How can I avoid square pegs in round holes?
The external environment is constantly changing. It may not seem like it but every year there are perceivable changes. Consider how Kodak became a “has been” when Nokia enabled pictures to be sent using a mobile phone. Whilst this is a well-known example, others are occurring at the level which small businesses operate. They should be responded to or risk being overtaken by others. Annually, take time out to review your business. Examine for example; social changes, the impact of more millennials in the workplace; technology, mobile working; economic factors, inflation, exchange rates, taxes; and political changes, new legislation, funding and so on. By having a handle on this an what your competitors are up to, you should seek ways to ensure your business retains its competitive advantage. For example, if more work is being gained from people finding you using internet search engines but you have a traditional sales team then something needs to change. So how might you go about making changes to your businesses staffing arrangements?
Step 1. Review your current operations. Who is doing what? Who is busy and who is not so busy? Who is dependent upon who to progress what they do? And who is holding onto information? This will allow you to design a more idyllic structure and one that can accommodate the next stage of growth.
Step 2. Design a structure which will accommodate the intended growth. Consider it in two parts, the activities which must be managed, if nothing was produced e.g. marketing and accounts, and the operations which are necessary to produce what you do. The organisation chart you draw up should focus on the functions and the role, ignore who might carry them out. The functions may have functional heads, e.g. marketing, sales, production, finance, HR and there might be supporting roles e.g. for production, inbound logistics, stores, manufacture and distribution.
Step 3. Decide which will be externally managed activities and which will be internal e.g. Web design and SEO is often outsourced, but someone internally will manage it, e.g. the person responsible for marketing. You then need to decide who is responsible for carrying out an activity, who is accountable, who should be consulted before any decision is made and who is informed about decisions.
Step 4. When you have the organisation, prepare a chart of the roles, and responsibilities, so you can start appointing people. The most appropriate people should be appointed, which means when you press the staff reset button to reorganise; some will be retained, some released, there will be some new recruits, and some will need to be retrained.
Step 5. Having carried out the reorganisation, the introduction of a reward system is likely to help propel the business forward until the next review which should be scheduled regardless of how well you think you are doing, as it is the only way to keep ahead.
In the next blog I will explain the proper way to carry out step 4 without creating issues in the future but if, in the meanwhile you would like a free health-check to find out how Business Doctors can assist with reviewing your business and resetting the organisation structure for the future please contact us here.
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