Organize your team with roles

Learn how is your organization structured

Karolina Krawczyk avatar
Written by Karolina Krawczyk
Updated over a week ago

If your job or position does not define you, it often defines your power of decision and action within your organization. Job descriptions help to rigidify processes, specialize and divide work. So what happens when an organization prefers roles to a traditional job description? How do you set up a role-based company, management or team organization?

On Holaspirit, work is not divided over job titles but captured in roles that, together, form circles of teams with inspiring purpose and clear accountabilities so that every member of the organization has a clear picture about who is responsible for what and who has the authority to decide.

Why do we prefer roles to job descriptions?

Roles imply the implementation of an evolving and collaborative organization. A role-based organization is characterized above all by the desire to effectively share responsibilities and decision-making among all employees.

In traditional organizations defined by rigid hierarchy and a strict chain of command, decisions and information are communicated vertically, from the top to the bottom. With role-based organizations, where decision-making is distributed throughout a set of self-organizing teams, these teams operate on their own, but also as part of the bigger whole and work together to achieve the organization's purpose.

Roles allow to:

  1. Better adapt to the evolution of the organization and its members. The scope of the roles can evolve according to the organization and its needs, but also to the people who contribute to it at a given time. The company adapts more quickly to its context and its challenges.

  2. Efficiently share decision-making. Roles are dynamic: they can be filled by one or more people and can decide what they are responsible for.

  3. Describe the reality of the work. The role description allows us to describe the invisible actions to be carried out in support of the group (for example, documenting for others, welcoming newcomers, etc.). In this sense, roles make it possible to reconcile prescribed work and real work.

  4. Meet the real company needs. Roles answer to specific needs of the company as felt by the operational teams and which contribute to the purpose of the organization. Roles, when fulfilled, also meet the individual needs of those who contribute to them (skills development).

Defining a role-based organization

Organizing in roles is often a matter of balancing the desire to share power and responsibilities, or even to promote more collective decisions, with the desire to maintain or increase efficiency in decision-making by putting everyone into action and in achieving results.

It hands people autonomy over work and empowers them to collectively shape the organization.

On Holaspirit, the entire organization is built around its purpose. Work is no longer divided between people but between roles.

Each role is defined by their:

  • Name: More than just an official job title or designation, this sums up the tasks and responsibilities of the employee who will be holding this position.

  • Purpose: It clarifies the identity and intention of a role or circle. The purpose orients the action of a role or circle even without any other explicit accountabilities, domains or policies.

  • Domain: It represents a distinct area of influence, control and decision-making of a specific role. (Read more)

  • Accountabilities: Each role is associated with a set of responsibilities. This answers the question on what are the expected results associated with the role.

The clarification of the roles must make it possible to determine quite precisely who can make which decision and who is responsible when a decision is not followed or when actions are not implemented.

The home page Chart gives you a new structure of your organization based on roles and circles. Your organization displays more or less circles and roles, depending on its complexity.

📌 Note: the size of the circle depends on the role's position in the hierarchy and the number of roles it contains.

Navigate in your organization

From the Roles section of the Governance app, you will find a list view of all the roles documented for your organization.

From the Chart section, you can:

  • Click anywhere inside a circle (but not directly on a role) to zoom in and out of your chart.

  • You can navigate to all the roles in it. It will help you identify "who does what" in a clear way, making it easy to understand how things work. To show the details of a circle or a role, simply move your mouse over the circle or role name and click on it. The information will slide out from the side.

  • To return to the chart view, just click the "X" in the top-right corner.

  • Use the search and sorting option at the top right of your screen to find what you're looking for.

  • Use the global search if you want to get a list of results.

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