Companies that survive the start-up stage generally move to a functional organisation structure. A manager will be appointed to supervise the business. Specialists in the business will report to the manager for accounts, marketing and delivery. As the business grows the specialist functions will have their own supervisors appointed and those further down the organisation become increasingly more specialist.
Although the business becomes more efficient the staff become less empowered as they follow the processes and instructions of the supervisors. The staff will become very proficient in their narrow field which leads to them being frustrated by their supervisor’s lack of detailed knowledge. The most junior staff will leave to seek opportunities where they can gain additional responsibilities and as the owner is directly supervising those who report to them, they will not feel confident to let go, having never given the staff space. This centralised control is known as the crisis of autonomy and is only broken by the owner learning to delegate to the staff so they become empowered. Delegation is one of the most difficult skills to master as a manager or director of a business.
So that staff are given the opportunity of being empowered and yet the owner and managers are still in control the organisation, it is recommended the organisation structure and job responsibilities are reviewed. Appointments can then be made to the most able person and delegation skills training given where necessary.
If you would like help with reorganising your staff so that they become more motivated and efficient please contact me: PeterSearle@businessdoctors.co.uk