It’s a common growing pain for ambitious companies: maintaining your original, entrepreneurial culture as you expand. Founders and key management generally establish company culture early on. At the beginning it’s relatively easy to maintain this culture because you’re working together very closely. But as you start to add new personalities and new locations it can become a real challenge to integrate employees and maintain the focus on your overarching goals.
Here are 4 ways to ensure your employees understand and buy into your strategic direction.
1. Make sure you’ve clearly articulated your goals
Employees like to be kept in the loop, and they are more motivated when they know what’s going on. Therefore, it’s essential you clearly communicate the company’s vision, strategic priorities and business goals and cascade these throughout the organisation.
This will help employees understand where they fit in, what they’re accountable for and how they contribute to the bigger picture.
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2. Make sure your company structure supports your goals
Often, the process of defining clear goals can reveal a need to refine the organisational structure to support business objectives more effectively. Don’t shy away from adjustments that need to be made – whether it’s designing new grading structures, adding or removing roles or revising job descriptions.
At the end of the day all employees should be confident they contribute to the company’s success.
3. Provide a forum for managers to work together to manage performance
Don’t manage performance in siloes. Managers need to have an overarching perspective on what other departments are doing in order to achieve your larger strategic objectives.
A good time for managers to set performance objectives is after the annual business planning process, when you’ve established what needs to be achieved for the following financial year. By clarifying who is delivering what, managers can identify any duplicated effort or unnecessary work.
4. Keep tabs on employee engagement
You need to know what your employees think to understand how your company culture is evolving. Poll staff regularly so you can assess what training or support you need to implement to ensure your culture is supporting your goals.
Effective methods include:
- Employee surveys evaluating engagement with and understanding of the company’s strategy
- Workshops and focus groups
- Online performance management tools (such as Vaado) to check what objectives have been cascaded or agreed
- Manual checks of performance management documentation produced by line managers
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