The Business Case for a Disciplined Approach to Designing Jobs and Organizational Structures
Jane had been the accounting department’s top performer for 10 years, but three months ago, to her manager’s surprise, she resigned. Her reasoning? She was no longer satisfied with the work after a recent reorganization.
So what happened?
The company had gone through some restructuring and layoffs about six months prior because of a slowdown in the market. Their overall financial position was still very strong, but they wanted to get lean and took the opportunity to downsize. Unfortunately, while the financial objectives were clear about how many heads to take out of the organization, there was far less clarity around how to most effectively design the new organization and the necessary jobs.
In Jane’s case, what ended up happening as a result of the restructuring was a collection of poor decisions made by her senior management team. The work environment, that at one time was fulfilling and engaging, now became a chaotic fire drill where the entire team’s performance suffered. Jane tried to raise her concerns to her manager, but after a few frustrating months of inaction, Jane decided to jump ship. Good for Jane, but with the brain-drain that slipped out the door with her resignation, the already struggling accounting department now has an even deeper hole to dig themselves out of.
So how did things fall off the rails? We had a chance to catch-up with Jane and get her observations about what went wrong. Here’s how she summed it up: