7 Dark Sides of Work
Systems and structures
Workplace systems and structures can prevent or promote the dark sides of work. Systems that are easy to implement, follow and are fair and transparent encourage positive working behaviours. Systems that are complex, confusing and seem to benefit only the people who created them can be the breeding ground for conflict and corruption.
Workplace structures can do the same. Too much hierarchy and too many management layers can slow down approvals and work progress.
The structure of work also has a big impact on productivity, results and the team culture. Work should be distributed based on role descriptions, workloads and the strengths of individuals. Clear expectations, requirements, deadlines and results increase the likelihood of success.
Do your workplace system and structures set the team up for success?
Here’s a few things you can do to have great systems and structures
- It’s a good idea to review your workplace systems and structures regularly and ask: What’s working, what’s not and how can they be improved? Employers and managers can ask people who use the systems, including customers, suppliers and staff members through independent surveys, brainstorming sessions or workshops.
- When was the last time you did a risk assessment? What could go wrong and have you reduced or mitigated the issue or the impact?
- Independent audits are great to make sure you’re meeting your responsibilities and obligations.
- Research best practice in other organisations and conduct a gap analysis – where is your organisation falling short?
- Research what has gone wrong for other organisations in your industry and why – how can you make sure you learn from the mistakes of others?
- Encourage continuous improvement from workers and customers by sharing how to provide suggestions and rewarding great ideas and concepts.