There is a lot of overlap among my clients because I work with families, small businesses and especially families that run small businesses. That sweet spot, right in the middle of both, is where I'm happiest. If I can teach organizing skills to someone that will help at home and at work, well, it's doubly satisfying.
One of the concepts I talk about in my latest book is utilizing organizational charts. These charts are normally used in a workplace to show the hierarchy of job positions in a company. If done properly, they detail the tasks each person is responsible for, the people above them that they report to and the people below them as well.
I am very fond of flipping this concept from work to home to show parents some of the areas they can address to improve the level of satisfaction in their home life. Making an org chart for a household is a really interesting way to see who really is in charge of each "job" or task in a home. There are many intriguing takeaways that I've found by doing this exercise:
The biggest problem tasks are ones everyone thinks are assigned to someone else, but no one is truly doing... this happens a lot at work, too!
Kids are often surprised to discover which parent is in charge of certain activities
Parents are shocked to find out how kids describe their tasks (especially ones that parents swear they've explained 100 times already and are still done "wrong")
Parents are often surprised to see how much/how little others are claiming as their tasks
The opportunity is enormous to have family members do jobs they truly like, but are often assigned without taking this into consideration
So let's see an example of an org chart at work and one at home to see how you can better utilize all your team members and/or family.
Work Organizational Chart
Home Organizational Chart
The big differences here are that in the work chart, all the power flows down from the top. So each job has someone they report to all the way down the line. In the home chart, mom & dad are solely in charge and all the kids have the same level of responsibility directly below the parents. This sounds simple, but showing this graphic to an unruly child may remind them of where they are on the food chain.
In a work chart, there will be several pages of job responsibilities to accompany the chart. Each position will know exactly what their duties are, who they report to directly and what happens when their tasks are not fulfilled correctly.
At home, well, it's often not laid out clearly. A job responsibility might not be conveyed to a child properly: "Make your bed" is not thorough enough. There could be parent modeling to show the proper way to do it. Periodic progress check ins could be made to see if the proper procedure is being followed. Plus yelling, "why didn't you make your bed? What is wrong with you? I've told you over and over how to do it!" is not the ideal way to correct a bad on the job performance.
A great way to correct a faulty org chart at home is to mimic what a boss would do at work:
Schedule a "performance review" in the form of a family meeting over dinner.
Give concrete examples of great behavior and also things to improve upon, just like a boss would do to his employees.
Have a discussion about "properly utilizing an employee's skills." Basically this means ask your kid what chores they really like to do and try switching around everyone's responsibilities.
Lastly, get everyone to agree to some new training, a trial period of time to get used to their new roles and a follow up date to reassess how it's all working.
Does all of this sound pretty official and stuffy for home?
But by taking the emotion out and introducing logical rules for all family members, it's fair for everyone involved. The new structure plays to everyone's strengths. It establishes a new order of parental control (that may have been sorely lacking). Plus it's based on a formula that makes sense at work, so it's worth a shot at home.
If you'd like to implement an org chart at home but need a little help, schedule a Half Day Package with me to get started. These ideas coming from an outsider (i.e. anyone except family) may go over a bit smoother if the kids think it's all MY idea, not yours. Who knows - it may be the very thing that gets your "company" back on track and more happy than ever.