According to Lean Six Sigma studies, only three percent of workplace activity yields a quantifiable value to an employer. Too often, this is the result of a fragmented corporate structure comprised of “busy fools” who appear industrious but in reality accomplish very little.
Since HR is the function in charge of a company’s internal structure, it is critical that its leaders know how to implement effective organizational design that aligns with a firm’s overall strategy.
Among the elements that HR executives should keep in mind when positioning employees to deliver results are:
- Structure – how functions are set up in order to deliver results
- Collaboration model – whether teams can work together to achieve a shared objective
- Skills and capabilities – does talent possess the competencies required by strategy
- Ways of working – are optimal values encouraged
- Measurement and reward – do evaluative processes bring progress
- Information and resources – are employees well-suited to succeed
Sometimes companies find themselves succumbing to pitfalls when attempting to align strategy with organizational structure. A few of these obstacles include:
- Communication – employees should understand what a firm’s goals are and be able to articulate strategy clearly
- Misalignment – every department, and the jobs within those departments, should be carefully designed to align with strategy and create value for a company
- Drift – organizations evolve, and HR leaders should ensure that firms do not stray too far from strategy-driven design
Companies with a disorganized structure can put policies in place to become better designed and more in tune with strategy. Experts recommend the following:
- Frequently assess employees to ensure they have a clear understanding of strategy
- Consistently reiterate that strategy to workers
- Encourage departments to draft an “organizational purpose statement” that details how they add value to the firm
- Provide leaders who are unaligned with strategy six months to improve operations
With these strategies in place, an organization will operate leaner, meaner, and most importantly, in the right direction – forward.
This article was adapted from Keeping your eye on the ball which was originally published in the May 2014 HRD Magazine. To read more click here.