Business is risky, it can be complicated, challenging and rewarding. All businesses need to grow in order to survive. Many say they don’t want to grow, but want to remain small. That is all well and good, but growth must occur in some manner. The catch is in knowing how to grow.
People are Key
Whether you have 5, 500 or 5,000 employees, developing people is essential to the growth and survival of your organization. If your business is to grow, you need people. A start up needs people who are willing to commit to your dream, wear many hats and put in the time and effort to keep the business afloat. As the business becomes larger, people with more defined, specific skills will be required. You will need people who can market, people who can sell, people who can organize, people who can run operations and systems, well, you get the picture. Here are ideas that can help structure a successful growth program.
- Hiring: Having a superior hiring system is fundamental to growth. This means finding the right people for the right job. Ensuring they are the right people means using proven assessments tools, teaching managers good interviewing skills and how to effectively use their intuitive skills.
- Development: Leadership committed to developing employees is intrinsic for steady growth. Without a good development program companies flounder and fail to flourish. Development means consistent training, encouraging formal education where demanded and taking interest in the careers of promising leadership talent. Furthermore, they must be willing to make the tough decisions about replacing team members who underperform.
- Working Environment: Why would people want to work with you, live your mission and promote your products and services? Simply providing a computer, cubicle and a cup of coffee is not enough to earn that level of dedication. Do you follow ethical business practices? Are you concerned about your employees and customers? Do you allow bullying, discrimination and favoritism to go unchecked? The wrong answer to any of these questions can signal the beginning of the end of growth.
- Communicate: Communicate clearly and often. Communicate your business philosophy, values, policies and strategies. Involving employees in your strategic business goals changes them from passive to passionate. This helps create a collaborative culture and drives enthusiasm and excitement for the organization’s long-term goals. Communicating change BEFORE it happens is a logical choice. The reality is that many companies fail to do this leaving a wake of broken trust as well as disgruntled and disillusioned employees. This does nothing for growth.
- Promote From Within: Building bench strength for future leaders will prove vital for effective growth. Develop a strong succession plan and provide a coaching or mentoring program. Studies indicate that companies that have one or both of these programs in place builds strong future leaders quicker.
With just a little effort, teamwork and the right attitude, a business can achieve steady, stable and solid growth. It takes having everyone on board with a dedication to the company’s mission, products and services. This does not occur on a wing and a prayer, but with planning, persistence and commitment by leadership.