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Reorganization Guidelines


Before you begin the planning and tactical process related to reorganization and layoffs, it is of utmost importance to think about the “how” and the “why.” 

Reorganizations and layoffs are done in response to reductions in work, the need to improve processes and streamline procedures, and to address budget reductions. Reorganizations and layoffs are not directed at individual employees, but rather focused on roles. Thus layoffs are not done for performance reasons. 

Change by its very nature causes stress, and changes in people’s work and professional lives can cause a great deal of anxiety. As a result, communication and transparency of process is critical. You cannot over-communicate during this time.  People will be seeking information, and if it does not come from you then rumors will take its place. Even if you don’t know anything new, communicate that things are proceeding as scheduled.  Be open to questions and concerns. Be available to respond to them. 

Remember that change takes time; this is a period when you will need to use campus resources to support your efforts. Ensure that an HR person is knowledgeable about what is going on in your unit and available to your staff to answer questions. For the best possible outcome, reorganizations and layoffs should be done in the most humanistic manner possible. Acknowledge your employees contributions to UCSF and your organization in particular. Thank them. Remaining employees will look to how you treated laid off employees. Your attitude and behavior will increase or decrease future trust levels within your work group.

Orientation to Guidelines

In times of constrained budgets, managers typically review their operations to determine organizational performance gaps and opportunities for improvement. Sometimes improvements require changes in staffing, and the following guidelines are intended to provide instructions for ensuring as smooth a transition as possible.

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The guidelines for managers are divided into two sections:

Regardless of whether or not this is your first time initiating or managing an organizational restructuring effort, these guidelines are not a substitute for involving subject-matter experts referenced in each section. HR is your partner in achieving your organizational and operational goals.

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Section A: Basic Planning

This section highlights the planning steps which typically precede layoff decisions. There are a variety of resources available to support your analysis and decision making. Whether you are analyzing a small unit, or multiple departments, this section provides an overview of the basic steps to improving operations.

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Engage Stakeholders

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Review Mission & Vision

Review your unit’s mission (what you do, for whom, how).

Review your key constituents and stakeholders and their needs. Identify possible partners.

Conduct a quick external scan (what challenges and opportunities are emerging?) and internal
scan (what are your group’s current strengths and weaknesses?).

Describe your desired future or vision.

Identify goals or outcomes you need to accomplish to move toward this vision.

Update your mission to reflect what you have learned.

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Analyze Current Processes

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Redesign Processes & Structure

Restructuring is often the result of redesigning our business processes. The goals are to:

The new processes should:

Determine if a different organizational structure is needed to support the improved business
processes, support customer needs, to meet department goals, and achieve desired outcomes.

Determine whether the proposed new structure is in alignment with those in other units, vertically
and horizontally, as appropriate.

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Develop an Implementation Plan

A successful implementation relies on clear governance of the change process. Your plan might

Resources in the Planning Stage

There are numerous resources available to help with planning changes to business processes
and the organizational structures that support them. For example, Campus Learning &
Development can help with:

Resource experts across Human Resources can assist with planning for staffing changes that
involve redefining positions, downsizing, or expanding areas of expertise.

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Section B: Implementation Plan for Conducting Layoffs

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Engage Partners

As soon as it is determined that layoffs are imminent, it is important to meet with your human
resources experts. These may include:

Labor & Employee Relations can help:

Compensation & Strategic Rewards can help:

Learning & Development can help:

Recruitment & Workforce Planning can help:

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Develop Ongoing Communication Plan

Planning and carrying out communications will help mitigate adverse impacts to keeping employees engaged and productive in the face of organizational changes. Consider identifying a point person and a back-up for coordinating information needs for all involved and impacted.

Note: While you are developing and implementing a Reorganization Action Plan, you should be simultaneously updating your Communication Plan—adjusting dates/timelines as needed. Visit Guide To Managing Human Resources: Chapter 13 for help on preparing a communication plan.

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Prepare for Staffing Changes

Prepare a spreadsheet with the names of everyone in the current organization and their:

Prepare a spreadsheet for all new positions in the new structure with:

Prepare a timeline (update as needed) with dates for:

Note: If you will have any “exceptions” (to the recruitment policy) you will need to plan for longer notice timelines, as well as to submit for special waiver approval from the Campus Director of Human Resources. Coordinate with your Employee Relations Consultant to set up a meeting to discuss options. The ERC will bring in other resources (Recruitment & Workforce Planning, FSAP) as needed.

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Develop the Business Plan

The following is a list of tasks involved with the layoff process. Your department human
resources manager will need to address the items below:

  1. Contact your Labor & Employee Relations representative in central HR early to set up a planning meeting. They will assist with bringing in other resources as needed (e.g., FSAP, and Benefits). They will also coordinate the review for disparate impact. Be sure to review: http://ucsfhr.ucsf.edu/index.php/layoffguide/.
  2. Determine notice requirements (per policy and collective bargaining agreements).
  3. Prepare the business plan, and submit to Labor & Employee Relations for approval. The package should include request for order of seniority forms and before and after organizational charts. Seniority points will be calculated by Labor & Employee Relations.
  4. Establish order of potential layoffs based on seniority points, or special skills requirements (if out of seniority).
  5. Allocate additional time for processing out of seniority layoffs.
  6. Schedule layoff appointment meetings with your HR representative who will be assisting you with the meetings.
  7. Schedule delivery of layoff letters to individual staff; prepare script and identify who will handle the meetings.
  8. Send copies of layoff notices to unions as appropriate and work with Labor & Employee Relations to provide additional union notifications as necessary (e.g., notice of layoff of 5 or more employees in a layoff unit).
  9. Schedule meeting with the rest of the staff (following the layoffs); prepare script.
  10. Schedule reassignments of staff if applicable; prepare script.

If you have new positions opening at the same time:

  1. Send the new positions to Compensation for classification.
  2. Post your jobs in BrassRing.

Plan communications to external customers and stakeholders to announce the reorganization and new staffing.

Encourage those in new supervisory roles to attend courses in the Supervisory Certification Series.

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Resources for Managers: Training & Contact Information

There are numerous resources available to assist managers during the layoff process. Depending on whether or not your unit is receiving services from an HR shared services center, the resources may vary, but include many of the following:

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Career Workshops

The Career Workshops were developed to encourage and enable people to take charge of their own careers. Visit the Learning Management System to register for the Career Development Workshops. Click “Career Management” under “Featured Classes for Employees.”

There are four modules, and they can each be taken independently. However, the fourth and last module requires that people have attended the first three. We encourage people to attend all the workshops for the best benefit.

If you have any questions, contact Katy Liddell at 476-0420 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Module 1:
Managing Change
Self Assessment

Module 2:
Development Plan
Resume Writing

Module 3:

Module 4:
Resume Critique
Interview Practice

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Resources for Employees: Training & Contact Information

There are numerous resources available to assist staff during the layoff process. Depending on whether or not your unit is receiving services from an HR shared services center, the resources may vary, but include many of the following:

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HR Professionals

A layoff or termination of appointment is a difficult event for all. The following information packages are designed to assist you with the process:

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