No business can thrive without buy-in from its employees. That’s why so many fast-growing small to medium businesses accredit their success to their working culture: the right atmosphere and team dynamic will ideally result in greater productivity, efficiency and experience building up within the business. But often as businesses grow, things can quickly change, whether due to the pressures of meeting more demands or the complexities of handling a larger organisation. So how can businesses maintain a vibrant, effective working culture that supports ongoing growth? Here are 5 ways to keep your culture growing with your business.
1. KNOW YOUR VISION, MISSION AND VALUES
Every business needs a clear vision and mission to galvanise its employees to action. At the same time, the most successful businesses are also values-based: operating according to a clear set of principles that define how they should (and shouldn’t) progress towards the ultimate vision. Your vision and mission may evolve over time for the benefit of your business: a change in the market, or new insight about opportunities and threats, may cause you to “pivot” into a new product, service, or even sector. Your values, however, should remain unassailable. Communicating these values to your teams on a regular basis will ensure that your people not only work together in a cohesive fashion – but also that they know that they’re valued by you and your business.
2. LEAD WITH THE CARROT, NOT THE STICK
As a business grows, it’s easy to get caught up in achieving milestones and forget to reward those who’ve achieved them. A consistent rewards and benefits structure not only appeals to employees’ interests; more importantly, it also sends a clear message that you acknowledge them as the principal ingredient to your business’ growth. Ideally, your rewards structure will account for regular (annual or six-monthly, for example) feedback from your people on what they value most, or the behaviours that deserve to be rewarded.
3. MAKE COLLABORATION NATURAL
Growing teams inevitably result in a greater diversity of preferred working practices. For small to medium business owners, the growth process may require them to adopt new ways of working into the business – and not just going “higher-tech” with new collaboration tools or remote working platforms. Cloud-born small to medium businesses which have grown up without offices, for example, may at some point consider taking on physical premises to make for easier collaboration between growing teams – if their people see a need to do so. Whether it’s introducing telepresence software to work better with global suppliers, or defining certain days where the entire team meets together in person, adjust your definition of “working together” to fit whatever allows for the most natural, productive collaboration.
4. FOCUS ON MEANINGFUL WORK
With growth comes complexity and a higher volume of tasks for every employee – both of which can, if left unchecked, erode the workplace culture and values that originally attracted those same employees. Instead of focusing on growth at all costs – or worse, taking these new demands upon themselves – aim to trim down the amount of “busy-work” that you and your employees face. In many cases, technology can bear much of the load. Culture ultimately revolves around that core purpose, and anything you can do to reorient your people around it – including reducing distraction from non-core tasks – will be worth it in the long run.
5. DON’T FORGET WHERE YOU CAME FROM
The larger a business, the more people will come on board – inevitably bringing change to your workplace culture as new perspectives filter in. As new employees and customers arrive, however, it’s vital to remain both mindful of and committed to those who’ve been with you from Day 1 – not only acknowledging their contributions, but paying close attention to their thoughts on how the business is evolving and whether it remains true to its core values. Ideally, some of those original employees will grow and mature along with the business to become potential successors and leaders. Mentoring these individuals, seeking their counsel, and treating them as partners can be the best thing you do to ensure the business both remains true to its founding values, and continues to grow – to the point where you might even choose to take your leave to focus on your next venture.
Article sourced by Oracle Netsuite
The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone.
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