In Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace, matrixed environments are defined as settings where employees work across multiple teams and with team members who report to different managers.
According to Gallup, approximately 84% of employees say they work in a matrixed setting in some way, shape, or form. These environments are becoming more common because organizations are overwhelmed with the quickly evolving workplace and the increase in knowledge-intensive roles.
While matrixed environments do increase team collaboration, there are a few flaws to the system:
- Employees cannot get normal day-to-day work done because they are participating in team meetings and group projects.
- There is a lack of clarity among the group because each person does not know what is expected of them unless explained directly.
- Employees have a lack of trust in their co-workers.
With that being said, Gallup conducted research to see what matrixed employees need in order to be successful. The matrixed workforce needs:
- Clear expectations from their managers
- Clear direction from project leaders
- Communication between managers and project leaders.
Gallup understands the idea of matrixed environments and wants to see them thrive. They will continue their research on these work environments, but until then, they provided five recommendations for matrixed employees.
- Leaders need to establish a strong foundation between their employees and managers.
- Managers need to help their employees do what they do best to better engage them in their work
- Managers and project leaders need to stay connected in order to give employees a clear idea of what is expected of them.
- Project managers need to make meetings productive, meaningful, and straightforward.
- Employees need to prioritize their projects in order to get their work done.
Matrixed environments are very complex, but with the right leaders and motivated employees, they are very beneficial for the organization.