What Is Job Restructuring: Empowering Your Workforce for Success

A strong team of employees can help build your business from the ground up. But, you can’t expect your business to prosper if your workers aren’t thriving with it. To help keep employees satisfied and motivated, consider job restructuring. What is job restructuring?

What is job restructuring?

Job restructuring is when an employer changes the nature and responsibilities of an employee’s position. With job restructuring, you might add similar tasks to an employee’s workload. Or, you might give higher-level responsibilities to an employee, even though they are in the same position.

Job restructuring can be broken down into two categories: horizontal and vertical restructuring.

Horizontal restructuring

Horizontal restructuring consists of adding new tasks to an employee’s workload that fall into the same level as their current responsibilities.

For example, you might have an employee who works in your accounting department start taking on more financial-related tasks along with their normal job responsibilities. These new tasks are on the same level as the employee’s other duties, but they fall into a different department or category.

Hang on a second … do you need a refresher on workplace laws?

Before you make changes to employee jobs, consider workplace laws you need to follow. Our free guide can help.

Vertical restructuring

Vertical restructuring is when you change up an employee’s position to take on higher level responsibilities along with their regular tasks.

For example, you might give your customer service employee customer service manager responsibilities, like balancing the cash register.

Reasons for job restructuring

Companies may use job restructuring for a number of reasons. You might restructure jobs to reorganize your company, meet reasonable accommodation requirements, and improve employee satisfaction.

Dive deeper into the reasons why you might restructure jobs below.

Reasons for job restructuring: 1) company reorganization 2) Reasonable accommodation 3) Satisfy and benefit employees

Company reorganization

At some point, you may find you need to reorganize your company. To accomplish business reorganization, you might have to lay off employees, condense departments, and eliminate certain processes. Because of these changes, you likely need to shift employees’ positions and responsibilities.

If you reorganize your company and switch up your employees’ work responsibilities, consider restructuring jobs.

Reasonable accommodation

Many companies change the structure of jobs to help meet reasonable accommodation requirements in the workplace. So, what is reasonable accommodation?

Reasonable accommodations are an important aspect of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A reasonable accommodation is an adjustment an employer makes to give a disabled individual equal access to employment opportunities.

Some reasonable accommodation modifications include:

  • Revamping a position to accommodate a worker’s needs
  • Allowing individuals to work from home
  • Modifying an employee’s work schedule
  • Making changes to the workplace (e.g., wheelchair ramp)
  • Providing job coaches

Restructuring a position can give disabled employees equal opportunity in the workplace and allow them to thrive professionally. And, job restructuring helps your business stay up-to-date with ADA guidelines.

Satisfy and benefit employees

Job restructuring does not always result from other changes in the workplace. Sometimes, employers restructure positions to satisfy or benefit an employee.

Job restructuring may benefit workers who:

  • Have strengths in various areas or departments
  • Need motivation
  • Don’t like routines or repetition

Say you have an employee, Adam, who has many skills and strengths. However, Adam prefers handling a variety of tasks and wants to expand his area of expertise.

To meet Adam’s career goals, you might restructure his position a bit. For example, you might have Adam work 35 hours per week in customer service and the other five hours in sales if he enjoys upselling products to customers.

Satisfying workers is a win-win for both you and your employees. You get to help improve employee satisfaction and an employee’s skill set. And, your employee is happy and more likely to stick with your company in the long-run.

Advantages and disadvantages of job restructuring

Job restructuring isn’t for every business. Before you decide to implement job restructuring in your company, weigh the pros and cons.

Advantages of job restructuring:

Disadvantages of job restructuring:

  • Costs
  • Spending time making adjustments (e.g., spending time adjusting job descriptions and duties)
  • Overlapping positions
  • Employees being uncertain about their responsibilities
  • Potential conflict in the workplace

Steps for restructuring a job

Before you can restructure a position, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the pros and cons of job restructuring for my business?
  • Is job restructuring absolutely necessary?
  • Are there any other changes I can make before restructuring a position?
  • Will job restructuring negatively impact any employees?

If you decide to move forward with job restructuring, complete the following steps:

  1. Notify the employee(s)
  2. Inform necessary departments about any changes (e.g., HR)
  3. Have the employee fill out or sign paperwork (e.g., contract or notification of changes)
  4. Adjust the employee’s pay (if applicable)
  5. Make updates to payroll (if applicable)
  6. Implement job restructuring in the workplace

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This article has been updated from its original publication date of June 26, 2019.

This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.

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