New trends in business are moving towards job combinations with the aim of managing labor costs and increasing efficiency. Manal Syriani, franchise manager of The Lebanese Bakery, explores the variables to consider when it comes to changing job functions.
Besides the high costs associated with labor, merging positions allows ease of replacement, especially in a high turnover industry.
The challenge remains in designing a merger that does not affect the quality of the outcome, in addition to identifying personnel with the right skills set that allows them to fulfill multiple roles.
For the operation, such challenges can be easily overcome by extensive orientation upon hiring staff, covering all aspects of the operation, whether for service or for kitchen operations.
The task is a little more complicated for administrative positions that require business acumen and targeted knowledge in specific departments.
Merging positions should be designed in such a way that the company and the team member can grow simultaneously while keeping in mind the following variables:
Not All Positions Can be Merged
Some positions require great physical effort and time, making it impossible for employees to focus on another task at the same time or to assume other tasks after completing their jobs, such as housekeeping in hotels. In such cases, eliminating one or two selected positions and distributing the duties among all positions, instead of simply merging two positions into one, can achieve the desired outcome.
Make sure not to eliminate control layers
While it is tempting to reduce supervisory levels when restructuring your organization, it is not necessarily the right choice. When your team starts operating at maximum capacity, supervision is crucial to detecting and addressing errors. Managerial levels act as quality, and they can give you insight in order to improve work processes.
A Merger Requires Greater Investment in the Team
Merging positions requires additional training and shadowing of your team. Some positions, especially administrative ones, may also require specialized courses. Training and orientation budgets are likely to increase, and your investment in each team member will rise. For these reasons, retention measures should be reinforced and upgraded.
Detailed Standard Manuals are Key
Team members assuming new tasks require detailed and straightforward guidelines to better integrate them into their day-to-day routines. Whenever a merger occurs, internal policies and processes should be smartly redesigned to map processes smartly as to not affect the final quality or the concept/brand image. Having a Total Quality Manager in the organization is considered an asset for redesigning workflow.