Re-org, what is it?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Kristi Aday 6 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #181526

    Elizabeth Sullivan

    A department in my organization is undergoing a reorg. All the HR people (I’m their secretary) dread doing reorgs and I’m not quite sure why.

  • #181548

    Kristi Aday

    What this probably means is you have a department that is revamping its structure, reporting relationships, positions, etc. People will be moved from one supervisor to another, from one job to another. Organizations will do this for a variety of reasons: to accommodate growth or reductions in staffing, to take on new responsibilities, to make a department more “lean,” to steer resources to high priority issues. Lots of reasons. Staff that get comfortable in their positions and reporting structure are now nervous about change and what it means for them. All of these people will come to HR to vent, to complain, to ask for something else. My advice: communicate, communicate, communicate! People need to know what’s happening, why, and what it means to them. The more information they have, the better the chances for success. Good luck!

  • #181546

    Elizabeth Sullivan

    Thanks a lot, that makes it much clearer!

  • #181544

    Steve Ressler

    My theory on reorganization.


    -Can give some fresh energy

    -Can better align how work should be done


    -Everyone hates change and a lot of people will spend and waste cycles talking about re-org, etc

    -Too often re-orgs are done just for re-orgs sake. A new leader wants to put their mark. If a re-org is done too often, it quickly loses its effectiveness

  • #181542

    Terrence Hill

    As an HR person, I can say that they are a lot of trouble, with very little payoff. A personnel action must be processed for each person affected. The reporting relationship for systems like time and attendance, performance management, learning management, and expenses changes, requiring modifications to these often separate systems. New peformance standards need to be corrected and agreements, such as telework agreements, need to be redone.

    Unfortunately, most reorganizations are not to become more efficient and effective. They are often done at the request of new leadership. Many times, the organization will change again once leadership changes.

    That is why your “HR folks” are belly aching.

  • #181540

    Elizabeth Sullivan

    Thanks for your honest answer,it doesn’t seem to me that there’s really a clear reason for them-is that right?

  • #181538

    John L. Waid

    Re-orgs are undertaken for many reasons. Often, the reason is to simply make things look different as if the agency is responding to an issue but the Powers that B don’t really want to change anything. So, things are the same, just different. “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” — The Who.

    Sometimes, a re-organization does change the orientation of the operation. I work for a state tax agency. Our legal office used to be organized areound the types of taxes we administer — i.e., property tax, business tax, etc. Within each section, we had people doing the same kinds of things, writing opinion letters, litigating, making appearnaces in taxpayer appeals, etc. The office was then re-organized around the function rather than the tax. Litigation was in one section, opinion-writers were in another, etc. Is that “better”? Well, “better,” like so many things, being in the eye of the beholder, it’s hard to know. Management seems to like it, so perhaps it has accomplished the goals they had in mind. The point is that the re-organization fundamentally changed the way we accomplish our mission and was more than just window dressing.

    Yes, re-organization is unsettling. Old relationships are lost and new ones have to be formed. But we’re public employees. We’re tough.

  • #181536

    W Nichols

    My organization has re-org’ed 3 times in the last four years, once for each new Director. All that was really changed were the names, cubical assignments, and phone numbers on the organizational chart. What the managers failed to appreciate, and change, were the systems, processes and informal communications networks that get the actual work done. Each re-org has actually resulted in a reduction to output (work completed) and efficiencies (higher costs for each unit of work performed) along with a reduction in morale. The running joke is “when in doubt about what it is you should be doing, re-org”. I visited Coke Cola HQs in Atlanta a couple of years to learn about their re-org efforts. Coke was reorganizing their entire global business operations and structures, redesigning business processes, aligning electronic communications systems and business processes from hundreds of independent (local) applications into a single enterprise application. Each job position and PD was realigned with and into the new business structure. Their planning timeline for this re-org was 5 years. 5 years! My organization completes its re-org in 5 days! Coke is looking for their re-org to put them at a competitive advantage for 10 years after completion, as measured by unit sales, reductions in product production costs, transportation costs, energy cost (carbon footprint, they talk about that), improved product quality, reduced labor costs. My organization is measuring… nothing! Performance measurements or metrics, I think, demonstrates the difference. If the organization is serious about making a difference with a re-org, methods for measuring changes to organizational (not individual) performance will be developed into the planning processes and implemented through the execution process. Many government organizations need to be re-org’ed and realigned to reduce vertical (hierarchical) integrated nature of the organization to leverage the horizontal (flat) structure that allows for work process optimization that reduces costs to the organization. Government budgets won’t be getting any bigger any time soon, reducing the weight of the organizational “overhead” will have to happen. This will mean reducing the layers of overhead, lines of communications and approval. This is all done in the planning stages, but planning is hard, and implementing a good plan harder.

  • #181534

    Peter Sperry

    Successful reorganization = 60% planning + 30% communication + 10% implementation – in that order.

    Unsuccessful reorganization = 10% implementation + 30% confusion + 60% recrimination – in that order.

    Most reorganizations are unsuccessful.

  • #181532

    Julie Chase

    Re-orgs are as follows:

    Cut GS 9 positions (doing the same job to GS5)

    Cut WG11 positions (to WG10), eliminate the WG11 billet all together, and make two WL-10

    Close 2 WD5 billets and open one GS-2005-04 Supply Clerk

    Cut WG11 journeyman mechanics down to WG10, move the WG10 to WG8 and WG8 to WG5

    Close 2 (303) series GS5, GS07, and put the GS-2005-04 Supply Clerk doing what they did

    HRO informs a WG11 inspector that he will now be changing tires in the tire shop as a WG05 (that was fought and the WG11 won however, he became a WL10)

    The GS’ didn’t have a chance in the re-org. You either found another position, prayed for a VERA or VSIP, or were laid off.

    This really happened around the year 2000. (I wasn’t working civil service at the time) NOTE: The amount of work “did not” change. You can wrap it in a pretty package, but it is still an A-76.

    Fast forward to present. WS10 retired, WG10 retired, GS05 (moved to another org)….all 3 billets are NOT being filled. Keep in mind, “workload has NOT changed.” Hiring freeze, again….still….whatever…

    On to the future. WL-10 (both of them retiring in Sept)…..will not be replaced or filled. Keep in mind, “workload has not changed.”

    Not as easy to say to a WG:

    Manager: Ok, you are going to be WL10 until we are allowed to hire.

    WG10: Show me the money or a temp promotion

    Manager: Sorry, no can do, HR will not approve it.

    WG10: Well, I’ll be in production, see ya.

    Manager: They (whoever they are) could press the issue.

    WG10: I would like to speak to my union steward.

    END of conversation

    Manager: GS, well we can’t hire for the 303 so the duties will be moving on to you and one other GS

    GS: Really? What do we get for it?

    Manager: Nothing, a hardy slap on the back for being a “team player”

    GS: I would like to see my union steward……er, uh….oh, well nevermind

    Manager: GS’ aren’t in a bargaining unit,… here (as the folders are plopped on the desk) are some projects that need attending to.

    In the private sector, especially in right to hire states, management can easily re-org with minimal concern. In the fed, it’s a little more tricky….see Terry’s comment. It does take time and paper mountains must be climbed. What the fed doesn’t realize, is that the “workload” has not changed. The players have tossed in a Yahtzee cup and tossed out. If the numbers are low, that is where you land. If you fall off the board, you are laid off. If the number is high, roll again.

    This is the real world of re-org.

  • #181530

    Elizabeth Sullivan

    …hmmm, sounds like nothing good

  • #181528

    Edward Frank

    I think re-orgs are essentially what we have to do as leaders to ensure that all human capital, resources and mission objectives are in sync for optimization. “Misaligned companies, like cars out of alignment, can develop serious problems if not corrected quickly. They are hard to steer and don’t respond well to changes in a direction.” Reorg or “alignment” is the response to the new business reality…..” “The Power of Alignment” by George Labovitz and Victor Rosansky… great read!

    There could be a lot of administration to finalized a reorg that many dread like coordination with unions, general counsel, multiple senior approvals, etc. The task is not simple but essential to organizations that want to adapt to the every changing industry.

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