There are several common signs to look out for when a company is not reaching its potential due to a lack of organizational structure.
If you’re questioning whether or not your company structure is operating efficiently, it likely needs to be tweaked. In fact, small businesses rarely get it right without major strategic planning.
That’s not to say that businesses can’t be successful without a clearly defined company structure, but it can be a difficult feat to take on. Changing a company’s organizational structure can be disruptive and downright catastrophic if not handled correctly.
However— it’s also very rewarding. Getting the company structure right can take your business to a level you never thought possible.
Company structure, or the organizational structure, refers to a system that outlines how various activities will be handled to achieve the organization’s goals. These activities may include team collaboration, task allocation, and the managerial hierarchy for employee reporting.
Companies of all sizes need to have a solid organizational structure. The company structure defines each employee’s role and how they can best support the objectives of the business. In simple terms, the company’s organizational structure creates a map of who is responsible for what and which departments should communicate with one another.
The company structure should be visible to all employees and illustrated in a chart or diagram that clearly depicts the flow of operations. A lot of organizational structures look almost like a pyramid, with the most powerful leaders at the top and entry-level employees at the bottom.
A formal organizational structure eliminates confusion among employees on specific human resources issues. No matter what growth stage your business is in, company structure is essential to maintaining synergy and harmony throughout operations.
A clear company structure guides employees to understand the reporting relationships that best support the workflow of the organization. Once you have guidelines in place, adding new positions into the business makes it even easier to create a flexible and supportive means for growth.
A well-defined organizational structure improves the efficiency of operations by providing clarity to employees and managers at all levels of the company. This allows departments to focus their time and energy on the most productive tasks.
Here is a list of signs it may be time to think about your company structure:
Changing a company’s organizational structure is a huge undertaking that you should handle with care. Your employee’s livelihood is on the line, and if the restructure is not handled correctly, it can be a total disaster for the company.
It’s normal for a certain level of chaos in the early stages of a company’s life. It’s almost thrilling at first, but that feeling quickly dwindles as the business grows.
Employees who waste time going in circles will eventually lose motivation out of frustration. Keeping a streamlined order of business allows the big thinkers to dream up even better systems rather than chasing their tail.
If each of your departments is performing pretty well, but they don’t communicate effectively with one another, that’s a tell-tale sign it’s time to restructure the company.
Each department should clearly understand how their role affects the next and maintain open communication in regards to their ongoing stats and goals. Assigning accountability for specific development roles will always produce better results.
If your company has recently made a directional pivot or added additional services, it may be time to consider the company structure. The bigger the change in company strategy, the more change is needed in the organizational structure.
People tend to do things the way they always did them so a new product strategy almost always warrants a change in leadership. To fully execute a new strategy, it’s imperative to realign the powers of execution for a fresh perspective.
If you’ve hired multiple people for leadership positions that didn’t last long, it’s likely a structural issue. High turnover in management spreads negativity down the chain of command, so it’s important to get a handle on it early.
A bad or toxic environment can infect even the best of workers. If three or more new hires have walked out, take a look at the expectations and accountabilities surrounding their roles.
If your company has consistently hit every short-term goal you made, but there isn’t much talk about long-term innovations, you may need to restructure the company.
It’s critical to have one dedicated team or leader focused on expansion so that it’s not influenced by other factors related to short-term demands. If the two are handled too closely, they both will likely fail since they often have competing agendas.
Different types of organizational structures determine how information flows through different departments within the company. The four most common types of company structure are functional, divisional, futarchy, and matrix.
Most small to medium-sized businesses operate with a functional structure in place since it’s the easiest to implement.
That means each department is divided based on a specialization, such as sales, marketing, and operations.
The divisional or multidivisional (M-Form) structure is a common method in large companies with many business units to separate.
A company utilizing this organization can structure the leadership team based on products, projects, or geographic locations for global corporations.
Flatarchy, or horizontal structure, is a relatively newer and popular method among startups. As the name implies, it flattens the chain of command and gives employees more autonomy in their roles.
This company structure has a high speed of implementation.
The matrix structure is the least commonly used because it’s the most confusing. This method overlaps individual employees across multiple superiors or departments.
This means one employee may have customer service and sales duties for a matrixed company.
There are more types of organizational structures that companies could use to define employee roles and the chain of command.
When a company is not structured well, it leads to negative workplace culture and eventually lower retention rates.
If a company lacks organizational structure, it will be a breeding ground for miscommunication, work delays, and reduced productivity.
As employees become increasingly frustrated with their work environment, morale will plummet, and they’ll begin looking for employment elsewhere. All of these issues hurt the company’s bottom line.
A well-thought-out company structure is imperative for any business to thrive and reach its full potential. Take a hard, honest look at your operations and consider where improvement can be made.
You may need to reassess your organizational structure several times each year until you get it right. The key is to find what works for your particular business type.
Outsourced professionals can be a great resource when you require additional assistance to successfully complete a project. Read more to learn everything you need to know about outsourcing.
Interested in hiring a subcontractor? Keep reading to discover what they do and how they can help your business.
There are endless types of strategies in business. Two central approaches are corporate strategy and business strategy. Find out the key benefits and differences of each.