Design the organization for success and sustainability

Organize to Achieve the Mission

An organization structure should be built to execute a mission and strategies, and need to constantly evolving in response to change.  Because existing structures tend to have inertia, particularly with long-term staff, constant vigilance is needed to ensure the workforce is designed for success.

Organization design happens from both the top down and the bottom up, using basic principles including:

  • Fostering cooperation and a cohesive team-oriented atmosphere
  • Compatibility of functions and professions
  • Chain of command and spans of control
  • Responsibility and accountability

We don’t believe in quick fix, fad solutions, even if they are current best sellers, and we don’t try to sell organizations on processes fundamentally opposed to their cultures.   Our organization design process does not require retreats or gimmicks, but begins with informal conversations with senior management that expand to others best suited to contribute their ideas and information and facilitate the process.  We focus on developing strong fundamental structures using time-tested concepts, building on the organization’s strengths.  The results: an optimal structure and a blueprint for getting there.

Strategic planning – and any kind of fundamental change – requires reconsideration of an organization’s structure. As a result, organization designs should not be seen as permanent fixtures, but as descriptions of the optimal way to delegate duties and responsibilities at the moment.  Changes to strategic plans should not be made without a commitment to ensure the workforce can support them!  Changes might be limited to parts of the organization or might require reviewing the entire organization to determine how responsibilities should best be allocated.

Every box on an organization chart represents one or more employees, each of whom comes with a salary and benefits. Therefore we apply our compensation data, research, techniques and processes to give organizations a sense of what something should look like and also what it should cost.

Job Documentation and Description

A job description translates a box on an organization chart into a set of clear expectations.  Job descriptions are key to effective workforce development and employee performance and development management.  Merces helps organizations develop job description formats, manuals of standardized description language to ease in description preparation, and provides training for staff engaged in job description development.  Properly designed job descriptions can actually become a successful performance assessment and development process.

Optimizing Staffing Types and Levels

The first step is to determine the type and nature of work performed. Then we identify the right mix of talent and staffing levels, based on the needs of the organization and the existing and projected nature of the workforce.  The focus is on the best – and most cost-effective – use of human resources possible to get the job done.

Following the organization design process with the highest levels of management, the process now moves to management level staff, those best positioned to understand the actual work volume.  If managers have the authority, tools and confidence to change jobs duties and responsibilities, ElementOne staff can work with them to re-design jobs in order to improve productivity, morale and employee quality of life.

Whether part of an organization review or to facilitate structure change, ElementOne brings to the table our capacity analysis tools to let you know not just how many “full time employees” you have, but how many “full capacity employees” fill the workforce.

Managing Change

The process of changing an organization is often traumatic.  Whether the scope of reorganization is large or small, changes to jobs and roles will be identified.  Sometimes these are minor and can be dealt with through reassignments of duties, attrition, or training.  Others are changes to the fundamental way the organization will work, and therefore, more dramatic in their effect. Whether it is a restructuring of two or three jobs, or overhauling the entire structure of the organization, ElementOne can help you maximize the result and minimize the trauma.