Factors affecting organisational structure
A Forestry Commission case study

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Page 3: Roles within the organisation

An organisational chart shows the pattern of relationships between the different workers in a firm. How these different roles interact will depend on the aims, objectives or culture of the organisation.

The Forestry Commission is an organisation that values people. Individual members of staff are given a lot of responsibility and are encouraged to make decisions themselves where appropriate.

The Commission works to a values statement setting out how people are expected to work together. The values are based on:

  • teamwork working as teams with colleagues and others to ensure that trees, woods and forests meet the needs of people in each part of Britain
  • professionalism enjoying and taking pride in work, achieving high standards of quality, efficiency and sustainability
  • respect treating one another with consideration and trust, recognising each person's contribution
  • communication being open, honest and straightforward with colleagues and others, as willing to listen as to tell
  • learning always learning from outside the Forestry Commission as well as from within
  • creativity not being afraid to try new ways of doing things.

People who work for the Forestry Commission have clearly defined roles, but work within teams. For example:

James is a Programme Group Manager in the Commission”s Forest Research Agency in the South of England.

'I provide the scientific evidence to help decide where new tree planting should take place. The Commission has to make the public understand that in some situations it is ok to cut down trees - if you replant. I joined the Forestry Commission as this offered me the chance to take a more applied approach to using my earlier studies in Ecology at university. Working for the Commission has offered me training opportunities and the chance to move jobs within the organisation and around the country.'

Sarah is a Climate Change Interpretation Officer based at the Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire.

'My role is to put the complex messages about climate change into simpler terms for the public as well as for fellow workers. I organise the annual “Festival of the Tree” event at the Arboretum. This is a hands-on opportunity for people to find out more about the positive effect of trees. I have also produced a DVD about climate change for schools. It's really satisfying for me that I can take a project through from beginning to end and see how it makes a difference. I also know that I can have a long term career here because the Commission supports training and development to expand my skills.'

Vicky is a specialist adviser in the Climate Change Team in Edinburgh. She studied Maths at University.

'My skills were a good fit as we need to have hard facts and figures to understand the impact trees can have on climate change. For example, we need to know how much carbon is stored in woodland as it grows in order to know if it can be used to offset carbon emissions. My role is to interpret the research coming out of the Forest Research team so that the Commission can develop policies based on this evidence. Jobs in government organisations are not always as practical as this. The best bit of what I do is that I can see I make a difference and have a real connection with what is happening with woodlands in Britain.'

Richard is a Business Sustainability Officer based in Dumfries in Scotland.

'I grew up next to a forest on the North Yorkshire Moors and had my first job with the Commission when I was 13 selling Christmas trees! I studied mechanical engineering at university but afterwards took a City & Guilds qualification in agricultural engineering and forestry service engineering at college. This gave me the practical skills I needed to move into forest engineering. My team repairs and maintains the Forestry Commission's harvesting machinery, vehicles and equipment. I have a fantastic job with lots of variety, for example, training on business sustainability and energy savings one day, installing or repairing a wind turbine the next. Being able to take ownership of a project gives me enormous job satisfaction.'

Forestry Commission | Factors affecting organisational structure