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Structure – the foundation of any successful business


THINK of any successful team and the vast majority will have one thing in common – an organisational structure where everyone is clear about their role within the company, their responsibilities and how the work they do contributes to the company’s strategic goals.


A well thought out structure, which has been developed with the aims and objectives of the business in mind, can help to boost productivity, improve communication within the team and set out clear lines of progression for employees.


The right structure can build a team which is primed for success, but when a structure falls apart it can damage performance and the reputation of your business.


In this blog, I’ll set out some of the most common organisational structures – including the pros and cons – and the steps you need to consider when developing a new structure for your business.


Organisational structures – the foundation of your business

The first thing to remember when introducing a new structure is that one size does not fit all.

What works well for one business may not work well for yours and it’s really important to think carefully about what you do, what you are hoping to achieve and what your plans are for the next five, 10 or even 15 years. You will also need to consider your team – are they office-based or do you have members of staff who work remotely, for example.


Hierarchical or tall structures by far the most common and probably the one that most people recognise. This structure relies on the roles with the greatest responsibility sitting at the top with other team members sitting below them.


Network-based structures are focused on projects or departments to organise roles or employees which encompass certain skills. They are more fluid and allow for great collaboration.


Flat structures contain no, or very few, levels between upper management and staff and there is often no need to follow lengthy approval processes as hierarchy doesn’t inform authority. This structure can work well for smaller businesses and for those which operate in fast-moving industries.


Understanding the pros and cons

Let’s look more closely at the pros and cons of the flat structure which is more commonly used by SMEs.


Firstly, it can help you to save money as the lack of senior and middle managers can result in lower wage costs.


You are likely to see increased efficiency – quicker decision-making through a shortened chain of command will undoubtedly speed up output and drive productivity.

Your team is likely to be higher-skilled and your employees will welcome the chance to work in an innovative culture. But there are downsides too.


A lack of progression to more senior roles can be off-putting to more experienced members of staff who may feel as though their career is stalling. This can lead to frustration and a high turnover of staff.


A lack of management means that work can be duplicated, and priorities and responsibilities may not be clear. Employees may make decisions which benefit themselves and not the team or wider company.


You may start to see that informal hierarchies start to form and more introverted employees can be overlooked.


Taking the first step

Creating an organisational structure for your business may feel daunting but it needn’t be.

A good structure will build a positive culture for your business and put you on the path for even greater success in the future.


And when it comes to finding the right structure for your business, Ena HR can be your new best friend, helping you to understand your business and how to get the best from your team.

If you’re looking to take that important first step, give me a call today!

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