Organizations Work Better With Clear Roles and Responsibilities

healing-stress-healing-traumaIn spite of sometimes disastrous consequences for businesses and organizations, it’s amazing how often they miss creating clear roles and responsibilities for their employees. There are many reasons for this, one big one being that there’s just so much to do merely to stay on track that taking the time to create written, clear job descriptions seems like a waste of time. It’s not, though.

 Organizational Effectiveness

Creating clear roles and responsibilities for every employee, from the CEO on down, usually greatly improves efficiency and effectiveness. You reduce redundancy—two or more people working on parts of the same projects without coordinating. You decrease things falling through the cracks, where people assume someone else is doing something and so fail to do it themselves. You decrease the chance of conflicts, where several people or departments feel they have the power to make certain decisions or allocate certain amounts of manpower or funds to the same areas. You increase the chances that the organization stays on a clear path to fulfilling its vision and mission and doesn’t go on costly side-tracks. You even decrease personality conflicts.

 How to Create Clear Roles and Responsibilities

Here are some requirements to creating clear roles and responsibilities:

  1. Do an analysis of the kinds of roles and responsibilities the organization needs to thrive.
  2. Do an analysis of the kinds of people that would be competent or even talented at fulfilling these roles and responsibilities.
  3. Be aware of who is already employed at the organization, in which positions they are employed, and whether their personalities, skills and/or talents match their positions. If they don’t currently have the skills, think about whether they can reasonably be trained to acquire them, and how many resources would be required. It’s often beneficial to an organization—and to organizational morale—to keep people with a history in the organization instead of hiring new people to fill positions.
  4. Write down very detailed and specific areas of responsibility, limits of power, and tasks to be performed.
  5. Delegate these areas of responsibility to specific departments and, within them, to specific people.
  6. Create a “water-tight” structure to enforce and follow up, to ensure that those departments and specific individuals are given the authority to fully take on their areas of responsibility, that no one can sabotage their work by doing end-runs around them or supersede their authority, and that there is regular oversight to make sure that the individuals tasked with areas of responsibility know how to do their work and are doing it efficiently and effectively.

Wishing you–and your organization–a free and joyous life,

Zoe

Vicarious Trauma in Organizations Often Goes Viral

Stress and Trauma Can be Contagious in Organizations

In any group, such as organizations and businesses, stress and trauma can act like a virus–spreading very quickly. It is called “vicarious trauma” and can be caused by several kinds of situations.

Just one occurs in organizations whose customers or clients live under a lot of stress or trauma. Employees automatically absorb their clients’ trauma and begin reacting as if they, too, were experiencing first-hand trauma.

 Example at a Large Health Center

I consulted with a large public health center for a time. By definition, their clients are people who are experiencing serious emotional pain, some of them for their whole lives. The people who worked directly with clients heard their stories. They couldn’t help but imagine the scenes and feel what it would be like to go through their clients’ experiences. Inevitably, the trauma permeated into them, and their nervous systems inevitably reacted the same way they would react if the employees, themselves, were literally going through the emotional pain and traumatic stress.

Viral Traumatic Stress

Here is where it becomes even more contagious. First, employees with direct contact to traumatized clients “catch” traumatic stress. They react to their co-workers out of this nervous system state and soon, like a virus, this vicarious painful experience and even behavior spreads throughout the organization, even to top management, which never meets clients directly.

In organizations such as the health center, employees either become overly reactive and it’s like there are constant conflict-fires erupting, or people start becoming overwhelmed, tired, spaced out and numbed out emotionally. If nothing is done to become aware of vicarious trauma and to alleviate it, the organization almost inevitably becomes increasingly dysfunctional.

EFT Helps with Vicarious Trauma

EFT Tapping is amazingly effective in alleviating emotional pain and its symptoms and, of course, vicarious trauma. If an organization has experienced a specific painful or scary event, I can work with whole groups or individuals. Most people respond quite quickly and their emotional pain is alleviated, bringing them back to their normal, productive selves.

Organizational Consulting

Longer-term issues can also be resolved:

  • Fears resulting from lay-offs of colleagues
  • Stress from merging two companies or departments
  • Conflicts among employees or departments
  • Management/employee issues

 

These issues can be resolved through a combination of executive coaching, management coaching, role clarification, coaching for management-employee relations, and group and individual EFT.

For more information on organizational consulting, check out my website pages on Organizational Consulting. There’s also more information on stress and trauma on my Stress and Trauma page.

Wishing you a free and joyful life,

Zoë