Advising on Department Structure Issues

I have just returned from a client who were experiencing problems with their reception team.

There are 13 people involved and the current system is that after an hour or so they swap duties to try and create a multi-skilled operation. The problems involved jobs not getting done and customers being abandoned at the time when they needed the team at full strength.

I received an approach from the owners requesting some business advice, so I reviewed the situation.

My findings produced a list of issues that had to be resolved. Some staff liked the rotation system as it gave them variety, but others felt it was like musical chairs and the problems were mostly down to some staff abandoning their work to move on to the next “chair”.

What was happening was that the structure for the department was changed to accommodate the staff whereas the staff must accommodate the structure – which is key to any business. The structure must be developed to meet the needs of the business rather than the reverse.

The issues are now being resolved and the client is very happy with the results.

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