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Fundamentals of managing a large team

The time has come to expand our workforce, either at the departmental or company level. On the one hand, this expansion is indicative of our company's growth, which is undoubtedly a reason for celebration. On the other hand, you may be wondering whether you or local managers are capable of efficiently managing an increased number of subordinates.

You wouldn't want to create an extra management post as it may be an unnecessary layer in the chain of command. In brief, your obstacle is the manageability standard that is the subject of much discussion and analysis in today's business world.

Fundamentals of managing a large team

Controllability norm

Overestimating the norm of manageability could lead to a loss of control over your team's efficiency and productivity. In your case, what is the ideal number of subordinates? Unfortunately, there is no universal formula to determine how many people a manager can effectively manage. This is due to the numerous and specific factors that influence this indicator. Let's take a look at some of them.

  • The extent of necessity in controlling and organizing the work of subordinates affects the level of controllability. In a large production shop, where control is high, controllability is lower and vice versa.
  • In addition, the similarity of functions among employees affects the ease of management. Furthermore, the complexity of the tasks performed by employees is also a factor.
  • The extent of necessity in controlling and organizing the work of subordinates affects the level of controllability. Finally, the presence or absence of an HR service within the organization can impact management effectiveness. The presence of specialists engaged in personnel recruitment, motivation, and training within the company increases the management norm. Conversely, their absence reduces it.
  • The closer the proximity between employees' workplaces, offices, stores, and branches, the higher the management norm.
  • The manager's personality also plays a crucial role. The stronger a manager's ability to manage his or her subordinates and the more enthusiastic he or she is, the higher the standard of manageability and the greater his or her charisma.

It's important to note that a low manageability rate is frequently overlooked. Even if your company doesn't have a high rate, it isn't an insurmountable obstacle that prevents you from hiring new employees. You can and should concentrate on improving your manageability rate. Therefore...

Ways to effectively manage people during workforce expansion

1. Standardize employee workflow as much as possible, increasing the predictability of work processes

Standardization should address the necessary knowledge and skills of the workforce, productivity, and performance standards. Common methods for standardizing work include introducing key performance indicators (KPIs) for employees and departments, creating clear and binding internal regulations, and developing standard instructions for customer service. Though implementing standards can be challenging, it is not as difficult as it may appear.

2. Improve the communication system in the company

This measure is especially effective when a company has several offices, stores or branches. It is possible to make working communications more efficient by introducing a modern corporate online messenger (similar to the well-known Skype, but only for employees and only for work), regular meetings of top management with employees of departments (branches), holding company-wide events, etc.

3. Introduce a robust corporate culture and enhance the motivation system

When corporate culture is no longer an empty formality and becomes a reality, managing people becomes easier as they need less control. High motivation is self-evident: employees don't require coercion to work as they want to do it themselves.

4. Hire an HR specialist for small organizations or establish an HR department in medium and large firms

In this scenario, HR specialists will assume several of the duties previously delegated to department heads. Moreover, an adept HR specialist can significantly aid in shaping the company culture and establishing a motivational framework.

5. Improve management skills of managers

The individual who effectively manages personnel is the one who excels in this field. Today, numerous books, seminars, trainings, and courses are readily accessible to those seeking to study management.

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