‘Flattened’ IT: Surviving Restructuring

Like many other industries today, IT is experiencing hiring freezes, layoffs, reduced benefits and increased work stresses. While much attention is focused on the woes of front line employees during this time, IT leaders also face myriad challenges. One such obstacle is what Rob Bogosian calls a “flattening” of IT departments.

“What’s happening is those who are in formal leadership positions and management positions are now having to do the actual work themselves,” said Bogosian, senior consultant at CRG Associates, a human resources and organizational development consultancy.

Instead of “leading in isolation” and spending their time strategizing and guiding employees in the lower ranks, as a result of cutbacks these leaders are now rolling up their sleeves and engaging in the actual work tasks. “It’s sort of like the levels in the organization are collapsing,” Bogosian explained.

This increased time in the trenches in turn affects the entire business unit. As employees lose their sense of psychological safety during layoffs and restructurings, they look to their leaders to sort out the chaos. But the leader is much less available to attend to direct reports’ needs.

“Everybody who remains [after restructuring] becomes psychologically disrupted,” Bogosian said. “People at the target level need to make sense of what’s going on. They need to make sense of the new organization. [And they look to their leaders] for support, for guidance, for feedback, for direction. [But now] there are more people competing for a limited amount of time from their leaders.”

So what’s a…


Meagan Polakowski

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