networking and has recruiters that will help you.

A lot of times, some type of financial arrangement will be made.

Sometimes, you can be hired back for a short time as a consultant to do the same job.

Typically, consulting jobs pay more but will not have benefits and will be paid on a 1099.  This means taxes will not come out of your pay, and you will be responsible for paying taxes on the income.

4  Sometimes, the change can be as simple as a new boss.

When a new boss comes in, everyone gets very nervous typically, and everyone speculates what this new person is going to do differently.  Again, don’t be a part of the speculations.

Recently my group found out we had a new Senior Manager.  Since I worked with this person at my previous employer, everyone started sending me notes and calling me asking if he is a good guy and what I thought he would change, etc. etc.

It was rather comical how everyone reacted, but I was lucky in that I knew the person and that did give me a sense of some comfort, so I had to understand the reaction.  If I hadn’t known the person, I am sure I would have felt the same way!

Remember, a company’s best asset is its employees.  So, do not sell yourself short.

If the boss coming in is really good, he or she will set-up a one-on-one with each employee.

Here are my suggestions on how to handle when someone new will be in control of your destiny.

5   If the boss requests a one-on-one with you, make time for this call.

Be prepared for the call.

If you can, create what you do in a workflow or excel spreadsheet.

Have the information handy if the boss asks you what you do or are doing.  It’s always better to be prepared and have everything at your fingertips.

6  Don’t be all business.  Be relaxed and composed.

Remember, this person is probably nervous as well (although they probably won’t show it).

7  Ask the boss what they have learned so far about the company  and what their overall vision may be of what will change.

Be supportive and offer to help with anything the boss will need to make decision making easier.

Be ready with suggestions about pain points and how to improve them.

Do not complain about something without some sense of how it could be fixed.  Bosses like someone who thinks proactively.

Change can create fear.  It is typical for humans to be comfortable with ‘the way things are.’  And, when there is any kind of change in our lives, just remember, you can’t necessarily control the change, so embrace it and be a part of the new ‘go-forward.’

Robin Anderson earned her BBA and MBA from Averett University and graduated with a 3.88 GPA.  She is also a member of the Pinnacle National Honor Society and a member of the Institute of Financial Operations as well as served on the Strategic Advisory Committee for several years and has been a speaker for 4 years at the National Convention.  Robin volunteers her time with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the ALS Association, and speaking for Averett University. Contact

Photo Credit – tpsdave