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How often have you heard one of your staff say, "I didn't...

How often have you heard one of your staff say, "I didn't think it was my job to do that."

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Time and time again I find this scenario in the small businesses I coach.

Why is this occurring?

A couple of reasons; the staff member may just be lazy and doesn't want to do the job or more likely, it is the result of poor business structures which leads to bad internal communications.

Every business needs to have structure. Whether it is a multi-national, a small to medium enterprise or the work from home entrepreneur*.

For many, this structure is developed organically which creates problems long term.

The organic model is often developed around existing staff rather than taking an objective approach to determine what the business needs to operate at maximum efficiency now and into the future to achieve the business and owners goals.

At times, I have had owners wanting to bring change to address issues holding their business back but won't proceed because they don't want to upset 'Fred' or 'Mary' who don't like change.

These staff have created their own roles within the business and often are the roadblock to progress.

The tail is wagging the dog!

The Solution.

Start with a clean sheet of paper.

Draw a schematic of how the ideal business structure would look like.

Ignore the current structure and personalities in the various roles

It can be very simple.

Now complete all the roles (titles) in their appropriate position making sure that there is a clear line of reporting up and responsibility below. Every role will report to a position above but necessarily have any responsibilities for roles below eg; the Boss's secretary.

With the 'ideal' structure identified you can determine the gaps or duplications in the current business model.

If funding is not available to have all positions filled, then plans can be developed to accommodate the shortfall.

The next step is to create Job Descriptions for each role. Again ignore any existing staff who may currently fill the role.

Job description

Firstly, establish the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each position. These are the non-negotiables for the role. What the employee must deliver to retain the role.

No more than five.

Every role, including the Boss must have KPIs.

An example for the Boss/Owner is;

-To provide a healthy and safe work environment

-To provide leadership and mentoring to all the management team

-Set the strategic direction of the business

-Ensure the continual profitability of the business

Once the KPIs have been established, complete the job descriptions with the general requirements for the roles.

Include in this description should be the skill set required to perform the role.

Now here is a key component . Each job description must have who that role reports to and who answers to that position.

This establishes the lines of communications.

The last step is to take the existing staff and overlay them onto the structure and job descriptions.

Have you got the right person in the role?

If not, you have the option of identify the training need for the person or find someone more suitable.

Involve the key staff in this exercise.

It won't be easy for people to objectively discuss the role they currently hold but if the business is to be a sustainable enity then this exercise is the foundation for long term success.

Step off the escalator and take an objective view of the business today.

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