What Is a Staff Function?

Geri Terzo

Throughout an organization, there are different departments and groups that contribute in various ways. Not every division, for instance, has a direct hand in driving revenues and profits into a business. Nonetheless, the duties performed by all employees should support the overall business model and goals established at a company. A staff function represents activity that promotes generating revenues in a supportive way. The employees in these roles may provide research and analysis to the individuals who have more of a hands-on role in dealing with clients or activities that generate income.

A staff function represents activity that promotes generating revenues in a supportive way.
A staff function represents activity that promotes generating revenues in a supportive way.

Employees who fulfill a staff function at an organization allow other parts of a business to operate more smoothly, including the line function area. The employees in a line function are involved with the parts of operations that could influence client experiences, sales, and revenues directly in positive or negative ways. With the proper support from the individuals in a staff function at a firm, the line functionality at a business should be successful. Line function professionals rely on staff function individuals in order to obtain advice, analysis, and research to be used in beneficial ways. The line function division of a business is similarly dependent on those services to perform tasks with greater efficiency.

The human resources division at a corporation is considered a staff function. Although the individuals in this division perform pivotal tasks associated with compensation, retirement, and health benefits, in addition to personnel management, these functions do not directly generate revenues. Demands for the individuals in these roles are often set in motion by professionals on the operational or line function side of a business. Nonetheless, job performance in the personnel division at a firm can be measured in comparison with the operational goals of a business. The objectives for the staff function side of a business should be in response to the expectations set forth for the line staff.

Accounting and finance are also representative of staff functions. Individuals fulfilling these roles are responsible for tasks such as budgeting and payroll and may be called upon to communicate financial items to an organization's senior management or staff. The information that is presented by the individuals fulfilling these staff functions can help the professionals on the line function side of a business to establish financial goals and to reach those targets. Accounting professionals must report financial information based on regulatory standards and principles set forth in a region.

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