The initial lack of growth might seem like nothing to worry about. It’s considered natural – your startup needs some time to get on its feet and stabilize. However, the fact that 30 percent of new companies fail in the first two years might sound alarming and may motivate entrepreneurs to try harder and pick up some speed, even if their business is at the very beginning. On the other hand, growing too fast comes with problems of its own as well.
Handling the desired, yet unexpected, growth in a wrong way can cause problems in a number of areas of your business. One of the most troublesome ones is the issue of managing your growing and sometimes overworked employee base. And doing this right may be crucial in order to grow your business further. As much as 63 percent of business owners and leaders consider that good HR is what drives the development of their companies. Here are a few tips on strategies you can use to keep your employees satisfied and productive.
Make use of technology
Nowadays, it’s much easier to deal with employee management than back in the day, mostly thanks to all sorts of technological developments. If your company is doing well, it means you can invest in the most efficient software that can manage projects, employees, and expenses and help you sustain the growth.
Another thing you should make use of is automating your administration. You can get templates for virtually all the paperwork you need online. It can be too much work to compose them from scratch, since managing the already prepared documents is exhausting in itself. Furthermore, you have to make sure to compose them in a way that they don’t contradict each other – for example, that your workplace policies (such as an anti-discrimination policy, etc.) is in accordance with the employment contract. Thus, you should have as much of your paperwork automated as possible.
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Learn how to let go
At the very beginning, you might have a problem with trusting anyone else to make important business decisions. However, once your company starts growing quickly, you’ll have to resist the temptation to regulate and supervise every single activity. You’ll have to find people you can count on to manage crucial issues in certain departments, while you should focus on creating the overall strategy and determining the general direction in which you wish your company to move.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should get detached from the everyday events in your company. You’ll need to make sure that the decisions made by your managers are in accordance with the general strategy and values of the company. But overseeing every single move and decision made by managers and employees becomes impossible at one point and it’s out of the question.
Allow employees to grow
Consequently, you’ll have to open new departments and new positions, some of which will carry a lot of responsibility. Whenever it’s possible, give your best employees the role of leaders for new departments and delegate the most responsible tasks to them. It’s always useful to place someone talented, reliable and loyal from within the company at a top position, even if they lack some of the necessary skills. If they’re dedicated enough, they’ll be able to learn them on the run.
Choosing someone you’ve never seen before to take a top position is always risky, regardless of that person’s experience and skills. You have no idea if they possess the character that could disrupt the atmosphere at the company. Thus try to stick to your own people and promote from within – getting respected and promoted is the biggest motivation for your employees, apart from the money, which naturally comes with a more important and responsible position.
Nevertheless, if the company is growing rapidly you’ll need to hire some new faces. Be reasonable and don’t appoint more people than you actually need just because you’re currently on a good run. Mind their skills, mind their characters and check if their values are aligned with the company’s. The fact that your business is growing will make things easier in this respect. Once everyone realizes you’re doing well, a lot of top talents will want you to get them on board. If you’re patient enough you’ll be able to allow yourself to hire only the best of the best.
The bottom line is simple – in times of expansion, you have to keep your employees happy and motivated in order for them to stay productive. If you’re growing fast and taking your time with bringing in new people, this inevitably means that a lot of your current employees will be overworked. The best way to motivate them is to be open, fair and respectful to them and not hesitate to reward those who work really hard and actually add value to your business.