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Tales from the Corporate Frontlines: The Organizational Structure of Our Growing Business


This article relates to the organizational structure competency, commonly evaluated in employee satisfaction surveys. It shows how structural concerns can affect the typical employee workday, as well as feelings towards your organization's management hierarchy and reporting structure. A healthy organizational structure is one that arranges the activities of the enterprise in such a way that they contribute to the goals of the organization. Specifically, this competency looks to see if your employees clearly understand who they report to, as well as measure their sense of accountability to the organization. Evaluating this competency can be especially useful if your organization has recently experienced an organizational restructuring or might be considering one in the future.

This short story, The Organizational Structure of our Growing Business, is part of AlphaMeasure's compilation, Tales From the Corporate Frontlines. It illustrates how business growth affects every employee in the organization and lists some signals that a review and revision of organizational structure is necessary.

Anonymous Submission

My brother and I own and operate a mid sized manufacturing business that was passed down to us by our elderly uncles. Over the years, the business has experienced significant growth. The workforce alone has doubled since we added four new production lines just a few years ago.

At that time, we hired a group of consultants to help us analyze and optimize the flow of work through the facility. The new processes and employees were integrated quite easily, and the production areas of the plant ran smoothly.

Looking back, we see now that more attention should have been focused on the fulfillment and shipping areas of the business, as well as the HR and office functions. Several signs have appeared over the past year or so to tell us that we need to seriously consider rearranging our organizational structure:

* Morale in the above areas has deteriorated measurably.
* Paperwork, reporting, forms and correspondence are often late and incomplete.
* Turnover rates in the affected departments are rising.
* Certain areas are often severely understaffed, especially during popular vacation and holiday periods.
* The reporting structures in these areas have become confusing, some employees express concern about vague accountability.

Although productivity in our shop area remains high, it does appear to be limited by the dysfunctions occurring in other integral areas of the business. We decided that now is the time to conduct a thorough evaluation of our organizational structure and develop a plan to adapt and change it to more closely fit the needs of our growing business.

If we need outside help, we'll engage it. But the time has definitely come to address the effects of expansion on our entire organization and act accordingly to preserve and grow the business we've inherited. It's more than just a business to us---it's a family tradition.

2005 AlphaMeasure, Inc. - All Rights Reserved

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Josh Greenberg is President of AlphaMeasure, Inc.

AlphaMeasure provides organizations of all sizes a powerful web based method for measuring employee satisfaction, determining employee engagement, and increasing employee retention.

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