layers in the company creating confusion and bad work

Coaching and consulting a CEO named Chris. We are working to develop present and future organizational capacity to grow and be change ready for the next 5 years.

In our first meeting we began to tackle the challenge of ‘Determining the Levels of Work Within the Company’.

I shared the chart Consequences of Too Many Level of Organization below.  My interviews and focus groups with employees it was obvious they have too many levels and people are confused.

consequences of too many levels in the company

As he stared at the chart he smiled and shared the following.

“This is spot on with what we did 3 months ago by creating an entire extra layer in the org chart for Assistant Directors. One of our Directors got a hold of my VP of Human Resources and convinced her that he needed an Assistant Director to complete all the work that was expected. Then they came to me with the idea and improvement plan, I approved it. The the next week I had 10 directors coming to me stating they need an Assistant Director also. So we created a whole new level of management. Thinking it would help, as written in the plan with employee engagement, morale and on-time work. Looking at the numbers it did just the opposite and now we are spending thousands of dollars on training and sending these people to conferences. Now the employees who report to the Assistant Directors are frustrated, turnover is over 40% and I keep hearing how they feel confused because the Directors keep giving them work, then the Assistant Director tell them not to do it.”

Sound Familiar?

Often companies do what they think will be a quick fix let’s create an assistant position and they really believe it will help. When it backfires and creates more problems. They don’t look at what caused the problem improper organizational design they throw training at it, hoping for a magic quick fix.

What to do?
  • Develop and lead a Talent Pool Assessment. Determine how many layers are needed and the level or work for each layer.
  • Before you ever decide to create extra layers in the company widen your lens of decision making. Have someone or a team work on the ‘What if this doesn’t make things better?’ end of the argument.
  • Ensure that every person at every level knows what to do and that objective metrics exist and are shared with the person, their manager and their manager’s manager.
  • Stop honor promotions. Just because someone has stayed with the company for 10 years does not mean they should become a manager.
  • If someone is a great contributor you can save money and organizational trouble by recognizing and rewarding that individual with a pay raise.
  • Hire Mike

What do you think?

Do you have too many layers in your company? What other solutions can you think of?

Hire Create-Learning