Having too many layers of management is almost a universal disease. Sadly many companies think the cure is more management. 

teambuilding, organization development leadership expert michael cardus

I Continue to see excess layers & honor promotions leading to made-up positions that only increase the bureaucracy and frustration of everyone in the organization.

What is hell is a ‘Deputy-Associate Vice President’?

Excessive layers within companies create a slowdown in innovation, change & communication.

They are creating frustration & skipping the unnecessary layers, and going to those that can add value to the work. Managers are angry with each other because they are stepping on each other’s toes & unclear where their accountability begins.

Then you wonder why you have a ‘Culture Problem’ or ‘Engagement Problem.’

The people are fine and want to be engaged…the organizational system that you created is the problem.
Consequences of Too Many Levels of Organization
People & teams skip the chain of command. Bypassing their assigned manager because of excessively long lines of management. Uncertainty as to where your manager sits on the org chart.

Do you report to your direct manager or the one above them? Or even the one above them?

Managers’ uncertainty as to where their subordinates sit on the org chart?

Are you accountable for the output of the staff directly below you or those below them?

Excessive paper/email/voice mail passing up and down too many levels – red tapeworms  

Tight Coupling of Manager to employee They feel that people are too close in ability & management accountability.

Feeling of organizational clutter; Managers “looking over the shoulders / breathing down necks”; Too many levels are
  • involved in any problem and process;
  • Too much interference in just getting work done;
  • Not being allowed to do the work at hand
  • .

Friend Chris Reich from Teach U shared his insights on;

Tight Coupling:
  • Tight coupling destroys the productivity of many businesses. Something minor goes wrong. A decision needs to be made. Only Joe can make the decision. Joe is out until tomorrow. HALT! No one understands who is in charge if the coupling is too loose. So the looseness is there IF Joe can’t make an immediate decision, not so that the lackeys can always go around Joe.
    This is a massive problem in government and the military, especially. When the hierarchy is tightly coupled, little disturbances cause immediate paralysis. 

What do you think?

How many managerial/employee levels should there be within a company? How can this be fixed?