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Organisation Design - Consider This...

With recent projects confirmed for deconstructing HR, it is interesting to see the direction that companies are undertaking in the U.A.E. It seems to be a time of re-evaluating positions in the market, checking their strategy and more importantly understanding if their organisation structure and manpower plans are suitable for the journey ahead.

Despite common belief, Organisation Design is not about pretty employee line charts and internal politics of establishing the pecking order within the company. That is only if the focus is just trying to balance egos. Solid organisation design charts are ones that take into account the current processes throughout a company and how each of the departments interacts within and between each other.

The outcomes that should be seen from an organisation structure exercise should include the following:

  • Evaluation/re-evaluation of the process mapping across the company

  • Authority matrix within and between departments

  • Governance Chart establishing relationships between departments

  • Employee Line Manager Chart establishing the relationships between employees within and with other departments

These outcomes convey how the business departments will operate towards the business plan. The importance here is to understand that the needs of the business are always in flux, what is good today may not be suitable for tomorrow. So a company should always be aware of it's current and future term strategies. Normally in larger companies, the Chief Operating Officer is to take care of the now, with the Chief Operating Officer looking into the future requirements. There should always be an ‘AS IS’ and a ‘TO BE' organisation structure in place for a company to succeed. With one eye on the here and now and the other on the future, this balance of business strategies maximises the success for companies to navigate the uncertain marketplace.

The impact of an organisation design cannot be underestimated, to me, it is the core foundation of any business no matter the size of the company as it influences so many areas such as:

  • Identifying Pivot roles – These are the key positions identified for the success of the business now and in the future. These roles will need to be clearly defined in what they are required to be achieved either as roles and responsibilities within a Job Description or as part of a larger competency matrix. The ripple effects are felt through the manpower plan, recruitment, succession plan, talent management, and learning and development requirements.

  • General Development – Knowing pivot roles are important in terms of leading the business in the direction it needs to go; also the focus has to be given to the rest of the business and the requirements needed. Look at areas such as, the required development employees will need to untertake. For example, maybe your business is adopting new software that the majority of the employees will need to adopt. Therefore, you have the cost of the software and as well as the cost of training employees to be at the proficiency level required to operate it.

  • Organisation frameworks – As mentioned in the previous points the effects can influence the overall frameworks. While an evaluation would be required on the Competency framework to understand where adjustments are needed, there would also need to be analysis undertaken on current Grading Levels (if present), Compensation and Benefits Packages, and Company and Employee Performance processes.

  • Employee Wellbeing – All the above planned and explicit requirements all cause constant change within the organisation, which is always implicitly felt by employees. More specifically change effects the company culture and the engagement of the employee. As always my recommendation for all companies when going through change is not to just think about the milestones of the requirements, but also how to be transparent and how to communicate these initiatives to increase the relationship between the top and foundation levels of the company.

Now all this discussed in the article is predominantly focused on the Human Resources side of the equation, however, in reality, the other corporate areas of the business will need to understand the impact in all the areas. Such as the Financial impact, the IT requirements to provide service, perhaps the requirement to rebrand.

In the end, I would advocate in thinking through the following steps with regards to undertaking organisation design or redesign:

Steps in undertaking Organisation Design Modelling

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