Organisational Design

Organisational Design helps you identify your business goals through your existing hierarchial structure where key decisions impact everyone.

author

James Rowland

Commercial Director James leads Account Management, Sales and Marketing at Neathouse Partners.

Date

04 October 2018

Updated

17 July 2024
2 min read

Organisational design is the way your organisation’s structure aligns with its objectives. The constant evolution of the workforce and the labour market means that organisational design is now more critical than ever. It is a tool that, when used correctly can improve the over efficiency and effectiveness of a business.

It is much more than just designing and implementing a new structure. Organisational design involves:

  • Understanding the need for change;
  • Creating and testing new models or structures;
  • Planning the transition from the old structure to the new, to make it as smooth as possible;
  • Implementing the new structure and monitoring it to gauge its effectiveness.

However, it must be acknowledged that organisational design it is not something that can be achieved overnight – it requires careful planning and consideration, and a degree of corporate self-reflection. It may be useful to make a list of things that could be holding your organisation back, before starting to look at a new design. Nevertheless, dwelling too much on the pros and cons of the old structure will not be helpful – the new structure should be a complete overhaul of the organisation, without too much focus on the old.

Organisational Design Trends

In more recent years, companies have started to move away from more traditional hierarchical structures towards a network of smaller teams that have particular objectives.

Teams are formulated based on their relevant skill set for a particular project or client. It is a team focused approach that allows an organisation to use the talent available to them most effectively, while improving communication and speeding up the decision making process. By allowing employees to move from team to team, to work on different projects, you can really utilise your workforce’s skill set to its full potential.

A team-based structure clearly links to another emerging trend, employee empowerment. By giving employees more responsibility and the authority to make decisions, this leads to better performance and increased job satisfaction.

Avoiding Organisational Design Mistakes

One of the most common problems when adopting a new design is not having the structure in place to support it, causing an organisation to essentially implode. Employees will become confused over the lack of clarity in their role or will overstretch themselves trying to appease too many people at once. Your organisation should be designed in such a way that it’s easy for employees to be accountable for their work without being micromanaged.

You must also ensure that there is a connection between the capabilities you need and the leadership you have. You should be aware of company culture, a crucial factor that cannot be ignored. If a company redesign is resisted by some, it can create a cultural divide. You should take the time to try and reassure those who have doubts, and make sure there is complete transparency on the new design, explaining to them how they will fit into the new structure. If possible, try to build upon existing strengths in good practices that are already in place, as this will further reassure those who have doubts.

Where Does HR Come Into This?

HR is key to organisational design as they will play a large role in implementing any subsequent changes and providing support. HR advisors will need to work closely with management to identify the problems within an organisation and find design solutions.

Job titles and roles will no doubt change with a new organisational structure, making HR a key component in this aspect. They will need to manage performance under the new design, as well as assist with any changes to hiring policies that will undoubtedly happen under the structure. HR will need to be on hand every for every step on the transition to support and guide the organisation, in order for the new design to be successful.

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