Q: How do I adjust my organizational structure and the essential positions I need?
A: How do you adjust it? Thoughtfully. And strategy is important. At Achilles Group, we encourage our clients to manage their focus, not their time. If you can identify the priority focus for each role, then determine the time an employee spends on tasks related to the focus, you have a head start on identifying the organizational structure that best supports your business goals. In this current business environment, many of us have had to shift those goals or pull back from a long-range view and direct our efforts towards maintaining the business in the short-term.
One of the exercises we recommend to our clients is a capacity assessment; by identifying the top three essential functions of each role, as well as the secondary and/or administrative tasks associated with the role, the leadership team can more easily identify the functions that are critical to running the business over the short term and directing their staff’s energies and focus in those areas. This process will often identify overlap in tasks, and in some cases, a disconnect between leadership’s expectations for a role and the employee’s understanding of their primary function in the role.
It is worth mentioning that you do have to be careful in how you approach a capacity assessment; you can’t just start letting people go and assume that the remaining staff can, or will, pick up the slack. The last thing you want to do is identify essential people and then stress them out. You also need to be aware that employees may react negatively to a capacity assessment by inflating their lists of essential functions for fear of losing their jobs. Be prepared to communicate with your employees your end in mind in completing the capacity assessments is to look for creative ways to ensure the organization can survive our current economic and market environments. Maybe the idea isn’t to cut a position, but move it back to part-time, or there’s an opportunity to schedule rotating furloughs for staff members and cross-train employees for greater efficiency in the future. There are many solutions, but they have to be tailored to your organization and its unique situation.
Is your business struggling with organizational issues related to COVID-19? We can help with that. Contact Jennifer Heylmun at 281-469-1800 or by email at jennifer.heylmun@