Organizing Staff for Success

Organizing Staff for Success

Organizing Staff for Success

Introduction

This paper addresses a case study ‘the overhaul of John’s Business- Organizing Staff for Success’.  According to the case study, John had worked in a steel fabrication industry in his entire life. He began as a trainee boilermaker, but demonstrated determination and enthusiasm that was absent in the colleagues. He had the desire to start his business, and he did so. Since the business was booming, he realized that he required more boilermakers to assist with the work he was getting. He employed sixteen tradespeople at the workshop. He soon decided to expand his business in providing labor to nearby mines. John realized that he required office workers to assist since he had two divisions in the business: labor supply and boiler making.

John’s business was prospering and being aware of business literature aimed at keeping, attracting and motivating talented staff, he was aware that business coaching was a technique that successful businesses were using. John usually networked with the community’s business people. During one occasion, he spoke with a business coach and decided that he required the services of one to ensure his team remained productive as was the case initially. John was informed that coaching is effective when done on-job to assist in management development, and employees are helped to develop individual skills. John therefore, decided on an external coach and being the owner and general manager, john had made several organizational changes in the company (Repenning, 2002, 120).

Specific areas were supervised by different managers. Ted, the workshop’s manager had two supervisors; Dave and Matt. Matt supervised the daily work and organized the team. On the other hand, Dave supervised the off-site work. Craig was the labor hire business manager. Louise was Craig’s assistant manager, and her responsibility was to organize the right tradespeople for specific jobs.

The management team met with John every week, to provide updates in the specific areas, discuss business, and receive instructions. John realized that his motivated and dedicated managers never met their targets. In addition, there were several communication problems although he did not know their extent. John informed the team that a business coach had been employed to work with each of them. This was a chance for managers to work through issues they had been experiencing as well as give response to the coach concerning the systems under implementation.

This was a way through which communication would be improved since the staff would get equipped on how to coach the subordinates (Duncan, 2011, 321). John wanted to initiate a continuous improvement culture in the team. The business coach would report the areas that had problems and strategies that could be used to solve the problems. A management meeting was arranged where the coach briefed the team what the coaching was all about, the benefits and what each session would entail.

At the end of the briefing meeting, the staff was enthusiastic about growing the business and having been involved in the process of decision making. The coaching continued for several months, and the coach reported her insights to john. It was realized that Ted was responsible for all the quoting which was extremely time- consuming and remarkably little would be accomplished until the company secured the job successfully. Unless Ted was effective with quoting, employees would have nothing to do and would be unable to plan for upcoming jobs appropriately. Moreover, Matt would be frustrated as his responsibility was to organize the daily work. Dave would also be frustrated since he would take the workers to work off-site if they were doing nothing at the workshop. Staffs were usually frustrated since there was a lack of communication between the three supervisors and managers. Apart from lack of communication, workers were confused about who was in charge of them amongst Dave, Matt and Ted). There was resentment present within the team. Dave and Matt were, ambitious, young and perfect mates away from work. The two often discussed Ted that he did literally nothing since quoting was never done on time although he always said that quoting was his key priority. Ted was open on how much he had to do and even though he dedicated long hours and hard work, productivity was not evident from his efforts.

On the other hand, Craig (responsible of supplying the right mines’ tradespeople, and developing and assisting manage the growth of the overall business) did not have much complains. His notion was that everything was alright. The coach himself was unsure of his roles. His assistant, Louise, did all the labor hire team administration work and actual positions filling. The two got along well, but there was a workload imbalance. Finally, John was never involved in the daily running of the business as he spent most of his time networking. He had experienced massive prosperity and growth in the recent years, and had earned the rewards. He was however, aware that the business was entering hard times. John’s concern was providing some control, give direction and still keep the staff happy and motivated (Boswell, 2003).

This report is aimed at discussing whether the company’s organizational structure is justified for the size. Secondly, suggestions will be offered on how communication can be improved amongst the staff. Thirdly, it will be assessed whether there is overstaffing, and a new organizational chart will be provided. Fourthly, the benefits of an external coach will be discussed. Finally, contingency plans that can be implemented in the company will be suggested. The report is presented to Denise Tomlin, the course coordinator. Articles and textbooks will be used to gather information.

Organizational structure and size

Organizational structure refers to the type and degree of vertical differentiation, horizontal differentiation, control and coordination mechanisms, centralization of power and formalization. There is one best way through which an organization can be structured, yet structural attributes vary in organizations. Size refers to the number and capacity of resources, outputs and personnel. Differentiation in an organization increases with size, although at a reducing rate. On the contrary, the percentage of organizations dealing with administrative overhead reduces with size, resulting to economies of scale. Increased size also means more organizational activities’ structuring and reduced power concentration. Managerial practices for example personal assignments’ flexibility in authority delegation and stress in results, as opposed to procedures are linked to the managed unit size (Jacobides, 2007, 460).

John’s business is a small organization, and a tall or centralized organizational structure is appropriate. John should therefore, be relied on to make significant decisions. However, there are several management layers under the principal decision maker. The centralized structure is the most appropriate since the owner has the responsibility of making business decisions. John feels that some level of control is required in the business because he distrusts his managers’ ability to make decisions.

Owners of small businesses struggle, when allotting managerial duties to managers. However, it is imperative that small businesses that continue to expand and grow have the owners assign decision- making responsibilities (Dubin, 2001, 187). If John uses centralized structure in his business, it will be possible to maintain and create a company culture. A company culture refers to an intangible environment where employees, managers and owners work. John’s business fits in a formal organization culture which is more stressful as opposed to a friendly and open culture. In many companies, organizational structures evolve as businesses expand and grow. Furthermore, individuals can decide the structure a business will use in its operations.

Improving communication gaps between staff

Effective communication is extremely significant in every organization. From the case study presented, there is a communication breakdown between John and the staffs, and between Craig, Matt and Dave. However, organizations have varying types of people, with different education levels, personality types, cultures and backgrounds. What makes sense might be nonsense to someone else. Priorities and deadlines may be misinterpreted, and productive ideas can be made ineffective, unproductive and low morale can result in employees.

It is worth noting that the external coach was useful in identifying the communication gaps. John thought there was a communication breakdown but did not know to what extent. Consequently, the worker or device responsible for the breakdown should be assesses (Pugh et al, 1999, 87). John ought to evaluate interpersonal relationships that exist between employees and communication devices’ calibers. The fact that Ted always says he has a lot to do should be assessed. John should conduct a quick survey to identify how many other employees have the same complaint.

The second thing john should do is gauge feedback and review formal messages to ensure that additional communication is avoided in clarifying principal themes. Grapevine information should not be stifled to avoid misunderstandings and lower productivity.

The third step is to assess the resources required to rectify the problem. Problems that result from acrimonious tension between staffs require a staff meeting or mediation program to disentangle issues. Dave and Matt should be advised to consider all that Ted does and offer a hand where necessary (Child, 2009, 20).

John should organize for training where employees acquire new methods of communication. Staff feedback is crucial in assisting employees’ transit to the new system. Finally, follow ups should be done to ensure that the communication gap is no more. Open communication should be facilitated by welcoming the open- door policy where employees express their concerns without retribution.

Overstaffing

John’s business is unquestionably overstaffed. It is worth noting that the productivity and efficiency of small businesses heavily depends on maintaining suitable staffing levels and recruiting effectively. Staffing is usually a challenge in all organizations. In my opinion, Ted and Craig should be deployed. Craig should have all he does done by Louise. Dave and Matt are close friends and can therefore, collaborate and handle Ted’s roles.

It is extremely vital that john identifies the company’s needs so as to be able to develop a staffing strategy. This can be achieved through coming up with job descriptions that displays the positions needed to meet different responsibilities. Continual communication can assist john identify staff shortcomings (Braha and Bar-Yam, 1130).  Continual feedback is useful in identifying the need for more employees so that work is completed efficiently without straining current employees.

The process of manpower planning enables an organization assess its department’s net worth. A certain department might be reaping enormous profits but understaffed at the same time. In such circumstances, the existing staffs are pressurized to perform. When small businesses are staffed properly, responsibilities and duties are completed in a timely manner.

Organizational chart

Benefits of external coaches

An external coach acts as a source of fresh perspectives in events and people in the organization. This implies that the coach can make connections and notice patterns which the insiders are unaware of. He is a valuable people’s thinking’ sounding boards where he can identify, ask and give feedback from an outsider’s perspective.

Since the coach does not have a manager’s direct responsibilities, he can devote his entire attention to customer’s needs. This results to high- energy and intensive types of coaching that yields significant results within a short period. Long-term term coaching provides a solid individual development foundation (Stone, 2012, 454).

Coaching is usually confidential between the coachee and coach. Hence, employees are more comfortable discussing personal concerns and sensitive information with the coach, as opposed to john. Unspoken problems that interfere with crucial business processes are therefore, resolved.

External coaches possess extensive coaching training, as opposed to managers. Therefore, John’s company will benefit from a coaching experience wealth and exceedingly developed coaching skills (Stone, 2012, 455).

In addition to core coaching skills, external coaches possess specialist expertise that makes them suitable for particular coaching assignments. These include emotional intelligence, psychology, creativity, presentation skills, meditation, negotiation, sales and leadership.

Contingency plans

As a human resource practitioner, it is particularly vital that an environment is created whereby employees are empowered to think creatively. It is worth noting that contingency plans require the coordination and cooperation of various organizational areas. One of the contingency plans that can be implemented is collective bargaining breakdown which requires human resource leadership, as well as public relations, purchasing, operations and sales efforts (Child, 2008, 170). Organizations with corporate planning functions can use this to secure cooperation that is organization- wide.

Conclusion and recommendations

From the foregoing discussion, John’s business hugely benefited from the services of an external coach. The coach was able to identify the communication breakdown that the company had, and offer appropriate remedies. Since John’s company is under the category of a small organization, a tall structure fits the size of the company. It is advisable that John deploys Ted and Craig so as to avoid overstaffing.

References

Boswell, J. (2003) The Rise and Decline of Small Firms. Allen and Unwin.

Braha, D. and Bar-Yam, Y.  (2007) The Statistical Mechanics of Complex Product Development: Empirical and Analytical Results. Management Science. Vol. 53, iss. 7, 1127–1145.

Child, J. (2008) Predicting and Understanding Organization Structure. Administrative Science Quarter.  Vol. 18, iss. 2, 168-185. 

Child, J. (2009) Organizational Structure, Environment and Performance: The Role of Strategic Choice. Sociologa.  Vol. 6, iss. 1, 1-22.

Dubin, R. (2001) Management in Britain – Impressions of a Visiting Professor. Journal of Management Studies.  Vol. 7, iss. 2, 183-198.

Duncan, R. B. (2011) Characteristics of Organizational Environments and Perceived Environmental Uncertainty. Administrative Science Quarter. Vol. 17, iss.3, 313-327. 

Jacobides, M. G. (2007). The inherent limits of organizational structure and the unfulfilled role of hierarchy: Lessons from a near-war. Organization Science. Vol. 18, iss. 3, 455-477.

Pugh, D. S. et al. (1999) Dimensions of Organization Structure.  Administrative Science Quarter. Vol.13, iss. I, 65-105; 

Repenning, N. (2002). A Simulation-Based Approach to Understanding the Dynamics of Innovation Implementation. Organization Science. Vol. 13, iss. 2: 109-127.

Stone, R. (2012) Managing Human Resources.3rd Edition. John Wiley & Sons Australia. 454 – 455).

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