An organization pertains to two or more people working together towards the attainment of a shared objective. The organization of people is critical to systematically assemble and put in order the various activities of the constituents of the organization to effectively and productively be part of the company’s established mission and objectives. This organization of the company is portrayed in an organizational chart where the structure of the organization such as title, position, rank of each member are specified including the lines of authority and other relationships among the members. The organizational structure reflects the organizational design of the company which shows work specializations and divisions which are directly proportionate with productivity.
The organizational structure of most call center companies follow rigid, mechanized and top down structures, which is specifically designed to achieve optimal control. Control is important in a call center organization because the nature of the service it provides is already set. Employees basically perform standard routine work with very little room for creativity or innovation. What is important is just a matter of ensuring that each agent or employee is monitored to maintain the quality standards set by the company. Such is similar to a military organization structure which is rigid that conveys strong adherence to the chain of command.
This is comparatively distinctive from a professional partnership where each partner is co-equal with each other their organizational structure is more flexible to allow every partner space for innovation and voice. The rigid organizational structure of a call center helps to clearly delineate lines of authority and ensure protocols are strictly followed which is especially important to maintain control as the organization expands. A hierarchy of key officers is placed to diffuse the span of control. For instance, 20 agents report to a team leader. 10 team leaders report to the account manager. 20 account managers report to the operations manager and so on and so forth.
Another common feature of a call center organizational structure is its centralized functionalities. Most of the back office operations of a call center organization are centralized such as accounting (payroll and purchasing), information system (MISD) and administrative functions (human resource). This means that decision making with regards to these functions are also centralized. The recruitment functions for instance only pertain to the HR department. Hence, if one agent wants a friend to be part of the organization, he/ she can only recommend but the HR department will be the one to process the recruitment and ultimately decide if the recommended applicant will be hired or not. The major purpose of a centralized structure is to maintain that standards set by the company are met.
At the moment, the top-down mechanistic organizational structure adopted by most call center companies are criticized as bureaucratic and stiff, with little to no opportunity for employee flexibility and creativity. However, such set up is ideal for such a company engaged in a repetitive or routine work. What companies should do is to keep employees motivated and growing by regularly conducting R&R activities as well as continuous professional development to ensure that agents don’t get bored on their routine work.
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