DIVISION OF LABOR AND SPECIALIZATION
Personal disorganization can be forgiven, but disorganization at the workplace can bring heavy consequences like an accident, loss of property, loss of money, reduced productivity, damage to image or reputation, and lawsuits. The best companies in the world have the best organizational structures, and they improve every day to meet changing organizational demands.
Division of Labor is the split of manufacturing or production process or task to different people for improved efficiency. Division of labor results in employee specialization. Even though production or manufacturing companies adopt this process because it is cheaper and more efficient, specialization can also be considered for non-manufacturing companies or firms.
Instead of hiring two employees who record office activities, get coffee, and perform secretarial duties, why not employ a secretary and a personal assistant?
A mix up in organizational structure leads to bureaucracy, insubordination, and less productivity. Check your structure; some of your team members may be doing jobs they were not hired to do. Breaking down of complex activities into simple ones which each employee will be tasked to do might just increase the total productivity of the team.
Overstaffing is bad.
The aim of a division of labor isn’t to have too many staffs handling simple tasks. It is to have enough staff handling specific tasks within specific time-frame. The process of production (it doesn’t have to be physical production; it can be rendering of services) becomes unequivocally simple, and it gets easy to track who did what and who caused what when there is a mess up.
Let’s take the production process of turning oranges into orange juice: The good oranges are selected from the basket; they are peeled; they are cut; their juices are squeezed into bottles; the bottles are sealed. This is a simple production process that can be handled by five people. To achieve efficiency, one can make the five team members do different tasks. Doing this will: increase the specialization of a team member (the one who selects good oranges from bad ones will in no time instinctively know the difference; the one who peels will become a faster and cleaner peeler; the one who squeezes will squeeze better, and the one who bottles and seals will perform his tasks better); each duties are connected; therefore, inefficiency on one part will affect the other (if the peeler decides not to work, the squeezer will not be able to work, and the bottler will have no juice to bottle. This is a situation where the culprit—the peeler, can easily be identified); there is an increase in efficiency.
An attorney who does a great job is most probably backed by a great secretary, paralegal, and personal assistant.
Startups must aim at the efficiency level of the benchmark (the best processes around the world) or, even beat the benchmark. It’s easy to get sucked into a hiring spree when investors funding are dumped in your company’s account. A good leader must be able to hire those who will perform certain functions well. In short words, do not hire an accountant to do an attorney’s work; do not hire a secretary to do a personal assistant work.