An association’s publishing function faced significant technology changes, the introduction of new work methods, and the loss of its management. SHR partnered with a publishing consultant to create a new structure for the future. The role SHR played is discussed below.
First, detailed interviews were held with executive management, all members of the publishing function, and various other staff whose work interfaced with publishing operations. In these interviews, the focus was on:
- effective aspects of current operations
- areas of difficulty or ineffectiveness
- workload and performance measures
- impact of new technology that had already been installed
Additionally, each publishing staff member was asked about their:
- experience and training
- concerns, recommendations, and issues
- training and development needs
Organizational data about workload history and growth, staffing levels, and future needs were also gathered.
In conjunction with the publishing consultant’s recommendations for new technology and publishing practices, a completely new organization structure was developed. SHR defined all roles needed, staffing levels, and created position descriptions for each.
A feedback session was held with all publishing staff, including the outgoing manager, to discuss all results, recommendations, and issues. Although emotionally difficult for many longer service employees, the session resulted in enthusiasm and acceptance. Staff members recommended critical skills needed in the new director and outlined ways to help management track the upcoming changes.
An executive summary and final report was prepared to guide the changes and to recommend future actions. SHR briefed the executive director and the executive staff on the new organization structure and then worked with the association’s human resources director to implement the new organization.
SHR also handled the search for the new director and assisted the association in selecting the new hire.
This project was critical to the association which derives much of its usefulness to members as well as the majority of its income from the publishing operation. The project results were well-accepted and have been implemented successfully.