Operational restructuring and job commitment
By Michael Economakis, Member of the GTF Advisory Board
Living in a society that receives daily pressure at every level and being anxious to maintain the coherence of its social structure, entrepreneurship and moreover groups and companies associated with it, are invited to adapt their daily activities in a dynamic, full-of-new challenges and perhaps sometimes unknown, socioeconomic environment. Nowadays, this affects, as never before, all companies operating in Greece in the current difficult reality. Therefore, the survival of a business in such conditions requires in many cases the implementation of plans that aim to be adapted to an environment dictated by the new circumstances to stay alive and in many cases still manage to survive. The restructured company itself is a big change, which requires rational manipulation in order to maximize the benefits and minimize cracks in the infrastructure of the company, which is more than the total workforce. How can a business restructure while maintaining the commitment and motivation of its employees? At this stage, the current situation should be reflected with clarity and accuracy, it should describe the impacts of the current effectiveness of the company and clarify how to define a successful restructuring plan. Furthermore, a detailed and specific project of activities and schedules is required. The cornerstone of this effort, as for any other of course, is the rational design. This process is important and requires the participation of all members of the management team, each of which will reshape – based on their experience and knowledge on their fields – the business plan of the company as well as commit to that effect. It is of key importance that the entire management team endorses the final draft and be convinced of its effectiveness. It is essential that all share the same vision and believe in its achievement or any other action will inevitably fail from the beginning. Equally important and an essential part of all of the above design is the communication leverage, which is required to be made at each stage of implementation. It is very important that the affected parties by the implementation of the above design (shareholders, investors and employees mostly) be fully aware throughout the period of implementation. The communication design that will be created should cover the needs for communication and information of each of the above groups. Shareholders and investors of the company should be able to have immediate and accurate information about the current status of the organization and its future prospects. Equally important if not more so is the transparent communication between management and employees in a company in which restructuring is underway. The management must communicate to all employees clearly, accurately and honestly, the objectives of restructuring and the need to achieve them, which must be clearly linked to the sustainability and growth prospects of the business. It is necessary to set up and be supported by all a contra-lateral inter-company communication system, which enables every employee to express any objections, concerns and recommendations that they have and to take immediate and honest response from the management.
The management must be accessible at any time to each employee when it is required in order to manage effectively the legitimate concerns and anxieties of employees positioned with honesty and clarity. The implementation of the above simple and logical thoughts highly determines with its effectiveness a critical factor for the dedication or not of the employees of a company, which is leveraged primarily by management and establishes trust between employees and management.
However, every enterprise certainly operates in its own environment and particularities; therefore, the perspective “one size fits all” or “success formula” does not exist. All of the above, as a result of personal experiences, are alternative paths leading to the right direction without being necessarily the only alternatives.
Michael E. Economakis started his career 36 years ago, in Coca-Cola Hellenic the 2nd biggest bottler of The Coca-Cola Company in the world, operating in 28 countries. Over the first years he worked in Sales, holding a variety of Sales, Field and Commercial positions. He had been constantly progressing throughout his career into wider and higher responsibility roles within Coca-Cola Hellenic appointed as a GM in various operations of CCH and its subsidiaries. Currently he is Executive Vice Chairman of AG Leventis Group and he is leading the implementation of its structural and cultural transformation strategy.
Michael is also a member of the Board of Directors of GNCCT (Greek – Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Technology), a member of CEO ASSOCIATION GREECE and a member of the Global Thinkers Forum Advisory Board.