Why leaders need to pay attention to organisational design

In a world where technology is always advancing, it’s easy to overlook more traditional workplace tools, such as organisational charts. But Christian Wylonis, CEO of The Org, wants to remind us that they’re still important.

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Wylonis, who has previously worked at Fitbay, Vivino and McKinsey, co-founded The Org in 2017 as a platform where you can explore any company’s org chart.

Here, he explains why transparency around organisational design helps boost employee engagement and what your org chart should include.

‘An organisation needs to be designed effectively so that workflows run smoothly’

Can you explain what organisational design means?

Organisational design is defining structures and processes that allow organisations to operate efficiently. Having a visual representation of the organisation’s design has a number of benefits, including improving internal collaboration and alignment.

Org charts help define reporting structures for all the employees within an organisation and create a process to ensure information is shared throughout the company.

Why is organisational design important for businesses? Is that particularly true now that we’re working remotely or hybrid?

Organisational design is more important now than ever. Companies going fully remote for the first time means team members automatically feel less connected to each other and less connected to their company.

People need to feel connected to a company and to their colleagues to feel engaged. An organisation needs to be designed effectively so that workflows run smoothly while people are disconnected physically, and people need to know exactly where they sit in the org chart for this to happen.

By knowing where they stand, employees will have a better understanding of how their own work contributes towards the overall direction of the company.

Ultimately, the better employees know each other, the better they can work together and the better output they will produce for all.

What does the perfect org chart contain, in your opinion?

A perfect org chart should contain name, title, responsibilities, career background, location and contact information of every person on the team.

It is important that the org chart is readily available to all employees to help them in their day-to-day work, and because it increases the incentive for people to keep it updated. Some of the world’s biggest companies – like Uber and Google – have their org chart readily available to all their employees.

What are some typical pitfalls to be aware of when developing one?

It is important to keep an eye on the future, but focus on the current needs of the organisation. Organisations that scale too quickly may risk losing control over their organisational structure. Organisations that scale too slowly could risk limiting growth or overworking employees.

Generally, the number of direct reports should be limited to four to six people to ensure that every employee gets adequate feedback and support. Clear roles and responsibilities should be set to limit conflict between employees.

Is organisational design important for companies in every industry?

Yes. Every single organisation could benefit from having a well-built org chart. It increases workflow efficiency and internal collaboration, and, ultimately, increases employee engagement.

When employees know and understand where they sit in a company, they will have a better understanding of how their own work contributes towards the business’ overall direction.

What are some steps companies can take now towards better organisational design?

The first step is to visualise your current organisational structure and make it available to your employees.

It’s important to stop and take stock of what your organisation looks like now, and what you want it to look like in the future – and why.

Make a plan for how your organisation will grow rather than just adding people as they are needed without thinking about the structure as a whole. Laying it out visually as a structure is the best way to do this.

The post Why leaders need to pay attention to organisational design appeared first on Silicon Republic.

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Building relationships remotely, and not technology, has been the key to handling the pandemic, Dell and Slack executives say

Summary List PlacementWhile technology has been integral to working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, building relationships among employees has been even more important to a successful work-from-home model, human resources executives from Dell and Slack said during an Insider event.
At Wednesday’s “Workplace Evolution,” hosted by Insider, Najuma Atkinson, the senior vice president of human resources at Dell, and Dawn Sharifan, the vice president of people at Slack, shared how they’ve continued to work with and onboard employees during the pandemic. 
In the session, titled “The Big Shift of 2020,” Atkinson and Sharifan said when their companies went fully remote last year, they had to weigh how to keep employees feeling supported, how to help managers lead a remote workforce, and how to build culture and community.
“Yes we use Slack; yes we use Zoom.” Sharifan said. “But I think really continuing to build that community is the most important thing regardless of what technology you use.”
Atkinson added that, “While technology is our enabler, the other key factor is about the culture.”
Working remotely has opened up opportunities for companies to hire new employees wherever they are, instead of location being a major factor, they said. Work is no longer tied to where we are physically, Atkinson said. “Everyone has a seat at this virtual table now. Because we are remote, you have more access versus less access to senior leaders and to opportunities that you may not have had,” Atkinson added.
People no longer have to leave their communities and homes to come work for a new company, she said. As for Dell, the company is using the remote opportunity to hire under-represented populations, such as women and minorities. The company has even launched a new effort to hire people on the autism spectrum to add to the talent pool. 
The playing field has been leveled for everyone, Sharifan said. One of Slack’s first moves amid the pandemic was to make all current and open positions remote. The company hired several hundred people during the pandemic who have never been into the office. 
With most people working from home, companies have been forced to think about the actual deliverables and skills needed for a job, as opposed to the amount of time spent in the office, Sharifan said.
“It’s less about butt and feet time,” she said. “You’re allowing more space for the moms and dads of the world that also need to be with their kids and don’t need to be seen in the office until 6 or 7 pm at night.”
Making sure employees have the ability to take care of themselves while working has also been key to success during the pandemic, the panelists said.
“Put on your own oxygen mask and take care of yourself,” Sharifan said. “It’s more important than ever for us to be thinking of the entire employee.”Join the conversation about this story »


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