Hierarchy Chart: Effective Employee Management to Increase Profits
The Hierarchy Chart can be a very effective tool in time management and helping employees understand the interaction of their collaborative work within your practice/business. Whether you publicly display the chart or simply use it as a personal tool in setting up your business, a chart should be made for each department and/or satellite office. In the small office, this chart will be very limited but will quickly point out the need for choosing the right employees. The larger the staff, the more important it is that employees are aware of what part they play in helping to build a successful business.
First, the entrepreneur should understand the difference between collaborative and non-collaborative work within his or her own organization. While employees should have the freedom to create their own processes for completing non-collaborative work, this work should not be kept off the cross-checking form. Any collaborative work needs to be monitored closely so that the workday goes smoothly.
Employees within each department would complete cross-checking forms (see chapter?) that are turned over to their immediate supervisor. This ensures that work in that department is completed before passing it on to the next level. Obviously, the supervisor would have his or her own crosschecking form to complete.
Bear in mind that workstation setups can drastically affect how work gets accomplished within your practice/business. If possible, workstations should be set up in a 1-2-3 flow of movement. Placing an employee who might be involved in Step 3 of the process in an office that is far removed from the natural flow of work could create some serious problems. A new employee might not know that work has to go to that person before handing it off to the Step 4 person. Without cross-checking forms, the Step 4 person might logically assume that Step 3 has been completed. In a time-sensitive business world, this can easily create missed deadlines, forgotten records, and ultimately loss of income.
What might appear inconsequential to you as a business owner may, in fact, have serious repercussions down the line. Human beings are ‘clique’ people. There is a tendency to develop a “tribal” feeling when employees are grouped in units of 3 and 4 and separated by a common meeting area. The chosen path is usually to avoid crossing over the common meeting area (go to ‘their’ side) in order to accomplish the day’s duties. The sense of “that’s not in our department” pervades each clique. It isn’t planned; it’s human nature. The smart entrepreneur recognizes this in setting up workstations so that there is a natural flow from start to finish of the tasks needed to run the business.
The Hierarchy Chart may change during the formative years of the business, based on work progress. Placing the actual names of personnel on the chart as opposed to titles will create a stronger sense of teamwork and accountability, helping staff remember that it is people that make the business successful, not departments.
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