In Flat Organizations, Employee Development

Opportunities for advancement are uncommon in team-based businesses. So, how can you provide your team members opportunity to grow and develop? Take the following advice:

Make the task more interesting. Increase the range of duties assigned to team members and give them more authority over their work. Suggestion: Consider horizontally – team members can learn to operate more equipment – and vertically – they can take on additional “management” roles, such as planning.

Encouraging lateral transfers is a good idea. Allow them to expand their expertise by crossing organisational boundaries. Caution: While team members learn new tasks, productivity may suffer. However, the benefits of increased drive and a better awareness of the broader picture generally outweigh the risks.

Create “webs” for your profession. Build a web – a set of paths radiating from your team to other teams and departments – when team members don’t have a career ladder to climb. Establish relationships with other teams, both inside and outside your business, in disciplines where proficiency is based on years of experience and education. Establish reciprocal agreements in which you train their employees in certain areas and they train your employees. This allows team members to advance in their areas of competence rather than needing to move into management to obtain higher pay. Suggestion: In each technological area, determine the degrees of expertise and contribution. Then determine what kind of training and experiences a worker needs to advance from one level of involvement to the next. Pay rises as the team member progresses around the web.