How to Handle Poor Organizational Structure
Small businesses often launch without a formal organizational structure, adding employees and titles as the company grows. If your company has expanded to the point that a lack of a formal organization is hurting your ability to get things done, you can follow a number of basic management strategies to better plan your workforce.
The first step in addressing a poor organization structure is to determine what problems your lack of organization is causing your business. For example, you might have all managers reporting directly to the owner with no formal hierarchy, signifying it might be time to create a totem pole with layers of management. Once you know your problems, you can list your management needs to solve them. If you don’t have a current organizational chart, create two. Develop an org chart using your current employees and positions, then create a second chart using positions you would create if you were launching the company today. These two charts will show you where you are and where you need to go. Get input from all of your managers and key employees to determine if you are missing any needs they might know you have.
List the key organizational positions you have, and write job descriptions for each if you don’t already have them. Look at the second organization chart you developed to determine if you can plug your existing positions and employees into it. Differentiate between positions and employees. For example, you might need separate accounting and human resources positions, currently both handled by one employee. Your sales director might be handling marketing, but your new org chart might show you need separate managers for those functions.
You might find you’ve created the right positions for your business but that you have the wrong people in them. Remedy this by shifting some employees into different positions than they currently hold. Compare your current employees against your new org chart and written job descriptions and determine which you’ll need to transfer to new positions, keep where they are, retrain or terminate.
Once you have an org chart you feel will solve your management problems and have plugged your current employees into positions on your new chart, determine what positions you need to fill and what training you’ll need for current employees. Using this information, create a human resources budget that includes recruiting, compensations, benefits, training and development costs.
Using your new org chart, training needs and budget, build your new organizational structure. Announce the new structure to your current employees, give them their new job descriptions and begin their training. Start your recruiting process, using input from your employees and business network and posting positions on job boards to help you find the most-qualified candidates.