Does Organizational Planning and Job Design Matter?

Posted on April 30, 2014 by Chris Kelley Posted in Compensation Consulting, Job Descriptions, Job Titling, KnowledgePay

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:

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Job Titles Do Have a Purpose

Posted on November 29, 2011 by Chris Kelley Posted in Job Evaluation, Job Titling, KnowledgePay

Job titling can be a political hot potato in some organizations, at least in the organizations we see where the HR function hasn’t stepped to define the purpose of the job title. Maybe this is old school, but the most effective organizations define the purpose of the job title as a label that clearly and simply articulates the level and functional area of accountability. That’s it. Nothing cute or fancy…and it certainly is not a reward lever.

Not everyone thinks this way though. See the recent article in CNN Money, where a not-so-scientific research from printer,, shows off some rather uncommon job titles.

So what’s the big deal? Especially in light of low merit budgets and layoffs. Why shouldn’t organizations throw their workers a proverbial bone and let them be creative in coming up with a title that let’s them stand out? Afterall, job titles are free, right? Not.

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