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Ideal Ratio of Managers to Staff

Many companies have flattened their organizations and eliminated manager positions, but adding more staff per manager may not be a good solution. The appropriate ratio depends on the work being done, level of staff and other considerations. There is no ideal, one-size-fits-all ratio that works in all organizations. But, there are typical ratios for types of jobs and factors to weigh in making determinations.

Typical Ratios

A management to staff ratio is calculated by dividing the number of managers in a company or department by the number of employees working in it. Typical staffing ratios range from 4-to-1 for direct reports to a regional vice president or senior manager, to 20-to-1 in an administrative area. For most areas, approximately 10 workers per manager is common.

Span of control is a big determinant, even within the same department. If employees have been in their jobs a long time, the work is easily understood or there is little variation in the type of work, a larger sp...

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