Organizing Staff is an organization is a more complex type of administrative organization that puts the power of command to the line executives (or line managers) however it does have its share of benefits that will help any organization to fully utilize their people’s potentials. To organize staff, appointing supervisors and specialists attached to the line authority is required.
Features of Staff Organization
There are two types of staff: staff assistants and staff supervisors. Staff assistants include personal assistants and secretaries, while staff supervisors include quality controllers and operation control managers, among others. When organizing staff, there needs to be a division of work as well as the division of specialization, with many different functional areas which have staff specialists assigned to it. The power of command, as mentioned, remains with the staff executive however two lines of authority exists, and these are the line authority and the staff authority.
Organizing staff needs an organizational design and structure in order to be clear on the functions and responsibilities of the employees. Without it, there would be difficulty assigning someone to take charge of each different functional area, and at the same time, be unable to clearly identify the most suitable person for the job.
Benefits of Organizing Staff
Startup and small-scale businesses are often not keen on organizing staff. They reason that this administrative organization process is not necessary and important because they have to focus more on how to keep their business afloat. However, thinking it as unnecessary and unimportant is a misconception because it diminishes a lot of advantages, such as:
- Improved coordination: When there is structure that can be achieved through the proper organization of staff, everyone will know what to do, be able to identify the people who are part of their team, and also understand who they should run to in case there are concerns.
- Specialization: The division of the two types of authority also helps to assign specific areas to the most qualified individuals in a particular field.
- Team dynamics: With better coordination and the unification of actions done by the team, there is more control, and success can be achieved.
- Training on knowledge and skills: Staff specialists have the ability to train members on the necessary skills and knowledge they should possess. They will be able to provide the opportunity for others to learn.
- Well-made decisions: When two or more people arrive at a consensus, it can be expected that the decision they have made is much better than individual decisions.
But, just as there are advantages, there are also minor disadvantages and these are: possible conflicts arising between line managers and staff, considering that they have assigned authority over certain aspects of the organization. Moreover, there are many instances wherein the staff could easily steal the show from the line managers as they are the ones who give advice and counseling, and this will not be something line managers are going to be happy with.
How to Organize Your Staff
As soon as the staff organization structure has been created by the organization (specifically, the human resource department), three key elements are needed for it to work. The first one is to write job descriptions of each staff member. These written descriptions should contain qualifications, relationships, and responsibilities- valuable information that each staff member needs to know. A short one-page job description is most recommended.
Staff meetings should be arranged in order to boost open communication. Weekly meetings with the staff will do wonders to your organization, because meetings help iron out differences, ease up on concerns, and stay committed to the organization.
Lastly, there should be a clear understanding of who the staff is accountable to. They should know who their immediate superiors are and who they can go to if they have concerns. Reporting to a single individual is much better than reporting to a group of people, and this is something that management should be aware of.
Organizing staff in an organization, while known to be complicated, can certainly be done properly if managers are just wise enough to focus on this. Giving priority to the bloodlines of the organization (the employees themselves), in terms of time, efforts, and resources ensures likelihood of business success.