Head Office : 0161 828 8726

Ask Ian & Kate: How do I start from scratch with my company’s people structure?

Published 4th Nov 2022

“I’ve been reviewing our company’s organisational structure and I think we need to have a big overhaul – the whole thing needs to be reviewed and redesigned, in my opinion. The way the teams are departmentalised at the moment just isn’t working and we aren’t achieving our growth plans, or our career development goals for our employees.” 

  • Ryan, retail sector

Thanks for your email, Ryan. We know how difficult it can be when you want to completely scrap your existing org structure and start again – that’s why you need to take it back to basics, and see what it is you’re trying to achieve. That’s how you’ll know how to get there, and who you need to either a) keep in the role they’re in, b) change someone from one role to another, or c) hire more people.

To really find out if you need a complete overhaul with your organisational structure, I’d ask yourself the following: 

  • What are my business goals for the future?
  • Which departments/teams have worked well in the past?
  • What is holding me back?
  • What roles or talent can’t I find, and why? 
  • Am I being unrealistic?
  • Have I benchmarked against other businesses ?
  • What is the most efficient workflow?
  • How will I achieve business goals whilst also serving customers well?
  • Should we organise employees by function, region or product line?
  • What org planning software can we use to visualise a more productive structure?

Whilst this might seem like quite a long and complex list of questions to ask yourself, answering these will give you a better idea of if you need to reorganise your company structure, and if so, how to do it and set out new roles.

Understanding clear business goals is always the best place to start. From here, knowing which departments and teams have worked well is vital, because there will be a clear reason why they’ve worked well – this can then be applied to the rest of the business.

If you’re struggling to find specific candidates, it might be worth working with a specialist recruiter in your sector. They will also be able to tell you if you’re being unrealistic about your expectations, and maybe realign your hiring plans with you.

Benchmarking against other businesses is always an important one – take a look at some of your biggest competitors, and see how their organisational structure looks. They may have roles or entire teams that your business is yet to consider – take the time to assess whether they’d work for you, in terms of achieving overall business goals, and helping your employees with career development.

Don’t forget – serving your customers is as important as taking care of your employees. This is why organisation structures need to be considered carefully; if your customers are going to be impacted by any changes, you need to have solutions ready ahead of time. 

Another thing to consider is the tech platforms you are using – it may be worth investing in org planning structure to compare your existing structure with an alternative, and see where changes need to be made. This can help you see where teams need to stay the same, be split into new teams, and where completely new hires need to be made.

From here, you can then start to make more strategic decisions. The best advice we can give is don’t rush into it – it can be a long process, but executing your organisational structure is vital to business success, so take your time until you’re happy with it. (And, of course, get in touch with us if you’d like more info on our restructure and change support services.)

Got a question for Ian and Kate?

If you’ve got an issue or work-related question you’d like to put to Ian and Kate and their network of HR experts, email enquiries@mccarthyrecruitment.com with the subject line “Ask Ian & Kate”. We can’t answer every question, but we will try our best to point you in the right direction.

Join the #1 Best Place To Work In the UK