Maintaining culture during rapid growth

Business growth spurts are a great time but also sometimes pretty scary for many business owners.

Business growth spurts are a great time but also sometimes pretty scary for many business owners.

It means the business is doing well, there’s exciting new opportunities for staff, and increased opportunities for your customers.

However, growth can also throw off the cultural balance of your organisation that you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Here’s three important cultural transition ideas you can implement along the journey.

Make sure your new hires are the right ones. ‘Most skilled’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘most suited’. It can be tempting to just get ‘bums on seats’ as the work rate increases and people are reaching breaking point. But hiring someone who does not fit your culture or align with your values can not only cost you in time and resources, but can impact others so the culture suffers. Once you have hired a new person, make sure to onboard and induct them effectively so that they start off on the right foot.

Keep your staff engaged. Take time to honour the traditions you built when you were a small company. If you stop work early on a Friday, or have a mid-week lunch together, continue to do so even when you are busy. Continue to recognise your staff, celebrate birthdays and successes. Connecting in this way with your staff assures them that whilst change is inevitable, the ‘vibe’ of the business remains intact.

Increase communication. Communication really does make the world go around. If you do not tell your staff what is happening, they will make it up. If you do not tell your customers what is happening your new processes may be to hard to navigate. Making sure your staff are fully aware of what is happening, what their responsibilities are and where they add value will mean that customer requirements do not fall through the gaps and will prevent people from stepping on each other’s toes. Role clarity and smooth transitions managed through communication will reduce staff turnover and build a strong foundation on which you can continue to grow.

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