Organisational Health and the Matrix

| By Terence Brake

 

Is working in a matrix organisation all doom and gloom?  Well “all” might be going too far.

Early in 2016, McKinsey and Gallup published the results of a survey of 4,000 workers in the United States. 
Respondent categories were:
• Nonmatrixed
• Slightly Matrixed: serve on multiple teams some days (49 percent).
• Matrixed: Work on multiple teams every day with different people, but primarily reporting to the same manager (18 percent).
• Supermatrixed: Work on multiple teams every day, reporting to different managers (17 percent).

It is probably no surprise to you that most employees in matrixed organisation aren’t very engaged with their jobs – engagement is defined by Gallup as “involvement in and enthusiasm for work”.  Unfortunately, Gallup has seen this same result over the last decade.

The latest results show (in percentages):

  Engaged Not Engaged Actively Disengaged
Non Matrixed 28 56 16
Slightly Matrixed 29  57 14
Matrixed 31  55 14
Super Matrixed 34  56 11

 

It seems from the results that engagement is bad whether or not you work in a matrix! 

Employees were asked about the benefits of working on different teams:
Supermatrixed employees were about twice as likely as slightly matrixed ones to say that their organisations helped them collaborate more effectively, do their best work, serve customers well, and innovate from the bottom-up.
Supermatrixed employees were a little more likely than others to say they received recognition or praise over the last seven days, that their opinions counted, and that colleagues were committed to doing quality work.

However, only a minority of the supermatrixed employees strongly agreed with the statement, “I know what is expected of me at work,” compared to 60 percent of the non matrixed.

Interesting indeed.

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