GNcareers, from Gulf News

How flat organization can be a workable structure

How flat organization can be a workable structureImage Credit: Supplied

How is your company structured? What is your definition of profit center? Does your title matter? Do you believe in position or disposition? Do you have a lean team?

A technician from a certain company clarified my doubts. He said that their India branch, which has a lean team, a tight handle on costs and a smattering of innovations, has continuously raked in profits from year one. The company follows a flat hierarchy and a short decision-making path. It uses a unique set of HR rules to recruit, empower and reward employees.

The company's employees are well-equipped to attend sales calls and discuss product specifications. The MD handpicked every employee. He did not expect high-flying executives. He created a structure that satisfies his organizational mindset. The executive employees were trained in the company's way of doing things. The employees are empowered with high accountability. In short, the MD takes exceptional care of his people.

The company uses the internal vacancy policy in true spirit. The staff enjoys a high degree of freedom and transparency. They have access to financial and business information. They set productivity targets. Here, every employee is a profit center. The staff attrition rate is zero, except for a few leaves for family reasons.

A happy employee is his own boss. At the shop floor, only a few technicians manage it. They do not have supervisors. Because of the ERP system, the efficiency level of the company is comparable to those of leading manufacturers and assemblers.

The company does not have exclusive HRD and quality managers. Everyone acts as HR and quality man. Accountants do not complicate the bookkeeping process. In the end, they do not create jobs but they work for an organization which is flat, fast and furious.

Handy Hints:

• Firms with a flat organizational structure have less managers

• They involve their employees in the decision-making process

• They create happy employees and have lower attrition rates

Source: Dr. Pon Mohaideen Pitchai, Special to Jobs & Careers

The writer is a Dubai-based HR and Management Consultant