Forming and running an organization in the business place can be a real challenge. You want to make sure it can run smoothly, effectively and consistently throughout the years. There are elements that shouldn’t be overlooked when building a business, forming an organization and deploying a management system. One of these elements is congruency, and how it affects the operation of an organization (and later on management). Congruency is the quality or state of agreeing/coinciding. The operation of an organization is determined by the dynamics and performance for whether it is considered congruent or not by the sum of its parts being put together. It is when the inputs, structure, strategies all come together with the desired outputs this is what achieves congruency, thus optimizing the operation of an organization. We will explore the importance of each part, and how it achieves congruency in an organization, also linking in some insight from a manager’s perspective on why congruency matters in his workplace.
The Inputs, the strategies, components
Resources are what makes up the inputs for an organization. Without the inputs, you don’t have any pieces ensuring your organization will run. Some pieces may just include the workers, technology and social status in which all can affect the economic and reputation of an organization. Knowing the status and which pieces fit best are needed for healthy growth of your organization.
Once you know your inputs, the second step involves analyzing the assets an organization has already in place and which parts will ensure the alignment in the performance goals that have been outlined previously. The final step involves choosing the strategies that will determine the match of the outputs with the available inputs in an organization. Choosing the best decisions that promote congruency to best fit the organization would be the main strategy to follow. The key components to take from a congruence model includes the employees, the work, and organizational structural; you can adjust each part to find the best fit for the desired outputs. Knowing your inputs, your desired outputs, strategizing the input/output matchups and continuously adjusting your components ensures an organization become congruent with the sum of its parts.
Anyone can be involved to improve the situation in the organization/workplace and enabling it to be more congruent. Especially when developing a healthy relationship between management and the employees and one that can become overlooked often enough. Here are some steps you can start to help achieve congruency in the organization and workplace.
The first step is to secure development and improvement on business management programs, new managers often struggle/feel ill prepared when they take on a business or organization of their employees. Having a program or specific training methods ensures uniformity across management learning/practices. Communication amongst all party involved: human resources, management staff and employees need to be broken down clearly and always transparent. Finding innovative ways to keep everyone engaged and on the same page is key to a healthy organization. The most crucial ingredient is to make sure you develop trust between everyone involved as well; this all comes down to communication, and always putting work to maintain a healthy relationship. Informing everyone in the organization new updates and giving feedback to employees when they seek it helps establish trust.
Below an interview was conducted with a personal contact of mine (Justin, GM of Pizza Franchise, Florida, US) with his thoughts on congruency, and management giving an everyday perspective you should find in any business.
1. In regards to your experience with business, can you briefly describe some of your experiences? What did you study/work for (giving a title should suffice)?
I’m the general a manger of a pizza franchise. Our ownership group owns 30 franchises, I currently am in charge of running one of those stores along side of another guy that is a part owner of the store I run.
2. Management: from your experience with management in your studies or work experience, describe the overall structure put into place?
The way our management is structured is that we have our ownership followed by the owner/operator (a partner that works at the store) the gm and then the rest of the team of managers. Communication is the key within the management team, if one part of the structure loses communication with the another the whole system becomes broken. If there are gaps in communication between myself and other managers it can create a disconnect between the management team in either employees or customers, both which will negatively affect the business. Customer service is the name of the game in the food industry so if the communication is not there from myself or other management to our employees then we lose that edge of customer service. If communication between management and customers is poor because of a break in communication between management it makes the business look disorganized and poor which creates doubt in the customers mind we will be able to meet their needs.
3. Thinking back to your current management system, would you make any changes (how and why)?
The only part of our management system I would change is having a more direct line of communication to information (accessed by everyone). Instead of important information going through to only one person and being expected them to communicate to everyone else, this created a barrier in the communication. We would want get rid of that barrier and include more people in that conversation from the start.
4. Business congruency: what kind of structure would you implement to make sure you have congruency in your workplace/business, label some practices you strongly believe in (whether it be specific communication methods, internal structure, adhering to practices/routines everyone has to follow)?
If you encountered “silo” effect in your workplace (disconnect between departments/people in the workplace), how would you go about fixing this?
Our owner/operator used to handle all of the hiring and gets all of the corporate specials and advertising info. When that information is not properly communicated to the rest our of managers we begin to look very disorganized when a customer asks about something and no one even knows what they are talking about, or when someone shows up for their first day of work and no one was told and we aren’t prepared for that person to be there. It becomes an environment no one wants to work in. The most difficult part of management is people and you cannot manage people effectively without great communication. Being able to listen is key, with both internal (employees) and external (customers) people. You have to be diligent to communicate, I have used email threads of various forms of group chats. We have both a whole store group chat and a manager group chat to share information on. We do a poor job right now of making sure everyone has all the information they should have. At the end of the day that starts from the very top with training, from our ownership group making sure the people at the top are pushing the message of communication. People will follow just about any protocols put in place to make their workplace better if the people at the top are also doing those things, you have to lead by example.
The single biggest thing I have learned when it comes to management is how important managing people is and how difficult that can be. Creating a team and managing the all of the personalities that come with that on a day to day basis. I would argue people are the single most important part of any business.