When an organisation is anything but…

This post is by Rosie Garwood

Surprising as it may seem, the vision of a business, even its organisational structure can be the management’s best kept secret.

Given this, it’s not hard to see why many teams seem to lack direction or a sense of purpose. I’ve lost count of the number of times a boss has complained that his people fail to see the bigger picture, and every time my response is to ask when was the last time they shared this bigger picture with the team.

We are spectacularly bad at this type of communication in business but often the reasons are perfectly logical:
• Things are fluid fast-moving and there’s no time to update the staff every time the leadership team make a decision.
• It’s in the business strategy and on the company website.
• We put an update in the last staff newsletter
• Our people don’t need to know about every management decision, they just need to trust us to hold the reins while they get on with their work.
• We inform team managers and supervisors and it’s their job to pass on the message.

Whether it’s a small, fast-growing business or a large corporation, people perform much better when they know where and how their efforts fit with the rest of the organisation.

Here’s the living proof:

Having spent some time with a small business, meeting all staff individually and in a full team development session, I still got the impression that something was missing from the way the team connected. They worked hard, delivered results and were generally a happy and motivated bunch, but were often frustrated and the boss felt he was having to constantly push to achieve targets. The business had gone through some changes in the past year and everyone seemed rather unsettled.

I asked all 11 members of staff to draw the Organisational Chart of their business. We received 11 different Organisational Charts!

Suddenly we had an answer. It was then just a simple matter of the boss publishing the correct Organisational Chart and explaining the detail and reporting lines to the team and answering questions. The clarity was welcomed and the response was immediate.

So, managers everywhere: why not ask your people to draw your Organisational Chart? Make it fun, not a test, and pay close attention to the results. You may gain some very useful insight into the way your teams communicate and how they consider their role fits with your vision.

Written by Guest Author

2 Responses to “When an organisation is anything but…”

  • I too believe it is important for upper management or the person in charge to share the company’s plans and vision. It makes employees feel a part of the business rather than some random number they hired.

    I think business owners fail to remember that the people you hired to work for you are a part of your brand personality. They are the representatives of your business. Good companies hire people not because they can do the job but because they fit in with the company’s ethos.

    And now in a digital age, it is even more important for businesses to share the plans they have for the future of the business so that your staff can become excited about what you are doing and become brand advocates.

    • Thank you Romany, and very nicely put. Seems so simple when you express it like this, but we know from our glimpses inside many businesses that this ideal scenario is rarely the case.

      I also think a good employee has a responsibility to take the trouble and find out what’s going on in their organisation.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.