Navigating The Course Change: Redefining Fit In A New Company Direction

  • Best Practice
  • By The PR Team
  • Published on 16/02/2024

Let’s start with a truth that’s as real as the mid-morning coffee fix – companies evolve, and so do their visions. Like a river carving its path, businesses adapt and shift to the dynamic demands of the market, technological advancements, or just a strategic realignment of their goals.

But what about the employees, the lifeblood of the organization, who might find themselves veering off this new course? How do we manage them with empathy and professionalism, ensuring the transition is beneficial for all parties involved?

‘Managing out,’ or transitioning employees who no longer fit the company’s new direction, can be a delicate process. It requires a balanced blend of honesty, empathy, respect, and strategy.

  1. Set Clear Expectations: It’s paramount to communicate the new company direction clearly, specifying what this shift means for each role. This way, employees can align their career objectives with the company’s future trajectory.
  2. Performance Conversations: Have honest, empathetic, and constructive discussions with employees about their performance in the evolving company scenario. Highlight the gap between their skills or approach and the new company direction, while also acknowledging their past contributions.
  3. Offer Support and Training: Consider providing training programs that can help the employees develop the requisite skills or behaviors needed in the new company landscape.
  4. Explore Internal Alternatives: Investigating opportunities for lateral moves within the organization can be a win-win. It respects the employee’s tenure and knowledge of the company, while also aligning the workforce with the new company direction.
  5. Respectful Transitioning: If the gap is too vast to bridge or if the employee chooses to move on, manage their exit respectfully. This could include a fair severance package, outplacement services, or assistance in job hunting, using agencies to help find suitable roles, and using your own connections to help employees find something new whilst giving them the internal support to do so.
  6. Legal and Ethical Considerations: Always ensure that the process aligns with the legal and ethical standards. A lack of fairness or due process can result in reputational damage and potential legal consequences.

Collaboration between leadership, HR, and employees can make this transition smoother and more positive.

  1. Leadership: Leading with empathy is essential during periods of transition. Leaders should openly communicate the new direction, be available for discussions, and show understanding and support towards employees navigating this change.
  2. HR: HR plays a pivotal role in orchestrating this process. From facilitating transparent communication, handling logistical details, providing emotional support, to ensuring legal compliance, HR stands at the helm, steering the company through these turbulent waters.
  3. Employees: Encourage employees to voice their concerns, ask questions, and make informed decisions about their career paths. It’s their journey too.

Managing employees through this type of change can be a challenging yet necessary step in the evolution of a company. It’s about striking a balance between the needs of the organization and the professional aspirations and well-being of its employees. With clear communication, empathy, strategic planning, and collaboration, companies can navigate this process successfully, emerging with a workforce better aligned with the new company direction. And as the sun sets, we can find solace in the fact that every end is a new beginning, for both the company and the employees, opening doors to opportunities that align with their respective paths.