Flowcharts Helping HR Managers Build Hierarchical Structures

“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people not on strategies.” – Lawrence Bossidy

The First Industrial Revolution in mid-18th century Britain marked one among many turning points in human history. The concept of ‘personnel management’ emerged in this milieu and brought to the fore new issues, regulations, paradigms, and requirements focused on safety programs designed for human workers. Subsequently, the concept of human resources (HR) professionals took shape and an entire new discipline emerged centered on HR systems, policies, and processes. In modern times, many devices find application in helping HR managers because “HR plays a key role in developing, reinforcing and changing the culture of an organization. Pay, performance management, training and development, recruitment and onboarding, and reinforcing the values of the business are all essential elements of business culture covered by HR.” The drive to build, construct, and refine hierarchies in corporate structures remains an important objective of modern HR policies and practices. Such structures vary vastly in different organizations; these can find expression inside flowcharts because such illustrations are viewed as the perfect platform for helping HR managers plan, design, and attain such objectives.

Centralization, and the ideas that support this concept in terms of modern organization, can assist HR managers to build cogent corporate structures. Per this concept, key business decisions emanate from one or two entities positioned at the top of a hierarchy, thereby helping HR managers to fashion a top-down organization. A litany of roles and designations could emerge below the top two levels; these could include vice presidents, senior managers, process leaders, analysts, reviewers, etc. Further, the structure could encourage ideas and suggestions to flow in every direction, but final implementation must await approvals from the top of the hierarchy. Essentially, both power and responsibility are centralized in this representation of a hierarchy; the multiple levels that exist below the peak remain dependent on the stewards. In such a context, flowcharts remain central to helping HR managers in designing the structure described above.

Mechanistic structures, when implemented in modern organizations, represent a close-knit command and control format. Such structures can emerge as an agglomeration of multiple centers of influence within, for instance, a knowledge-based services organization. These structures typically implement fine divisions of labor, resulting in job positions and roles that require highly specialized knowledge and experience. A consultancy firm could implement such a structure, broadly tuned to the demands of the market and geared to serving clients in various knowledge services. The graduated spaces inside a flowchart are ideal for helping HR managers to plan a variety of mechanistic structures. The emerging diagram could represent a broad tapestry populated by a number of central positions, from which emanate multiple support structures. Lines of communication could flow between each central position and its affiliates, as between the corporate chieftain and the central positions detailed above.

Reporting relationships, when organized by job functions, come together to shape a functional organizational structure. Such structures offer staff members the mobility to gain professional growth inside the organization based on the depth and breadth of their competence and experience. Certain observers have lauded such arrangements for their democratic values in terms of scope for sharing knowledge and manifest opportunities to learn new skills. HR professionals can build multiple editions of such structures inside flowcharts and select the best model in tune with an organization’s requirements. Flowcharts also remain instrumental in helping HR managers to build additions to such hierarchies, or develop complementary structures that reinforce the benefits that flow from a functional organizational structure. In addition, such structures allow the organization to allot an individual employee to multiple managers and supervisors, thereby reinforcing the concept of a diversified reporting structure.

Business units or divisions configured on a defined basis (such as geography or products or services) can emerge as a central motif that powers the design of hierarchical structures. When we consider billion-dollar lines of product, HR professionals can frame distinct vertical structures for each product line, bearing in mind the necessity of sub-groups such as product managers, research and development units, marketing teams, and finance professionals. A flowchart-based illustration proves instrumental in helping HR managers to fashion the illustration, wherein the leadership of a product line reports to the chief executive officer, while different sub-groups report to said leadership. This form of hierarchical structure generates clarity in the minds of each associate and employee; it also remains flexible and receptive to efforts that seek to refine the structure in response to factors such as business imperatives.

Hierarchical structures that hinge on the delegation of authority inside an organization have gained precedence in recent times. Such a structure helps develop cadres of professional managers and supervisors that exert high levels of control on various categories of the workforce. Such cadres can take on the task of solving problems in work processes, supply chains, vendor relations, customer satisfaction metrics, and risk mitigation. The development and creation of such structures is essentially an aspect of helping HR managers ideate on a leaner, more responsive organizational culture. In addition, stewards can take on the roles of mentoring new staff persons, help junior employees to develop core competencies, synchronize the efforts of different teams, and devise mechanisms of integration that harness the collective talents of the workforce. When designed inside a flowchart, such a structure emerges as a template or model for developing new editions of traditional concepts of organization.

Transitions in organizational structures could find premise in changes in market conditions, among other factors. For instance, the operators of a civil construction enterprise could implement significant changes in structure with a view to promote organizational efficiencies, compete with peers over long-term horizons, and position the organization for faster growth. In line with this, said operators could adopt a stance of helping HR managers to re-organize the divisions of a conglomerate based on – for instance – defined contract values, different types of infrastructure projects, heavy construction projects, production of construction materials, repair and maintenance, participation in the commercial real estate business in different geographies, etc. Flowcharts, when deployed, help map the various aspects of transition and spur movement toward a de-centralized organizational entity. In addition, such illustrations can chart re-casts of essential lines of communication and reporting; these must feature prominently as part of attempts to preserve organizational integrity and functional validity.

The exploration and analyses described in these passages illustrate instances and techniques of helping HR managers to build a variety of hierarchies inside modern organizations. Business leaders, supervisors, mentors, managers, associates, and frontline staff must assist in such endeavors by providing feedback, ideas, reviews, and inputs into design and implementation at various stages. Such inputs assist HR professionals to effect minor changes in organizational structures, post updates to the leadership, and re-align sections of the workforce appropriately.

Such actions trigger cumulative effects that bolster the strengths of an organization. In addition, human resources professionals must deploy analytics-based support tools, sets of metrics, and digital models to evaluate the efficacy of different hierarchical structures. In time, HR managers must underline the necessity of employee skills to boost the functionality of hierarchical structures in tune with the avowed objectives of the parent organization. This factor, when paired with devising a nimble and responsive organizational culture, can help boost the validity of various structures in the modern world.

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