Growth is an exciting phase of any business. Even when a company encounters tough times that can be riddled with uncertainty, meaningful experiences and opportunities are born, making that turbulent ride worth it. Businesses tend to get carried away easily during a growth phase, to the point where they may fail to make plans and critical decisions about their most valuable resources — their employees.
While growing, scaling, onboarding new clients or selling more products, forgetting important support aspects of properly managing growth can often be overlooked. Some of these aspects include:
- Ensuring there is enough staff to manage all the growth opportunities
- Investing in attracting and retaining talent
- Identifying learning and development needs and workforce planning
As a business grows, HR’s capacity cannot be operating at a minimum nor can it remain stagnant. Rather, it needs to expand parallel to the business.
With all this incredible growth taking place, how do you ensure you are not cutting corners on your HR fundamentals so that your team doesn’t crash and burn?
Be Detailed When Communicating Roles And Responsibilities
In growth mode, it can feel that everyone in the business is running around without a clear direction. At times like these, you need your company to move forward, not in circles, and that means ensuring your employees know what they are doing and what their key focus areas are. This means providing clear communication on the expertise, skills and competencies required to deliver the final stage.
If You Fail To Plan, You Plan To Fail
Creating a workforce plan that highlights your staffing needs for the near and long term is essential to ensure that as your business stays in beast (optimal growth) mode.
This plan should include everything from onboarding to training, development and engagement. Basically, it should be your HR survival guide. This plan should also contain timelines, key roles to hire, job descriptions, workflow processes, key stakeholders for your various business units, and your budget. From there, you need to have two versions of your plan so that depending on how the business grows, your HR plan can adapt within an instant.
Regular Training And Development
If your business is small, it might be deceptive to think you don’t need to invest in proper training and development. But it’s a necessity to keep employees motivated, challenged, and competitive. And it’s not a minor investment.
The more your business scales, the more you need to increase training and development to ensure that your employees grow in the skills and training they need to serve your business at all levels. Every employee, from new hires to well-integrated employees, will need training.
One best practice is to have new employees — whether new to the company or new to their position — shadow predecessors or team members who have previously worked in the role. They should also be having regular one-on-one meetings with direct supervisors or managers.
Retain Your Best And Brightest
Don’t underestimate how powerful a healthy and inspiring work environment is when it comes to retaining great employees. By having an inclusive and engaging work environment, your employees will feel valued and challenged, and they will align to your mission, vision and core values.
With high-performing employees, it is important to provide new challenges, set quarterly goals, and measure performance using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Through KPI measurement, you will be able to see the areas where staff are blowing it out of the water, in addition to areas of needed improvement and growth.
In addition to performance management, ensure staff has access to the best tools and systems, so there is nothing in their way of getting the best job done possible for their role and the team. Trust us; nothing is more frustrating than wanting to do a killer job on a project and then not having the equipment you need to get it done in the way you know it should.
Identify Your In-House Competencies
If your company is set on a growth trajectory, you should ensure that you have the in-house competencies and skills needed for all business areas, including HR. For example, in-house, there may be recruitment, analytics and day-to-day HR operations, but to ensure efficiency, you may outsource parts of HR in order to get the best insights to help your company through its growth period.
Things companies in growth mode tend to outsource include:
- Strategic Planning
- Compensation Strategy
- And the list goes on!
Understanding what your needs look like from an internal vs. external vendor perspective will ensure you utilize all the best resources at your disposal to get your business ready for the next stage of its awesomeness.
The growth mode of your business is an exciting time, but with all the excitement, careful planning and execution of that plan is a must. Having the proper foundation in place and the right mindset will ensure the stars are aligned for the most success possible.