Are you looking for new ways to organize and lead your team? You might be shocked to learn that there are a variety of approaches to achieving an organizational structure that boosts team productivity.
The links between activities, leadership, and team members are defined by the team structure.
While this may appear to be a minor point, team configurations have a significant impact on authority allocation and how teams communicate and work together regularly.
Every business and entrepreneur wants its employees to achieve their greatest potential. Your team is influenced by several things, one of which is how they are structured.
Let us look at the following in this articles:
•What is Hierarchical structure?
•What is Functional structure
•What is Process-based structure?
•What is Circular structure?
•What is Matrix structure?
•Mechanics vs. Organic Organizational Structure
•Clarity On Roles And Alignment On Goals
•Use a solution-oriented mindset when you're working
An organizational structure is a schematic of a corporation that shows what people perform, who they report to, and how business decisions are made.
Organizational structure can be based on functions, markets, products, regions, or processes, and can be tailored to fit the needs of enterprises of all sizes and industries.
As your firm grows, an organizational structure can be useful for new employees as they learn who is in charge of which operations.
Then, if you need to pivot or shift your leadership, you may adjust your organizational structure diagrams to see how the workflows would change.
Simply defined, this chart functions as a map that explains how your firm operates and how its jobs are organized.
What each of those factors signifies to a company is as follows:
Chain of Command
How duties are distributed and work is authorized is determined by your chain of command.
You can use an organizational structure to specify how many rungs of the ladder a department or business line should have.
To put it another way, who instructs them on what to do? And how do issues, requests, and proposals get passed up and down that chain of command?
Span of Control
Your span of control can refer to two things: who falls under the administration of a manager and which duties fall under the purview of a department.
The term centralization refers to the location where final decisions are taken. You'll need to evaluate which persons and departments have a say in each decision once you've created your chain of command.
A company can be centralized, with final choices made by one or two organizations, or decentralized, with final decisions made by the team or department responsible for carrying out the decision.
Each organizational structure has a varied chain of command and uses collaboration software in different ways to encourage teamwork.
Similarly, each of these contributes to the formation of relationship dynamics and the creation of a collegial work atmosphere.
We'll discuss the most effective methods to arrange your team, from a functional structure to a flat organization, to help you choose the perfect strategy for your goals.
What is Hierarchical Structure?
Most organizational charts have a hierarchical structure. A pyramid-like structure is used to organize a hierarchy, with executives, directors, managers, and employees in ascending order from the top to the bottom.
This is by far the most common structure because it establishes clear lines of demarcation between team members. Although there are many alternatives to choose from, many businesses employ the classic hierarchy structure.
A process-based and circular structure, for example, both have a similar hierarchy but are depicted differently. Your structure's number of levels will be determined by the size and complexity of your team. The structure of most organizations has four or more layers, which are visualized in a company-wide org chart.
What is Functional structure
Apart from the hierarchical approach, the functional organizational structure is one of the most often utilized team structure.
Team structure is divided into groups depending on their talents and knowledge in this method.
These groups are then vertically arranged from the top-down, from the president to individual team members, and so on, between each department.
Top management or a single authority to oversee each department is organized using functional frameworks.
While these groups will differ from one company to the next, the purpose of the functional structure is to allow for specialized abilities and to plan for organizational growth.
The functional structure is one of the most common types of organizational structures. It divides an organization into departments based on common job functions.
For example, an organization with a functional organizational structure would put all of the marketers in one department, all of the salespeople in another, and all of the customer support employees in a third.
Employees can specialize to a high degree thanks to the functional framework, which is easily expandable as the company grows. Also, because this structure is mechanistic, it has the potential to stifle an employee's growth.
However, placing employees in skill-based departments allows them to delve deeper into their field and discover what they're good at.
What is Matrix Structure?
Because it does not follow the traditional hierarchical model, the matrix structure stands out the most among other team configurations.
Instead, this team's organization is laid out in a grid, with team members reporting to multiple leaders. Primary and secondary reporting relationships are standard structures for these partnerships.
This structure is used by matrix companies to achieve a balance between leadership and, eventually, decision-making. The approach you take will be determined by the nature of your teams and the structure of your reporting structure.
The key advantage is that it allows for the creation of a balanced organizational structure, which may be accomplished by establishing reporting lines for each individual to several leaders in various departments or divisions.
This works well for teams that want to ensure that decision-making authority isn't limited to a few people, but rather that all members of the team structure feel empowered to make decisions.
A matrix organizational structure, unlike the other structures we've looked at so far, does not follow the typical hierarchical approach. Instead, all employees report to two different people. A functional reporting line is usually present, as well as a product-based reporting line.
Solid lines show strong, direct-reporting ties in a matrix structure org chart, whereas dotted lines indicate secondary, or less strong, relationships.
Functional reporting takes precedence over product-based reporting in the example below. The matrix structure has a lot of appeal since it can enable both flexibility and more balanced decision-making.
Having a single project overseen by many business lines also allows these business lines to exchange resources and interact more openly with one another, which they might not be able to do regularly otherwise.
What is Process-based structure?
Instead of departments, a process-based structure highlights various internal processes. It's organizational structure, just as other structures and leadership are linked to these many activities.
Organizations that prioritize procedures above individual projects favour this type of team structure. These could be brand-new processes or ones that your company has already established. Teams that work well in this framework are more concerned with internal processes and efficiency than with external tasks.
Process-based organizational structures are built to support the end-to-end flow of various processes such as R&D, customer acquisition, and order fulfilment.
A process-based structure, in contrast to a strictly functional structure, analyses not only the activities that employees execute, but also how those activities interact with one another. You can't start acquiring customers until you have a completely established product to sell.
Similarly, the order fulfilment process cannot begin until clients have been acquired and product orders have been placed. Process-based organizational structures are perfect for increasing a company's speed and efficiency, and they're especially well-suited to companies in fast-changing industries because they're so adaptable.
What is Circular structure?
The circular structure, while physically distinct, follows the same hierarchical pattern as most others. The inner-circle represents higher-level team members, while the surrounding circles represent lower-level team members. This full-circle organizational style keeps everyone connected while keeping them separate in their rings.
The number of rings in your construction will continue to grow until everyone is seated at a suitable level. This structure is best suited for small teams who want to have fluid communication because of its visual character.
This modern model, while different from many previous arrangements, might work well for remote firms that need help communicating efficiently between leadership and team members.
While the circular structure may appear to be very different from the other organizational forms discussed in this section, it nevertheless relies on hierarchy, with higher-level employees occupying the inner rings and lower-level employees occupying the outer rings.
In a circular organization, however, the leaders or executives aren't considered as sitting atop the corporation, issuing commands down the line of command.
Instead, they've moved to the centre of the organization, where they can propagate their vision. A circular structure is intended to encourage communication and the free flow of information between different elements of the organization from an ideological standpoint.
The circular form presents all divisions as being part of the same whole, whereas the traditional arrangement depicts separate departments or divisions as occupying individual, semi-autonomous branches.
A flat structure, in contrast to the classic org structure's triangle shape, is a linked web with several flat layers. All levels of leadership are represented here, from CEOs through middle managers and beyond.
The difference is that, unlike a hierarchical method, there are just a few steps between leadership and individual teams as opposed to numerous layers between executives and lower-level team members in a hierarchical model.
The flat form is ideal for teams that want to build centralized or united networks with a common aim in mind. Depending on your teams and the engagement of executives, your connections will vary.
This structure's major goal is to strike a balance between leadership and cross-functional teams. The flat method can have a huge influence on productivity and clarity if you're ready to adopt a different approach.
While a traditional organizational structure might resemble a pyramid, with numerous tiers of supervisors, managers, and directors between staff and leadership.
The flat structure keeps management levels to a minimum, allowing all employees to be only a few steps away from the top. It may not always take the shape of a pyramid or any other shape for that matter.
Employees are supposed to be more productive in an atmosphere with less hierarchy-related demands, according to this structure, which is undoubtedly one of the most thorough. This arrangement may also give employees the impression that the managers they do have are more like peers or teammates.
Network organizational structure
Teams are organized in a network organizational structure based on relative networks.
This is best suited for companies who need work done by external teams, have many global locations, or even own multiple small firms.
Each of these networks is arranged as a separate entity in this framework, with hubs connecting them. By dividing teams into hubs, a large amount of information can be shared within networks rather than a small amount of information being shared across several networks.
This is because team members are more likely to know who to contact inside their hub, allowing communication to flow freely. When two companies collaborate to share resources, or if your organization has various sites with diverse tasks and leadership, a network structure is commonly formed.
If much of your staffing or services are outsourced to freelancers or numerous other organizations, you can use this framework to explain your company workflows.
It may, however, list outsourced services or satellite locations outside of the office instead of offices.
If your organization doesn't perform everything in-house, this is an excellent method to demonstrate to employees or stakeholders how off-site operations are handled.
For example, if an employee requires assistance from a web developer for a blogging project and the company's web developers are outsourced, they can use this type of chart to determine which office or individual to contact outside of their workplace.
Product-focused divisional structure
Each function is divided into its division in a divisional structure. There are a variety of specialized sections within this type of organization, including a product-focused structure.
Each division is subdivided into individual product lines in this method.
Each product line is then assigned to one of several teams. This is useful for companies that are strongly focused on manufacturing and wish to establish clear cross-departmental responsibilities. These features are appropriate for teams that are highly involved in product development and like a mix of solo and group work.
Multiple, smaller functional structures make up a divisional organizational structure. A product-based divisional structure is one in which each division within the company is dedicated to a specific product line.
This structure is appropriate for businesses that have a variety of products and can help decrease product development cycles. This enables small enterprises to quickly introduce new products to the market.
Market-focused divisional structure
A market-focused division, like a product-focused division, concentrates on, you guessed it, distinct markets. This can range from various industry types to distinct customer types.
Organizations that employ this structure may have many brands or even dramatically different goods and services under one umbrella organization.
This form of divisional structure establishes clear departmental duties. Companies that employ this structure typically have a diverse range of products and require assistance in coordinating departments across all of them.
The market-based organizational structure is another sort of divisional organizational structure, in which an organization's divisions are organized around markets, industries, or client groups.
The market-based structure is good for a company with products or services that are unique to specific market segments, and it's even better if the company has extensive knowledge of those sectors.
This organizational structure also ensures that the company is always informed of changes in demand among its various audience segments.
Geographical divisional structure
Geographical areas are the emphasis of the final divisional structure type. Separate divisions are established across regions, territories, or districts, establishing distinct boundaries and logistics across geographies. This structure is ideal for businesses that rely on local customers or supply chain requirements.
Work division can benefit a variety of tasks, including individual expertise and greater value in specific geographic areas. This form of divisional organization, like the network structure, is most usually adopted out of necessity.
You won't have to worry about employing this strategy if your company doesn't have any geographical constraints, such as various physical locations or team members scattered across multiple places.
On the other hand, it can be an excellent choice for companies that require a solution for geographically scattered teams. The geographical organizational structure divides the company into segments based on location. Territories, regions, and districts are some of the divisions that can be found in a geographical organizational structure.
This organizational structure is best suited to businesses that require proximity to suppliers and/or customers. It also brings together a wide range of business skills, allowing each geographical division to make decisions based on a wider range of perspectives.
Which team structure is right for you?
Many aspects, such as the size of each team, the number of leaders you have, and even your corporate values, go into determining the best team structure for your company.
Others may adopt a more conventional approach, while others may use a more modern method.
Communication and leadership balance are two important variables to consider when forming a new team structure since they can make or break a team's dynamic.
Team structure and communication
There is a delicate balance between too much and too little communication and clarity inside a company. Overcommunication can lead to staff dissatisfaction and burnout.
On the other hand, insufficient communication can lead to duplication of effort and decreased production.
Team structures and leadership
The dynamic between leadership and team members is just as important as the balance required for corporate communication.
Large chasms between upper and lower-level personnel can lead to a lack of clarity and communication problems.
It can be difficult to strike a balance. On the one hand, persons in positions of leadership should have responsibility for areas that have a large impact on the company.
Limiting authority to a few individuals, on the other hand, can feel disempowering to the vast majority of team members.
Mechanistic vs. Organic Organizational Structure
Mechanistic and organic organizational structure are on opposite ends of the spectrum. The mechanistic structure represents a typical, top-down approach to organizational structure, whereas the organic structure indicates a more collaborative, flexible approach.
Mechanistic structures, often known as bureaucratic structures, are characterized by limited control spans, as well as high levels of centralization, specialization, and formalization.
They're also quite strict about what individual departments are supposed to perform for the corporation and what they're allowed to do.
This organizational structure is far more formal than an organic one, relying on precise standards and processes to guide every business decision.
While this model does make employees more accountable for their job, it can also limit the organization's ability to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions.
As intimidating and rigid as a mechanistic organization may appear, the chain of command, no matter how lengthy or short, is always visible under this approach.
As a business grows, it's important to ensure that everyone understands what's expected of them. Teams engaging with other teams as needed may help get a business off the ground in its early stages, but maintaining that growth with more people and projects to manage would eventually necessitate some policy-making.
To put it another way, always have a mechanical framework in your back pocket since you never know when you'll need it.
Decentralization, low specialization, and flexible departmentalization are all characteristics of organic structures.
What does it all mean? Multiple teams might report to one person and take on projects based on their relevance and capabilities, rather than what the team structure is supposed to do, in this arrangement.
As you can guess, this organizational structure is far less formal than mechanistic, and it approaches business demands on an ad hoc basis.
This can make deciphering the chain of command, whether it's long or short, challenging. As a result, leaders may give certain projects the green light more rapidly, but the project's division of labour may get muddled.
However, the flexibility that an organic structure provides can be tremendously beneficial to a company that is navigating a fast-paced market or simply trying to recover from a bad quarter.
It also encourages employees to attempt new things and grow as professionals, resulting in a more strong workforce in the long term.
What's the bottom line? Startups are generally ideal for organic structure because they're only attempting to build a name for themselves and get their business off the ground.
Let's look at some more specific forms of organizational structures, the majority of which are more traditional and mechanistic.
Characteristics of Highly Productive And Collaborative Teams
Several fundamental characteristics are required to create a collaborative, productive, and successful team structure and company culture.
Surprisingly, where people fall in the organizational hierarchy is only a minor impact in an exceptional team structure that succeeds.These important attributes that are disrupted when a team structure and company development are also critical to a team's health and capacity to collaborate and, as a result, be productive.
No one wants to help with a project or work when knowledge is hoarded, and when goals aren't clear or met, resentment, annoyance, and distrust emerge. Leaders must create intentional processes, value systems, and communication habits for teams to work together with ease and empowerment to avoid a breakdown in collaboration and productivity.
Clarity On Roles And Alignment On Goals
Leaders and managers, regardless of the team structure or corporate organizational structure in which they work, are responsible for setting goals and holding teams and individual contributors accountable for achieving them.
In practice, this implies that the leader communicates the issues that must be addressed as well as the expected outcomes. Highly collaborative teams are therefore driven to figure out how to get from problem to solution to meet their objectives.
Use a solution-oriented mindset when you're working
How the team handles the outcomes affects the process of achieving goals and objectives as a group. Is your team quick to list all the reasons why they won't be able to achieve a goal when given one? Or do they brainstorm and talk about different ways to get there?
The premise of a solution-oriented mindset is simple: when presented with an issue, everyone on the team should be motivated and encouraged to see the opportunities rather than the impediments. Of course, the team must assess the risks associated with any decision, and this must be done throughout the process.
Offer and Provide Assistance
Most likely, your first group project in school didn't give you a positive idea of how effective teams operate together, especially if you were the one who took on the majority of the workload slowly.
Those prejudices and resentments toward college peers can readily spill over into job situations. The manager or leader, as well as the team itself, must provide support for successful teams.
Leaders that set clear expectations and goals, assist the team's growth and success, facilitate the flow of ideas, and limit interpersonal conflicts are found in teams that thrive. The team then works together to solve problems, overcome hurdles, and encourage one another.
Foster a sense of belonging and trust
Employees who had a feeling of belonging to their team and company were more comfortable at work. They felt connected to the people they worked with and were able to contribute to meaningful work results.
Feeling respected and treated fairly by leaders, managers, and coworkers was highlighted as a source of comfort. Organizations that create a culture of trust and inclusion are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial goals, three times as likely to be high-performing, six times as likely to be inventive and flexible, and eight times more likely to generate better business outcomes.
To enhance team collaboration and empowerment, trust and belonging go hand in hand. Leaders and teams can work together to engage with each other frequently, especially outside of job-related projects, in addition to supporting psychological safety and respectful conversations.
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- The links between activities, leadership, and team members are defined by the team structure
- Organizational structure can be based on functions, markets, products, regions, or processes, and can be tailored to fit the needs of enterprises of all sizes and industries
- Your structure's number of levels will be determined by the size and complexity of your team.
- The matrix organizational structure has a lot of appeal since it can enable both flexibility and more balanced decision-making.
- A process-based organizational structure, in contrast to a strictly functional structure, analyses not only the activities that employees execute, but also how those activities interact with one another.
- A circular organizational structure is intended to encourage communication and the free flow of information between different elements of the organization from an ideological standpoint.
- The market-based organizational structure is another sort of divisional organizational structure, in which an organization's divisions are organized around markets, industries, or client groups.
- Communication and leadership balance are two important variables to consider when forming a new team structure since they can make or break a team's dynamic.
- The mechanistic structure represents a typical, top-down approach to organizational structure, whereas the organic structure indicates a more collaborative, flexible approach.
- Leaders and managers, regardless of the team structure or corporate structure in which they work, are responsible for setting goals and holding teams and individual contributors accountable for achieving them.
- To enhance team collaboration and empowerment, trust and belonging go hand in hand