There should be clearly defined roles in businesses

Leadership is crucial to keep a business on track and should be the responsibility of the CEO or MD.

Too often, however, the lines become blurred, so that particularly in small businesses the MD becomes embroiled in issues that should be delegated to others.

Similarly, all too often line managers leave HR to do their job of managing employees, especially when it comes to dealing with performance related issues.

What causes this kind of behaviour? Is it an issue of trust, such that the leadership has insufficient confidence in line managers’ abilities to manage staff? Or do line managers lack confidence that they will be supported by their own managers?

This is often about fear. If line managers have insufficient knowledge of the limits and responsibilities of employment protection, and employee rights, or lack confidence in handling negotiation, or that their decisions will be supported, it is very tempting to leave it all to HR.

We would argue that no business can be successful unless it has a clear line of command, with roles and responsibilities clearly set out and a company handbook to guide everyone, managers and staff.

When a business becomes dysfunctional it is important to look at the management behaviour to establish whether the roles and responsibilities have become mixed up, leaving a beleaguered CEO to fire fight when they should be thinking ahead about strategy.

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