Who do you blame when your company is not performing as well as you think it should? All too often, we focus on external cases like the behavior of the markets, the overall state of the economy or what our competitors are doing. This can certainly play a role, but what if the problem is internal? The sad truth is that sometimes managers don’t pull their weight, and when we are used to working with them, it is all too easy to overlook the problem. Firing managers can be destabilizing and bad for morale, but might things be improved by repositioning them?
How you can gain from a reshuffle
There are many things that can go wrong with management, but sometimes it is as simple as a personality clash with key employees, a poor fit in a particular department, or boredom with a role that has run out of challenges. Reshuffling your managers can give your business a new lease of life. It can enable them to start learning again and feel energized by the process. It means knowledge and skills can move between departments as managers and senior employees exchange ideas.
If it’s skillfully handled, it can place individuals in roles that are better suited to their temperament, working with teams they can more easily connect with. It also gives you the chance to look again at your managers’ prior experience and qualifications to see if they have talents that have not been used to the best effect.
The risks of reshuffles
Reshuffles do mean a shake-up, and while this can help to get people reassessing what they do, it can also have a short-term negative impact on productivity, so be careful about the timing. It is not a solution that will work automatically; you’ll need to carefully think through how you move people in order for it to be effective. Remember that you don’t need to move everybody, so if a department is performing well, it might be better to leave it alone. You should be careful to ensure that you don’t simply move problems from one department into another because sometimes – even if it’s hard to face the fact – the real issue is simply one of incompetence.
Is new management needed?
When one or more of your managers is simply not cutting it, it might be time to bring in new talent. Seeing an established colleague go can unsettle the team, but it can also bring relief because often people are aware of the problems but don’t feel able to do anything about them. When Yusuf Alireza became CEO of Noble Group, he drew on his experience of restructuring at Goldman Sachs and removed those managers who were holding the company back, slimming it down and making it more efficient.
A management reshuffle is a big step that many companies are nervous about taking. However, it can be just what’s needed to turn things around when problems are clearly present but difficult to diagnose and set your company back on the road to success.