I have had my difficulties recently dealing with a Government department, HMRC. A current trend in an era of cuts is to sweep away those employees who are regarded as expensive, which means the loss of many middle-management jobs. Now, I would not argue that there can be a problem in having lots of people overseeing rather than doing, but an efficient management structure requires communication; that is the cornerstone of an efficient business.
If there is just an elite of senior management that means that those at the coal face doing the work, whether it is in manufacturing or services, have to just follow instructions to the letter. There will be no conduit to report problems and to suggest better ways of doing things.
At one time it seemed we had moved away from the feudalist “them and us” environment which existed into the seventies, and even in very large businesses there did seem to be an era of listening to the grass roots in a business, feeding information up and making changes. Now many of the cuts we are seeing in the Civil Service and in the Banks for example are again sweeping away the middle management and the good communicators along with the dead wood. These changes are not just those coming in the era of a new Government; the process has been going on for several years. It seems to be the theory that the human communicators can be replaced by technology. However, unless the middle management can be entirely substituted with sentient androids it is a strategy which will lead to failure.
In small business we understand better that we should give ownership of their jobs to our employees because in that way our businesses will be more successful as well as encouraging loyalty of our employees in particular, all the staff to each other, and of course and most importantly, the loyalty of our clients and customers to our business and our brand. We are all in it together. To me, responsibility plus loyalty equals efficiency and success, and success equals prosperity. It is all rooted in our relationships within the business.
What do you think?