The Shape of Work

#5: Niyati Goel on the importance of organization design for workplace culture

April 07, 2021 Season 1 Episode 5
The Shape of Work
#5: Niyati Goel on the importance of organization design for workplace culture
Show Notes

In this episode, Niyati Goel, Sr. Manager Global Compensation at The Hershey Company talks to our CEO, Kartik Mandaville and Project intern, Naman Chaturvedi about the importance of organization design and how it comes out of two things - Business strategy and Organization culture. They also discuss how inclusivity at the workplace is more about finding similarities in the people you work with, irrespective of different countries, cultures, education, backgrounds, differences and companies.

Niyati has managed the HR functions across all verticals and has worked in Singapore, Malaysia, Middle east and the United States in FMCG, Travel and Tech domains. She is a certified SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) professional with an engineering background and an MBA in HR from XLRI.

Organization design comes out of your business strategy and organization culture

Niyati suggests that before we go into how organization design is important for culture, we need to understand what organization design really is. In a simple way, organization design and culture is how things get done in an organization.

The organization design comes out of two things:

What is your business strategy: What do you want to produce, deliver and solve? Who are your consumers?

The organization culture: To an extent, it is a derivative of the culture  based on how you get things done, which kind of market you operate in.

Let’s say you operate in a very dynamic market, your structure needs to ensure that delivery. Thus you need to probably have a very simple or non-hierarchical structure where the information flow and employee duties are performed quickly to deliver their goals.

But if you work in a highly structured environment, say in the legal field, your structure needs to match the delivery you're trying to achieve as an organization. So to a certain extent it is a derivative. Therefore, your organization design comes from your updated business strategy.

Keep the communication chain as short as possible:

Niyati derived an analogy from a game called Chinese Whisper which focuses on the importance of the right kind of communication. 

So, one learning from this particular game is that the more you de-layer the communication, the easier it is. We can simplify communications and avoid misunderstandings by keeping the chain as short as possible. And this is one of the ideas from an organization design point of view. There are indeed multiple other ideas on how you can avoid misunderstandings in virtual communications. A call is better than a text, a video is better than a call. Hence, face to face interaction is still better than all of the three. And these opportunities and forums need to be created among team members.

Understanding the real meaning of inclusivity at the workplace

Niyati shares that we must know that the world is more similar than different. The more we consider it different, the more we step away from reaching the language of inclusivity. However, of course, there are few differences,some very tangible ones. For example, time zones or language. Some intangible differences could be ways of working which are not immediately identifiable in an online working model.In the same way, there are some tangible and intangible similarities as well. So, if you recognize these two and start with the similarities first, you will be able to achieve your goal.

Produced by: Priya Bhatt
Podcast host: Kartik Mandaville, Naman Chaturvedi