Dear HRFloks, Kindly clear my doubt What can be the implications in adpoting Flat organization strcture Pros and cons Awaiting for your response....................... chandana
From India, Hyderabad

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I feel, that a Flat Hierarachy structure would be suitable only in an organisation who has less complicated business logic, i mean where the approval / checking mechanism for each job is less and few supervisors are enough for a job to be done. eg. ITES or Companies which have very organised setup.

In a logistics industry right from CRM to finall billing to a customer, documents or transaction may pass through different levels or employees, here we cannot have flat structure. In a flat structure, a director or General manager may poke their nose it to the jobs which managers have to solve. This would create lot of politics and unhealthy atmostphere. Especially in India a flat structure may not work because, even though a company has 100 plus employees, there would be few directors who would run the company in proprietory way, rather than a corporate way by micro managing. This is because, the directors do not trust their managers or employees. If this continues, at one stage, the management staff would get stressed and they will not have any time for their personal life, as the entire company would depend upon their approval and decisions for make the next step. Also the organisation's growth suffers.

Hierarchy levels would help to decentralised job and make an organised approach

Read the enclosed article



For better results, let employees take responsibility

One of my favorite management sayings is "Hire people you trust, and trust them." It's not easy.

As a business owner, you need to make sure your business is safe – money isn't stolen and customers are being properly served. But all too often, while trying to prevent failure, you may also be preventing success.

Without realizing it, many managers undermine their own best intentions. For example, a few years ago, a client complained to me about his employees: "When they see something wrong, why don't they just fix it? Why do they turn to me for every little thing?"

But as we spoke, I watched my client. He hovered over his employees, frequently popped up from our table to check or criticize their work, intervened when a worker was talking to a customer.

Many business owners exhibit the same inconsistency. While saying they want their workers to take more responsibility, they second-guess decisions or require employees to get permission for every little thing. They're always looking over their shoulders.

The result? Your workers become unmotivated and dispirited. You lose the creativity and ingenuity of your best people.

So instead of organizing to avoid failure, what does it take to create an environment that enables and encourages employees to use their brains and take initiative?

•Allow mistakes. An employee who is not allowed to make mistakes – who is criticized or punished for making the wrong choice – soon stops making any choices. So, stop thinking of mistakes as "failures." Instead use these opportunities as a chance to learn how to make better choices.

One way a business owner can help develop a blame-free atmosphere is by acknowledging their own mistakes. The former head of 3M frequently told employees how he personally killed Post-Its twice because he didn't think they would be a success. Clearly, the boss is not always right.

•Share your vision. Employees are far more willing to work hard and take responsibility if they understand the larger goals and context of their work. What is the passion that drives you to own and run this company? What important need does your company fill? People want more than a paycheck; they want meaning and purpose.

•Share information. Many managers hoard information like a miser hoards cash — doling it out as meagerly as possible. This means employees often don't understand the implications of their actions. One of my first summer jobs was typing 12-page pre-printed contracts at a banquet hall. My boss told me how each department used the information and how someone's wedding depended on me typing everything right. He helped me realize why it was important for me to slow down and check my work.

•Lose the "My way or the highway" attitude. Most of us start our own businesses because we like being in control. But if we want to be truly successful, we have to permit others to do some things their way. As long as the overall goals of the company are being met, give employees room to implement strategies in their own way. They might even surprise you and come up with better ideas than your own.

•Give employees authority and don't interfere when they are making independent decisions. If you require every decision to be approved by you, your employees will turn to you for every little thing. Show them you trust them, and even let them over-rule you to meet the needs of a customer.

•Don't blame the messenger. At one company I worked for, if you pointed out a problem, you owned that problem. The already over-burdened workers quickly learned it was smarter to just shut up.

•Treat every person with respect. You never know where the next great idea is going to come from. At one airline, a woman in accounts payable noticed the huge cost of storage bins. On her own initiative, she contacted a manufacturer who could make the bins for just a few dollars. She saved the company tens of thousands of dollars a year. Who knows? Your company's next great idea could come from the janitor.

Rhonda Abrams is author of The Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies and president of The Planning Shop, publishers of books and other tools for business plans.

From India, Madras

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