Bossless or hierarchical organization?
There are many ideas about flat organizations and the advantages specifically for Y and Z generations. Let's focus on some questions regarding this issue:
A) Are we building the organization from scratch or we are changing things overnight?
If we assume that by merging positions we can turn the entire organization to flat structure then we are wrong! The key is the mindset, roles, and responsibilities not playing with words. It's about culture change and employee relations.
B) What if our company has more than 500 people? How about thousands? Would that work?
The bottlenecks are the following in big organizations. If we can figure out the reply then probably we can go for a flat structure.
1. Responsibility in crisis.
Is there any team or group of people to completely accept the responsibility and share the negative results with no put-off?
2. How about grievance? What if an employee has a complaint?
Should she/he run around the company and all team members? Should we include the compliance team here? Or we should appoint one or few people?
Surely, a team shouldn't listen to some problems such as harassment or other ethical issues. Right?
C) What is the performance culture of our company? Growing culture or strict KPIs?
We spoke about growth culture before. But the important point is: are our people ready and trained for collaboration? Can they share a KPI and accept the failure as a group?
D) Ignoring experience.
There are always some young employees who don't value experience. They think that technology and disruption are the future.
I leave the judgment on you but as long as these issues are not discussed and well understood, people can't work together in a flat organizational chart.
E) Promotion won't be a motivation and salary increment is not always effective!
Imagine instead of 5 different levels in a team, you merge the levels into two. Then how should we motivate people? Can we only play the salary increase card? Surely, no!
Here we need real leaders who understand what motivates people and the motivation differs from employee to employee definitely.
F) HR role differs a lot.
Classic HR instructions cannot help bossless companies. For recruitment, HR should be very careful about the expectation of candidates since not everyone is a team player and wishes to go flat!
The same mindset is needed for Human Resources Development programs. Training courses on communication, leadership and project management should be well designed.
Either hierarchical or flat, we should always care about the background, organizational culture, mindset of employees, the readiness of top management, history of organization and texture and the nature of business. Going blind leads us to nowhere!