Filling the gap: 6 steps to identify & define new positions
Okay, fine—that’s not the whole blog, but it’s pretty crucial. Don’t worry; we’ll go into detail for you, but keep in mind that any additions to your company should be made organically. By “organically,” we don’t mean they spring out of nowhere—but rather that you should really, truly need the position before you fill it. You’d be surprised how many companies add roles without looking at the bigger picture! With a little strategic thinking, ingenuity and a healthy dose of honesty, we’ll help you scale your company the right way. Come along!
Adding the right positions
1. Take a look at your current structure
Before you dive head-first into updating your team structure, you should get a refresher on what your structure currently looks like. Take a step back, and make a note of the roles and responsibilities your team has. If it helps, pull out your Accountability Chart.
Don’t worry too much about the details for now—instead, focus on getting a high-level look at how everyone’s role fits together.
2. Determine what’s missing
Once you know what everyone does, you’ll have a good idea of what no one is doing. Are there any gaps? Lapses in accountability? Roles that almost complement each other—but not quite?
With this in mind, take another look at your company’s vision. How does your vision differ from your organization’s reality? Create a list of what’s missing, and if you can, try to categorize them. (Hint: These categories are the roles you may need to add!)
3. Be honest about your needs
Do you really need a mail-sorter in a 5-person company? Unless you conduct all client communication via snail mail, the answer is “probably not.” However, maybe you need someone to help with administrative tasks, and “receive deliveries” could fall under that job description.
Look at your list of what’s missing, and ask yourself, “Does this warrant a new position, or can we tack these onto other, existing roles?” When in doubt, ask for feedback from your team!
Updating your team structure
1. Create clarity on roles
Transparency is the name of the game, and when adding new roles or accountabilities, it matters even more. Make sure everyone on your team has a clear understanding of what each role entails—especially if their responsibilities are changing.
That’s not to say you should cram everyone’s task list to maximum capacity. Rather, be realistic about who can and should be handling accountabilities before you add new roles.
2. Anticipate room for improvement
After all, there’s always room for improvement, right?
Your first draft of a new role might not be perfect. And that’s okay! Run your ideas by your team, and get their thoughts on them. Workshop it with a small group, if needed. When it comes to honing your team, it’s worth the time investment.
3. Trust the process
Changing your team structure is always risky—and so is hiring someone new. Odds are, it won’t be smooth sailing 100% of the way. But don’t let that discourage you! Keep an open mind, and actively look for ways to strengthen, streamline and support your new structure. By the time you fill the new role, you should be confident about their accountabilities and how they’ll help empower your organization.
- Gina Richard