The disruptive nature of technology startups is not limited to the applications they bring into the world — they also can have a lasting impact on the way businesses function. This influence has only accelerated in an environment where more organizations have adopted digital-first, tech-friendly practices, including a flexible organization structure centered on the principles of adaptability and flexibility.
What is a Flexible Organization?
The flexible organization model places much less emphasis on departmentalization and chain of command. Instead of a traditional vertical hierarchy, flexible organizations are structured horizontally, with fewer management layers, with a focus on the creation of dynamic, cross-functional project teams. Integral to the success of the flexible organization model is ensuring that administrative tasks do not hinder the process. Instead, companies need support from automated systems that provide transparency and insight.
An HCM built around the concept of position management enables organizations to separate people from positions. Here are three benefits a flexible organization model focused on position management provides:
Benefit #1: Greater Innovation.
Without the restrictions of a more traditional departmental structure, employees can more easily share knowledge and are encouraged to exchange ideas, which can create a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration.
Many flexible organizations also utilize the principles of agile management, which is a team-based approach that emphasizes collaboration over individual contribution. These teams are empowered to make decisions and obtain the resources necessary to achieve their identified project goals.
For example, the music streaming service Spotify attributes much of its success and rapid growth to its ability to apply agile concepts to the organization structure. Utilizing small, cross-functional teams organized around an identified client or product outcome, they can complete projects faster and bring new products to market quickly due to accelerated approval processes and swift decision-making, which can often be hindered by traditional layers of bureaucracy.
Related: How To Effectively Use Position Management for Flexible Employees.
Benefit #2: Greater Efficiency.
Empowering teams to make decisions and obtain the resources needed to complete their projects allows for a more streamlined chain of command. When a flexible organization identifies its project goals and needs to assemble teams, it can stay nimble by looking to its existing talent resources to fulfill the identified roles rather than hiring new staff. This type of dynamic resource allocation enables projects to move faster and get to completion more quickly.
Consider that global pharmaceutical company, Merck, implemented a flexible model to improve efficiency in their learning and development organization. They adopted a fix/flex model of cross-functional teams designed to provide flexible support and easily adapt to the variable demand for training — a change that resulted in improved process efficiency, reduced costs, and a shorter implementation time for new learning content.
Benefit #3: Greater Engagement and Retention.
A flexible organization model is based on a culture of team collaboration. To put this into perspective, when the telecommunications company, T-Mobile, decided to integrate the principles of agile management teams to its client care center to address low first-call resolution and client dissatisfaction, they found that the emphasis on engagement and teamwork led to a 40% drop in their employee attrition rate.
Related: The Four Best Ways to Maximize Employee Engagement and Retention.
Companies need technology that can support dynamically changing structures without complicating them with administrative hassles. A flexible HCM that manages both position- and employee-specific data separately and simultaneously can provide a flexible organization the data access, transparency, and accuracy that will help them meet their objectives.
Contact us to learn more about how SyncHR can help flexible organizations unleash their potential.