Many businesses seek to flatten their organization, spreading decision making amongst your managers. Teaching your employees to respect the chain of command is an important concept to support this task. Frankly, even with a pyramidal organization, the chain of command is critical for effective management. It may sound rigid and Army-like but it plays a vital role in business and must be thoroughly understood in order for a business to function properly. Rank and chain of command are essential for the smooth growth, prosperity, and effective management of an organization. If it works in the Army where lives are at stake, it will prove invaluable in your business structure as well.
The chain of command is as follows: Workers report to their team leader, the next rung of leadership, Team leaders report to their managers, managers report to the COO. And finally, if the owner is involved in the on-site operation, then the COO is to report to the owner. Each stratum of management should have the opportunity to handle the management issue and forward it up the chain of command only if necessary. In other words, issues should be dealt with at the lowest possible level, elevating only if the team leader, manager, or whoever, cannot provide a satisfactory resolution. Once someone has come up with a suitable resolution, the answer must make its way back down the same chain of command and be implemented with the initial employee.
Employees jumping ranks and reporting to whomever they feel is unacceptable. Actions such as these demonstrate indifference and disrespect toward the standing of higher ranked individuals. Such occurrences result in chaos and run the risk of ineffective communication or decision making, as those needing to know are now cut out of the chain of communication. Implementation then becomes challenged because all in control do not have the specific new information necessary. Disregard for the chain of command destroys the organization and inhibits proper management skills from being implemented. Your chain of command must be trained to recognize when an inappropriate communication is occurring between ranks in order to prevent such issues. Training should consist of higher ranks immediately dismissing any communication from any individual who attempts to break this chain, by sending that person to the correct administrator at the lowest level this could be handled. In addition to this, an appropriate instruction should also be incorporated, enforcing and supporting the correct flow of communications, honoring rank and the chain of command.
Your employees should not have the ability to freely report their issues to whomever they feel whenever they choose. This obstructs smooth operations, undermines authority, and results in chaos. For this reason, the chain of command is a factor that must be communicated and followed by your employees. It is critical for every individual to comprehend the importance of the chain and understand who they must report to in the case of a problem or inquiry. This must be spelled out clearly and frequently until the concept is deeply ingrained in your organization.
Train your employees to understand and respect this protocol. This way, issues can be handled smoothly and efficiently. Communications can be disbursed effectively with everyone being assured they will be told what they need to know effectively and timely. Create a chain of command and abide by it. Let your managers manage. This strategy provides order and decorum. It will support the design of your management and most of all, your organization and prevents chaos.
Indeed, while this approach may seem rigid and stern, it supports order. This is an advantage worthy of defending.