How to set up an effective flat hierarchy: complete guide
Publié le 03 May 2023

How to set up an effective flat hierarchy: complete guide

Flat hierarchy is an organizational model that differs from traditional hierarchical structures by removing levels of formal supervision. This model emphasizes egalitarian relationships and collaboration among employees, rather than a hierarchical power structure.

Businesses today are constantly looking to improve their productivity and profitability, while providing a positive work environment for their employees. The flat hierarchy is an organizational model that aims to strike a balance between efficiency and employee fulfillment. This model can provide many benefits for modern businesses, to maximize the benefits of this model it is important to consider factors such as corporate culture and internal processes before deciding if this model is appropriate for your business.

Definition and Concept of Horizontal Hierarchy

A) The concept of the horizontal hierarchy
The horizontal hierarchy is an organizational model that focuses on collaboration and equality within a company . It involves a flatter organization, in which employees are encouraged to work together as equals to achieve corporate goals.

B) The advantages of a flat hierarchy compared to a traditional hierarchy
This organizational model is often associated with a more democratic and employee-oriented corporate culture. They are thus considered as key players in the company rather than passive employees.
The establishment of a horizontal hierarchy brings many advantages:

  1. The democratization of work in project mode,
  2. The gain in suppleness, flexibility and agility,
  3. Increasing the commitment, involvement and motivation of employees,
  4. The fluidity of communication,
  5. The development of a culture of mutual aid, listening and benevolence.

This model can also encourage a more stimulating work environment, where employees can contribute and make more important decisions.

C) How to set up a horizontal hierarchy?
Implementing a horizontal strategy can be a challenge, but it can also bring many benefits for employees and the company.
To set up a flat hierarchy in your company, here are 6 steps to follow:

  1. Assess your current company culture : You can conduct an employee survey or conduct focus groups to get feedback on the current company culture.
  2. Set goals : These goals can include improvements for employees, company culture, and business results.
  3. Educate employees : You can hold employee information sessions to discuss the changes and answer any questions.
  4. Establish a collaborative decision-making system : You can establish employee committees to work on key decisions or hold votes for important decisions.
  5. Encourage collaboration and communication : It is important to develop communication channels for employees, the goal being that they freely express their ideas and concerns.
  6. Evaluate the results : You can survey employees to get their feedback on the flat hierarchy and make adjustments accordingly.

Setting up a flat hierarchy offers many benefits, but it requires careful planning.

The tools used in the horizontal hierarchy

A) Team meetings
Team meetings allow employees to work together, communicate and collaborate effectively to achieve company goals. They are important for involving employees in decision-making processes.

B) Open and two-way communication*
Open communication channels can be used to encourage employees to speak freely and discuss their ideas and opinions. Channels can include online forums, suggestion boxes, and question-and-answer sessions.

C) Delegation of responsibilities
The delegation of responsibilities is an important aspect of the hierarchical hierarchy, it allows to distribute the tasks and the responsibilities between the employees, which can improve the efficiency, the quality of the decision-making and the satisfaction of the employees.

By using these tools effectively, companies can reinforce the horizontal hierarchy and achieve the potential benefits for employees and the company. It is important to monitor the results and make adjustments as needed to ensure that the flat hierarchy is effective and beneficial for all employees.

* Bidirectional

Mistakes to avoid in setting up the horizontal hierarchy

Setting up a flat hierarchy can be an effective way to foster collaboration, communication and motivation within the company. However, it is important to consider some potential errors to ensure that the transition to a flat hierarchy goes smoothly and efficiently.

  • Lack of clear direction : If employees don’t understand goals and expectations, it can be difficult to put an effective structure in place.
  • Lack of training : Training is key to ensuring that employees understand new processes and expectations around communication and collaboration. If employees are not trained, they are likely to make mistakes or find it difficult to work effectively.
  • Lack of participation : The flat hierarchy requires the active participation of all employees. If some employees do not participate or take responsibility, this can hinder the effectiveness of the horizontal structure.
  • Lack of communication : Communication is a key element for the success of a flat hierarchy . If employees do not communicate effectively, there can be misunderstandings and errors that can hamper business performance.
  • Focus on tasks rather than goals : It is important to focus on company goals rather than individual tasks. If employees are only focused on their personal work, they may lack collaboration and communication with other departments, which can hamper the effectiveness of the horizontal hierarchy.

To avoid these potential mistakes, it is important to ensure that all employees understand the expectations and processes, and to ensure that communication and collaboration are of high quality to maximize the effectiveness of the structure.

The horizontal hierarchy is a management concept that aims to replace the traditional vertical structure, with a flatter, collaborative and participatory structure. For modern businesses, this type of structure offers many benefits, including greater flexibility, better collaboration, and more effective communication between employees.
It is an important management concept for companies, enabling more effective collaboration, open communication and active employee participation. This structure can help companies improve their performance and succeed in an ever-changing world.

To learn more about management-related topics, we suggest you consult our articles such as strategic management and micromanagement .

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