Organizational Changes – Introducing New Managers, Part 1

This post continues a series discussing the handling of some major organizational changes at my company.

After interviewing seven candidates for our managerial openings, we had chosen two and were prepared to make offers to them.  One of the new managers was an internal candidate and one was external.

The first step was to communicate our decisions to the two new managers, and to the rest of the company.  We started this process with an important core belief: No one should learn indirectly about a change that affects them directly.  Instead, communication of those changes needed to be personal and private, and in order to achieve this, our communication plan followed a carefully structured order:

  • Determine the reporting structure for the new managers
    Now that we knew who the new managers would be, we needed to work out the new organization structure.  We had about fifteen employees who were all going to have new managers.  We needed to determine who would report to which new manager, and who would report directly to Rene or directly to me.  There were a lot of factors to consider – geographic location, technical skills, personality, inter-personal relationships with colleagues (including the about-to-be-promoted manager), and length of tenure with the company.  Still, even with all those considerations, it didn’t take too long to come up with an org chart we were all satisfied with.
  • Make offers to the new managers
    It’s easy to deliver good news!  We arranged a three-way conference call with the internal candidate, myself, and Rene (Director of Consulting, who would oversee this new role). He eagerly and happily accepted the position.  Our HR Director then called the external candidate with the other job offer, which he also accepted and agreed on a start date.
  • Make offer to the new principal consultant
    One of the external candidates turned out to be well qualified for a different open position.  Our HR Director called him with a job offer as well, along with an explanation of why we hadn’t chosen him for the manager role, but thought he was ideal for the principal consultant opening.  Just like the other candidate, he accepted our offer and agreed on a start date.

In the next post, I’ll explain how we completed the communication (including the most difficult part of the process).

For now…I’ll leave you with this thought:

When you are announcing significant organizational changes, prepare a detailed, structured plan for communication and carry it out swiftly.

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