Creating a cohesive business hierarchy – 1 helpful analogy

Not sure how to implement a straightforward hierarchy for your business? Do you worry that a system of governance will be too restrictive for your business? Once you hire employees to work for your business, you will quickly discover how important it is to create an organised system. This in turn creates various layers of responsibility, allowing you to maintain smooth operations through a secure business hierarchy. We have an analogy to help you better understand how a great business structure improves your leadership as a manager. 

business hierarchy

The school system analogy

One way to think about business structure is this: your hierarchy should work something like that of a school: 

1) In the top section are the governors, who are responsible for the school’s long-term strategy. For example, those in this highest level construct three-year plans to develop the school in all areas. 

2) Below the top level is the next section, the senior leadership team, which includes the headteacher, any deputy headteachers and other senior managerial staff members. They are responsible for all operations within the school and manage a one-year plan. 

3) Underneath this level are the heads of department, who constitute the final section of school management. Leading the staff members in their respective departments, the heads of department are responsible for the day-to-day elements of running the school.

Generally speaking, all well-run schools follow this structure. This hierarchy is very effective because everybody involved has a clearly defined role and a corresponding set of priorities. For example, the governors don’t involve themselves in the operational side of running the school. Likewise, whilst the senior leadership team have a say in the strategy, their primary role is overseeing the one-year operational plan.

How does this apply to business practice?

Your employees need to know what their daily tasks are, who they should report to and the boundaries of their overarching responsibilities to work efficiently. By following a similar structure to that of a school system, you will be able to create an unambiguous hierarchy for your own business.

Similar to the school system structure, there is usually a director who is at the top level of the company and manages the business strategy and long-term plans. Beneath them, the managers carry out short-term plans for the business. Finally, the team leaders and additional layers of management underneath the managers are responsible for delivering the completion of daily tasks. 

Just like the school system analogy, these management areas mustn’t overlap. This helps your employees to understand the scope of their role and their working relationships with other members of staff. 

business hierarchy

Using your business hierarchy effectively

Once you have an excellent hierarchy in place, you should turn your attention to how you, as a manager, can lead your business as a professional whilst serving as an example for your employees. In other words, you may be asking yourself: ‘how can I be a good manager?’

Here are a couple of methods you can use to sustain your business hierarchy and keep your company running smoothly. 

Demonstrate your commitment

As a manager, you must demonstrate your dedication not only to the company, but also to your team’s shared goals. You cannot expect your team members to be committed to achieving great results if you are not focused on your business goals yourself. If you spend all of your time alone in the office drafting up strategic plans, they are less likely to connect with you. 

To gain the respect of your employees, spend time on the ground with them to improve your own understanding of the business as it grows. If you show them that you’re willing to get your hands dirty, it demonstrates your commitment to developing the business and listening to your employees. 

Be supportive and encouraging

Managers have a responsibility to assist their employees when they are experiencing difficulties with duties, or struggling to comprehend certain aspects of operations. Engage in open conversations with your employees about what is working, and what isn’t. 

Show them that you are interested in their personal development during managerial appraisal meetings. Offer supportive advice when they make a query about their prospects or aspirations. This is a great way to increase their satisfaction with their job, ensuring their productivity and loyalty to the company. 

Step up and be a leader

A great manager is someone who can guide a group of people toward a common purpose. Having an adaptable leadership style whilst maintaining authoring encourages everyone to contribute towards business goals. 

Being a confident, committed yet empathetic leader is crucial for sustaining a productive and beneficial business hierarchy. If you are struggling to structure or manage your business effectively, feel free to contact our professional consultation team today. Our testimonials reveal just how effective the right business advice and support can be.

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