Reply To: Hi.Q: We have had to restructure. We have gone through the process with 3 employees. One has saved their job (after providing some new ideas during the 7-day feedback phase) one may take up another newly created job in 12 weeks (following feedback phase). The third is going through the feedback process and is likely to not be saved. The issue is that person has not come back with any feedback, during the first 7 days, we extended it for another 5 days and they still are not answering calls, e-mail… they basically have ignored the restructuring process. Do we just now after 12 days make our decision and send them the letter outlining this or wait – if we wait we could be seen to be “leaving the effected employee” hanging… which is not a good look.

Hi there – sounds like you’ve shown the power of consultation in the ability to reinvent work through constructive feedback. Well done on that! I am concerned to hear you have had no contact at all with your employee for 12 days (or is it just no contact on the proposal?). If no contact at all, then most organisations would put checks in place to ensure the employee is OK – and once established, be questioning if they have abandoned their employment. If they have continued to work, but are not responding to your proposal – then that is their right. You have done the right thing to offer an extension (even though your original timeframe was acceptable). I would write to your employees now, outlining how the feedback has changed the proposal (and respond to any other suggestions or feedback you received that you haven’t adopted, with reasons why not), and proceed with implementing the changes. Keep attempting to engage your employee, and write to each one separately, confirming the outcome and implication for each person individually. It’s shame your third employee didn’t engage through the process – but it’s not uncommon – and remember that people are coping in a range of ways right now that may not reflect how they would normally behave ‘in the good times’. If they were a good employee, you might choose to refer them to other employers who might be able to give them work – or consider taking them back into your business in the future, when things look up. Restructuring is tough for everyone – be kind to yourself too. Two jobs were saved here, and under the circumstances, that’s excellent news.