The efficient design of the organization is one of the main success factors for any company. Human Resources still plays a passive role in the organization design. We usually play a role when recruiting new employees into specific jobs; we do not challenge our partners in the business when talking about the organization structure and jobs required to deliver results. However, the Organization Design is clearly and closely attached to the new role of Human Resources. It is a tool how to build the competitive organization.
There is still a wrong belief that managers know best how they should structure their departments. Human Resources usually accepts all proposals or make just cosmetic changes to the proposal submitted by the manager. We do not challenge the number of employees in the team. We do not ask about potential career paths. We just We expect managers to be the experts who know and can clearly describe all required job profiles to deliver targets.
Human Resources needs to act a more active role in designing organizations. The effective team has a higher productivity; collaboration is closer and roles and responsibilities are clear to everyone in the team. The employees understand what their objectives are. They know how they can improve the performance of the team. They do not have any double work, and the manager has almost no contingency because it is not required.
Human Resources has an ultimate objective to develop the sustainable competitive advantage, and it has to intervene when managers set up teams. HR Business Partner needs to be kept in the loop, and she has to challenge the manager almost daily. She has to ensure the new team will be as productive as possible within a short time.
The HR Department has to define design principles for all managers in the company. It saves the money and resources. It also impacts the satisfaction of employees positively. They clearly see the same principles rule all departments. They see no place acts under a different set of procedures and policies. They can compare the efficiency of teams across the firm. They can apply for new jobs because they will not lose any benefits.
Moreover, clear Organization Design principles give clear boundaries to managers. They have to learn to live inside the system; they have to learn how not to erode the system. This is a huge victory for the long term sustainable business.