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How organisational design can help mitigate staff shortages





Posted by Sarah Lardner on 03 March 2023

How organisational design can help mitigate staff shortages

Evaluate | Job Evaluation Software | Job evaluation

On 20 February, BBC Online published an article entitled How shrinking teams are pushing workers to the brink. It outlines how staff shortages are leading to workers having to perform multi-faceted roles, take on heavier workloads and complete tasks beyond their job remit.

It is not uncommon for roles to evolve and expand over time, but usually it is only when other resources disappear that the impact is truly felt. We know that this dynamic of trying to maintain high productivity with fewer staff can create stress, anxiety and burn-out for employees and embattled managers. This naturally increases a company’s attrition rate and often also creates a barrier to recruitment when the message gets out.

Accepting that these are real issues being faced by many companies, how can business leaders and their HR teams work to mitigate them?

Review Organisational Design

Almost always a company will benefit from a full review of its organisational design: roles, hierarchy and structure. The goal is to ensure that every role in the business adds value, and to spot weaknesses and risks.

With your structure laid out, overlay current reporting lines and sense check whether they are fit for purpose. Are key decision-makers in the right places? Do you have effective channels of communication? Are certain reporting lines too heavy or light? Are levels missing, or carrying an imbalance in reporting ratio? If any of this is out of sync, it is likely that you will struggle to operate at the desired capacity and capability, and ultimately employees will feel the pinch.

The next useful step is to overlay an aspirational org structure, where all of your roles are placed in the right levels within the correct functions and with ideal reporting lines. How far away is this from your current picture?

Assess current roles and activity

At a more granular level, it is also important to define the purpose and value to the organisation of each role. In doing this exercise businesses often find that certain operational activities have become habitual rather than essential, and would not be missed if they were stopped.

Sometimes activities and responsibilities can be watered down and made less important over time, while others take on greater significance. If an activity no longer fits a role or has purpose, it can either be removed or reshaped, with pay adjustments reflecting that change.

Job Evaluation – Introducing Evaluate

The challenge in this is often balancing the reframing of individual roles with the ongoing integrity of the overall structure. To do this in a fail-safe way it is best to use a specialist framework tool.

A Job evaluation and levelling tool like Evaluate enables HR professionals to create a strong foundation for assessing and shaping roles fairly, with accuracy and with confidence. It helps at every step of the process, from creating job descriptions to organizational design and pay frameworks.

To help combat the current challenges being faced by HR, the system also enables proactive planning for rapid change of direction or growth, ensuring you always have the right roles at each level to carry out the needs of the business.

The org design function also allows you to keep tabs on career progression and succession planning by sense-checking your current organisational shape, in doing so reducing attrition rates. Fairness and equality standards can also be monitored by overlaying a company’s gender and ethnicity pay position to identify potential issues across levels or departments.

These are not easy times for HR departments and tools like Evaluate can help shape roles and staffing levels, drive efficiency and increase the quality of output.

Evaluate – Click here to book a demo

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