Small businesses with flat structures often suffer from this phenomenon. As a business gets bigger, it is impossible for one person to mange the entire team, nor is is feasible to introduce too may layers into the business.
When one person may be involved in multiple functions of a business, they may sometimes be required to ask or give an order to a fellow team member. This is often met with resistance in the cry of “You are not the boss of me, I only report to the owner”
And trouble ensues
And as the business owner, this is your problem
So how to address it?
Firstly, this is a common problem and it is also one that can be fixed by improving the communication within a business.
- All employees must be clear about the direction of the business
- All employees must be clear about their role within the business
- All employees must be clear about the different inter-department relationships that may exist in any small company
- All employees must understand that just because they are asked to perform a task by someone other than their line manager, that the other person is any different to them or superior to them.
- All employees must be conscious of and open to the idea that they may be required to deviate from the norm at some point during their day or week.
Being flexible as an employee makes for a valuable employee because they understand that as part of the team, they may have to do something that they may not normally do.
Your job as owner or manager is to ingrain this culture into your daily and weekly function. This is best use of your time, rather than fire fighting and dealing with daily and weekly cat fights.
This is underpinned with a good employee handbook, a clear job description for all and a HR system that works.
If you would like to discuss your company structure, give me a call today on 087 222 0720