블로그 게시물

How Decisions Get Made in Organizations Without Hierarchies

Cornerstone Editors

Imagine working at a company where there is no CEO. You don't have a job title or description, or a manager to whom you report. Instead, you occupy "roles" which require executing specific tasks. Multiple people can fill one role, and individuals can occupy many different roles, and every role is part of a larger group with a unique purpose within the organization.

Huh?

You're not alone if that's your response to Holacracy, a system of organizational government developed in 2007 that departs from traditional top-down corporate leadership structures. While it may sound fringe-y, it's been adopted by several companies touted for their forward-thinking policies — such as Zappos, GitHub and Medium, the publishing platform started by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. Its proponents say it's a nimble, adaptable system that makes for happier employees and is ideally suited to today's rapid pace of change.

But it can be difficult to wrap one's head around the system's tenets — which rely on a fluid, democratic org chart that prioritizes the completion of tasks rather than a reporting structure. How do you delegate responsibilities when no one has formal titles? And more importantly, how do you make decisions in an organization without managers? We spoke to one of the movement's champions to find out.

Who's the Boss?

In a traditional organization, a manager delegates responsibility to his/her subordinates but is generally charged with making decisions him or herself. The CEO's opinion usually matters most, and employees' "say" in a matter tends to diminish down the chain of command.

By contrast, in a holacratic organization, decision-making and authority are distributed across the entire team. Everyone is the architect of his/her own role, and everyone plays by the same rules, no matter if you're in a junior sales role or a senior financial role. Furthermore, each individual (not their manager) is responsible for breaking down his or her roles into smaller projects and action-items, and has complete authority over how to execute these tasks.

"The whole idea is to move fast by creating roles and making individuals accountable for different responsibilities," says Ann McGrath, founder and president of WonderWorks, a professional services firm that helps organizations implement holacracy.

How Does Anything Get Done?

Let's take the launch of a new ad campaign for example. In a traditional organization, a manager would convene his/her team, describe the assignment, delegate tasks and explain how he or she wants the project to be completed.

In a holacracy, however, a "circle" (or task-oriented group) would assemble when any team member comes to the table with a proposal for a new campaign. The rest of the circle would then be given the opportunity to ask questions about the proposal, and if there are no objections, the project would get the green light — and the group would divide necessary tasks among itself. Each individual is then empowered to break up his/her assignment into smaller action items and complete his/her task autonomously.

If you're thinking this would be a recipe for disaster in your office, you could be right: The system hinges on hiring a certain type of employee. Productivity, McGrath says, requires workers to be highly organized and quickly convert everything that passes their desk into a checklist, reminder or other actionable item to prevent backlog.

Who Gives Approval?

In a traditional company structure, the manager might reconvene the team to provide feedback and approval. Subordinates present their work and, usually, it's the manager's job to weigh in and give direction. The manager will let the team know if there's still work left to be done, and the process will continue.

In a holacracy, however, team members check in with one another about checklist items at routinely scheduled operational meetings. In the event more work is needed, they must provide clear action items for those next steps. The process repeats until consensus says the campaign is ready.

But while it's democratic, it's not a free-for-all, cautions McGrath: "Everybody’s perspective is considered, but the decision definitely doesn’t hinge on everybody agreeing. An idea gets the go ahead as long as it won’t cause harm or move the company backward. So if it’s safe enough to try now, [you] go for it, even if that’s not how [you] would personally do it."

Drinking the Kool-Aid

Implementing such a radically different paradigm isn't for everyone, especially leaders who have worked their way up the career ladder to achieve a certain position. "It's definitely a self-selecting thing," McGrath says. "There are going to be people who don't want to give up control over their team. But if you're open to it, many former managers say [it] has allowed them to focus on the aspects of their job they actually enjoy."

And at its core, the philosophy does offer useful takeaways for businesses thinking about how to adapt for the future (Whirlpool, for example, while not a holacracy, recently chose to get rid of all titles). Simplifying management structures, eliminating bureaucracies and prioritizing productivity over internal politics are all smart ways to keep employees engaged — and keep your company on its toes.

Photo: Shutterstock

Related Resources

Want to keep learning? Explore our products, customer stories, and the latest industry insights.

4 Ways to Expand Your Social Media Recruiting Strategy

블로그 게시물

4 Ways to Expand Your Social Media Recruiting Strategy

Social media is ubiquitous, and companies are using it in many different and innovative ways for enhancing their sales, marketing and customer services. So why is it then that many HR departments still fail to see social media as more than a job board? Outside of the office, the same HR people happily engage with friends on Facebook, share news and ideas on Twitter, look at pictures on Instagram and send snaps on Snapchat. But when they put their work hat on they seemingly forget why they use social in the way they (and hundreds of millions of other users) do every day, and resort back to just posting jobs (in a boring way) on social media! Of course there is nothing wrong with job posting, and it's often an effective approach to reaching an audience, but not all of the time. According to LinkedIn, only 12 percent of the working population are actively seeking new employment. So, if all you do is post jobs on your LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook page, you are consciously ignoring the other 88 percent of the working population who might be interested in hearing more about your company in general. Creating and sharing interesting content about your company such as employee stories or volunteer days help bring your employer brand to life. It might even trigger people to reach out to you and find out more about your job opportunities. In truth, mixing up your social media feeds with a variety of content will provide more depth and candidate engagement. Here are four ways to expand your social media strategy and engage with new potential candidates. 1) Candidate Sourcing With people using an average of more than five social networks, sourcing talent via social media makes absolute sense. Branch out from just using LinkedIn and look to sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to search for and engage with prospective talent. Try search tools like Followerwonk to search Twitter bios for keywords and job titles, a clever Chrome browser extension called Intelligence Search that easily searches Facebook and using the search bar at the top of Google+. They will help you identify new talent. If you are looking to build social media pipelines then try Hello Talent. It is a great free tool that allows you to build talent pipelines from many different social networks by using a browser extension. 2) Competitor Monitoring Social media is a fantastic source of information and data. By using tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, you can monitor the social media activity of your competitors. Both of these tools allow you to set up search columns, where you can enter things like keywords, hashtags, Twitter names and track when any of these are mentioned on sites such as Twitter. You can use the interact or use the insights accordingly. 3) Resources for Candidates Consider your Facebook page (or Twitter channel) as a real-time customer services channel for you to engage and communicate with both new and existing candidates in the recruitment process. Provide links to your social media pages to candidates at all stages in the process and encourage them to visit the pages and ask questions about any part of the process. You can also share useful information about working for the company, including locations, employees and other relevant news. 4) Live Recruitment Events Not everyone can attend the many recruitment events happening every month. But by using social media like Twitter, Facebook Live, Instagram and Snapchat, you can easily provide live commentary for these events you attend or host. Real-time video via Facebook Live and interaction via Twitter chats are superb examples of ways to regularly engage with a live audience of potential candidates. With social media firmly established in our working lives, I question how much more evidence HR departments will need to fully embrace this "new" form of candidate engagement. Photo: Twenty20

Cartoon Coffee Break: Unconventional Recruiting

블로그 게시물

Cartoon Coffee Break: Unconventional Recruiting

Editor's Note: This post is part of our "Cartoon Coffee Break" series. While we take talent management seriously, we also know it's important to have a good laugh. Check back every two weeks for a new ReWork cartoon. Missed the Recruiting Trends conference? From the state of recruiting automation adoption, to the role that the human element still plays in recruiting, our recap covers everything you need to know. Header photo: Creative Commons

The Latest Office Benefit Is Tackling Student Debt

블로그 게시물

The Latest Office Benefit Is Tackling Student Debt

Modern companies are more than just employers — increasingly, they are also gyms, cafeterias and even laundromats. As perks like yoga class, free lunch and complimentary dry cleaning become the norm, companies continue to push the boundaries on ways to attract and retain top talent by providing much more than a paycheck to employees. The latest in the slew of new workplace benefits? Student loan assistance. In April, Chegg partnered with Tuition.io to give full-time employees extra cash for student loan reduction. Then in September, consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers announced it would provide up to $1,200 to help employees pay off loans annually. As a benefit, student loan assistance programs are certainly still in their infancy— one survey found that only 3 percent of companies offer such a benefit. But experts say that may soon change as companies seek to differentiate themselves in a competitive hiring environment. "We think student loan benefits are poised to be the next big benefit; similar to what 401(k) matching was when it was first introduced," says Dana Rosenberg, who leads employer and affinity group partnerships at Earnest, a lender that offers student loan refinancing and works with companies to create loan pay-down programs. The Burden of Student Debt Such programs could be extremely attractive to debt-laden Millennials. Around 40 million Americans collectively carry $1.2 trillion in student loan debt, and the graduating class of 2015 was the most indebted class in history with an average debt of $35,000 (a superlative they won't hold for long come May 2016.) For employers looking to adjust benefits to correspond to the changing demographics of their employee base, student loan programs hit the mark. "In 2016, our employees will be 80 percent millennials, and we also hire close to 11,000 employees directly out of school each year," says Terri McClements, Washington Metro managing partner of PwC. With student debt often preventing young people from participating in 401(k) plans and reaching traditional life milestones, the benefit could potentially make a large impact on employees' financial and personal well-being. A study from the American Student Association found that 73 percent of people with student loans reported putting off saving for retirement or other investments due to their debt, 75 percent reported delaying a home purchase and 27 percent reported it was difficult to buy daily necessities. "Student loans can be a very stressful thing to deal with, so if we can give our employees peace of mind, that's great," says Caroline Gennaro, corporate communications manager at Chegg. The Allure for Employers Student debt assistance programs aren't just attractive to employees, either. Rosenberg says there are significant benefits for the organizations that offer them as well. "Employers that offer programs to help their employees get out from under their debt load are seeing big benefits: increased retention, more competitive recruiting and, perhaps most importantly, happier employees who have additional cash flow to put towards their life goals," Rosenberg explains. Rosenberg says happier employees are more engaged employees, who tend to be more productive. Studies show that companies with high employee engagement experience lower turnover and have double the rate of organizational success than their less-engaged counterparts. Student loan benefit programs may also lead to a more diverse workforce, attracting employees whose financial backgrounds meant they had to take on more debt for their education. "Diversity and inclusion are also very important to us, so the ability to offer this benefit can help minorities who come out of school with a higher debt burden," says McClements. A Promising Response Companies say the response to their student loan assistance programs have been overwhelmingly positive. Chegg has had more than 80 people sign up since they started their program this summer, and they've already eliminated roughly 86 years of collective loan repayments for their employees. Companies are also finding these programs are a way to differentiate themselves from organizations that may offer more generic benefits. "As a company in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are always looking to attract the best and brightest in the industry, and this benefit is a big draw," says Gennaro. Photo: Shutterstock

1:1 맞춤형 서비스를 받아 보세요

조직에 필요한 인력 관리 요구 사항을 지원하는 것과 관련해 Cornerstone 전문가와 상담하실 수 있습니다.

© Cornerstone 2022
법적 고지 사항