What is a Chain of Command? Definition of Chain of Command


chain of command

Chain of Command Definition

The definition of a chain of command is an official classification of an officer who indicates who is in charge and whose permission must be obtained. An example of a chain of command is when an employee reports to a manager who reports to a senior manager, who reports to the vice president who reports to the CEO.

Setting up a chain of commands

Each organization has its own organizational structure, which translates into its chain of command. The classification of an organization begins with the top CEO. Following the CEO, the vice president, and top management staff report directly to the CEO. Then there are departmental directors and supervisors who report to higher-level executives. Lastly, let the front-line staff report to their respective supervisors and department managers. The structure of the company recognizes when each employee establishes a chain of command.

Level of Management

In every organization, there is a level of management that includes 1. Top-level management, 2. Middle-level management 3. Front line management.

chain of command

Advantages of Good Chain of Command

There are several advantages to having a good chain of command:

Responsibilities - Accountability can be improved by giving different responsibilities to everyone in different areas of business. Everyone has their own responsibilities and they have their own caretakers to hold them accountable.

Skills - An effective command helps improve skills when communicating with staff. As a result, it helps them improve their workflow and adjust their management practices.

Clarity - Having a good organizational structure makes the chain of command very clear. In addition, it lets everyone know which decisions they are allowed to make and which ones to present under their supervision.

Employee Morale - Organizations that have a transparent chain of command create an environment without uncertainty and chaos. It improves the morale of workers driven by high productivity and low employee turnover.

Career Path - Makes it easier for employees to create career paths and track their progress toward goals set in their respective areas.

Specialization - Creating a focus of employees in narrow functional areas can create a group of experts who greatly influence the operations of the organization.

Why Chain of Command is important for a CFO

Although most top-level executives often do not communicate with front-line activities, they need to be aware of what is going on in their organization. CFOs in particular need to ensure that their ideas/objectives are properly implemented and delivered through the chain of command. Even if the top-organization has the most influence on the company, front-line employees are the ones who interact most with the customer most of the time. For instance, Batmann Co. is a company that owns office supply stores. Store employees are constantly being criticized for being rude and careless with customers - in the end, people prefer to buy office supplies elsewhere. This can directly affect the earnings of the company and hence the CFO’s estimates. A good top-manager should occasionally check the managers below him to see if they are doing their job properly to avoid such problems.

Tip: Walk on the store-front or factory floor at least every week or every week. Get to know your customers who are dealing with or producing your product. They’ll also let you access privacy secrets that top management doesn’t know or just doesn’t know about.

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